Cedar Plank Chicken

I have talked passionately about cedar plank salmon.  I really believe that it is one of greatest salmon preparation methods.  Salmon takes smoke well, smoke compliments the natural flavor, and the two of them produce a mild sweetness that is impossible to replicate.  

The question: if cedar technique works so well with salmon, what else does it work with?  From the title of the post, you are of course thinking chicken.  Of course.  Chicken.  Slow and gentle smoke lives in harmony with chicken, once again bringing out mild, almost delicate sweetness.

This is similar to bbq chicken, simply because the smoke permeates the entire chicken.  It will, however, yield a much juicier chicken, with more subtle flavors.  Subtle, in that the cedar smoke brings out sweetness and natural flavor that a powerful bbq sauce or glaze may mask.   Keep in mind, the flavors here are still incredibly bold, and you are producing a highly seasoned product.  It’s emphasis is simply more of a natural flavor.  Which, I think you will find, is delicious.

Cedar Plank Chicken

Prep time: 5 minutes
Inactive Cook time: 4 hours
Cook time: 40 minutes
Yield: 2 portions


1 small chicken, cut in half, thigh and drumstick bones removed (or leave all bones in)
2 tbsp siracha
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp poultry seasoning
kosher salt
1 cedar plank (do not soak)


Place both halves of chicken in a mixing bowl and add all ingredients except the salt.  Work in well.  Let marinade for 4 hours.

Bring a gas grill to high heat.  Lightly oil the cedar plank on the food-touching side.  Liberally salt the chicken, all sides.  Place the chicken on the grill, skin side down, and sear.  Place the cedar plank on the grill.  Flip the chicken and sear on the bone side.  When both sides are seared, place the chicken halves on the cedar plank, keep the heat on high, and close the grill cover.  Let cook, untouched.  If the plank begins to catch on fire, turn the heat down.  It should start to catch on fire around the edges.  This is what you want; the cedar is protecting the chicken from the direct heat, and the fire will just add additional smoke flavor.  When chicken is cooking through (meat is firm, temp reads above 150), remove, let rest for about 5 minutes and serve right away.  Run cool water over the cedar plank and discard.

As this is a ‘smokey’ grilling recipe, bbq sides are most appropriate.  Potato salad, cole slaw, or, oddly enough, Lebanese hummus, tabbouleh, cucumber/tomato salads, and so on, work very well.  Whatever you serve with this, it’s a great recipe and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


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