Friday, August 26, 2011

Cedar Planked Chicken

Today I took a break from working on my deck. I had grass to mow & needed to change the sugar water in my hummingbird feeders. I seen a recipe I think on Betty Crocker site for cedar planked Greek style chicken breasts. I had some new cedar planks so wanted to try it, but would do mine Italian style. My first use of cedar planks was with salmon I did on the Traeger at 300 deg for 40 min. At that temp I didn’t get any charring on the planks so no cedar flavor. However I think it helps keep the fish from drying out & keeps it moist so I have reused them on fish. I just run them through the dishwasher. I figured I would use the new ones & save for chicken.
When I went to get chicken breasts I saw an organic chicken, Harvestland, so I bought it, & some Kens Steak House Italian dressing for the marinade. I bought asparagus and a tub of Kraft Philly cooking crème to use on pasta.
I spatchcocked the chicken, removed the breast bone, & split in half and got it marinating in the Italian dressing. Marinade time was about 7 hrs. I put the cedar planks in water to soak, then went to mow grass. I finished up the yard & changed the hummer water, then relaxed with a cold one until time to cook. At 3:00 I trimmed the asparagus, drizzled w/olive oil, white balsamic vinegar & some garlic salt to marinade awhile. About 4:30 I fired up the Traeger & set it to 300 deg. I got the chicken on about 4:50, added salt, fresh ground pepper, & garlic powder. At 5:20 I inserted my two temp probes then at 5:30 brushed on some marinade & went to 325 deg. I went inside & cooked my pasta and sautéed some orange pepper & onions to add to the pasta. I put the onions & peppers in a pan, I had sprayed w/olive oil, added the cooked pasta, a handful of shredded Italian blend cheese & about a half tub on the Philly cooking crème, stirred & placed in a preheated 200 deg oven to hold. The chicken was at 165 deg IT so went to 375 deg. to finish up. When the chicken was 170 deg I added two bundles of asparagus, wrapped with silicone elastic bands turned after 5 min. & added two slices of bread I had brushed w/olive oil & a little garlic salt. At 6:20 all was done, total cook time was 1 ½ hrs. I plated breasts for the wife & I. All tasted great. Was there any cedar flavor, I don’t think so even though I noted I was getting more smoke at 325 deg than usual from my Traeger and continuous smoke when I went to 375 deg as you can see in the photo below. I had black char on the bottom & edges of the cedar planks so threw them out. At $4 for the planks I don’t think I will use them for chicken anymore. I didn’t note any cedar flavor & don’t think it kept the chicken any moister. I will still use them for fish though.

Smoke from Cedar Planks

Cedar planks


Chickens On

Peppers & onions for the pasta

Chickens done

My Plate

Smokin Don

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