Cedar Planked Chicken

I finally got a free moment to post this recipe! We recently got a new pupper, everyone meet Molly May by the way, and dinners have been very quick affairs as everyone settles into a proper schedule. On one of my recent trips into the local grocery store, they had two whole chickens on a BOGO sale, granting me the opportunity to make a couple hearty dinners. I like to brine my chicken, with the side dish being biryani, and I wanted to keep with that and Indian flavor theme. See below for the brine recipe. For basting the chicken, the options being tossed around were spicy peri-peri sauce or tandoori. To further give it that tandoori oven flair, I decided on making cedar planked chicken.

The basting sauce ended up being peri peri sauce mixed with a heaping tablespoon of honey. Making it a spicy dish to be sure, with the brine making is succulent and seasoned. Cedar planked chicken is the definite way to go for those who don’t have a smoker or feel uncomfortable with a large quantity of wood chips in their grill, but still crave that certain smoker taste.

Cedar Planked ChickenTake two cedar planks, soak submerged in water for at least an hour. Get the grill heat to high, place the planks down and the spatchcocked chicken on top of the planks. I salted and gave the chicken a dusting of my homemade all-purpose rub beforehand. Turn the heat down to medium (or around 350F) and let it cook for 30 minutes.

At this point start basting with the honey peri-peri sauce every 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

During cooking time, keep an eye on the planks, they may catch on fire! This is okay for the edges, but you definitely don’t want an inferno to flare up around the chicken.

Due to the brining, the chicken stayed tender, and the flavor of a smoked bird really comes through. I have to admit that I was quite smitten not only by the taste, but the skin was super crispy – no searing needed.

The next day, I took the leftover chicken and combining with my homemade curry powder, made a downright delicious curry chicken and rice soup.

Cedar Planked Chicken

Poultry Brine

Poultry Brine


  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds (lightly crushed)
  • 2 teaspoons corriander seeds (lightly crushed)
  • 8 cups water
  • 6 fresh sage leaves (ripped in half)


  • Combine all ingredients in a large saucepot and bring to a boil to dissolve the salt.
  • Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  • Place a spatchcocked chicken breast side down in a 9x13 casserole pan and pour the brine overtop.
  • Cover with a press and seal wrap and let completely cool, then place in fridge until needed.


I pierced the meat of the chicken, under the skin - not through the skin, with a long toothpick to assist the brine soaking further into the muscle tissue.
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