5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 cup milk
2 gloves garlic
several tablespoons CF Sauer's Montreal style chicken seasoning/rub
1 cup flour
2-3 cups panko bread crumbs
Start your fire and insert racks. Place a cast iron griddle on your top, felt line level grate. Do not use a diverter. Bring your Kamado to 350 degrees & stabilize.
While your kamado is coming up to temperature, get out 3 bowls, and a sheet pan covered with a piece of parchment paper. Take the 2 garlic gloves and grate using a Microplane grater. In one bowl add a cup of flour and salt & pepper to taste, skip the salt if it's an ingredient in your rub. In a second bowl combine milk with 1 egg, beat the egg & milk together. In the third bowl add the panko crumbs, a generous amount of rub, and the microplaned garlic. Mix thoroughly so all 3 ingredients are evenly distributed.
Take each piece of chicken, dredge thoroughly in flour, dip in egg/milk mixture, and then coat thoroughly in panko mixture. Place on sheet pan. When all pieces are coated, place sheet pan in refrigerator ~ 10 minutes to allow panko mix to set.
When you're ready to start the cook, coat your griddle with a generous quantity of olive oil, enough so that you can see it just beginning to pool in a place or two. Use a silicone brush to smooth it evenly over the surface of the griddle. Close your Kamado and wait a minute for the oil to heat up. Once oil is to temp, place the chicken pieces on the griddle, close the kamado cover and cook undisturbed for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes flip the chicken so the other side gets suitably browned. You may want to remove the chicken from the griddle & add little more oil before cooking the second side, a judgement call on your part. After flipping the chicken cook for another 15-20 minutes.
This is a very flexible recipe as you can give it any flavor profile you want depending on what you mix with the panko. This is an adaptation of a Tyler Florence recipe (you can view the original here) and in his version he uses the garlic mixed with rosemary. This was tasty, but I found (1) using a chicken rub with the garlic, and (2) "frying" on the cast iron griddle, produced a result more in line with what I was looking for. This recipe can also be done in your kitchen oven following the same process; I think the key for either oven or kamado is cooking on a hot CI griddle. Also, I've only cooked this with boneless/skinless chicken, but there's no reason you can't cook it with chicken pieces with the skin still on, in fact this might make it even better.
Here's the kitchen set up for the coating and dredging:
And the chicken pre-cook:
Oiling the griddle:
Chicken on the griddle:
This pic shows the chicken where I flipped it after 30 minutes (the white looking piece was not yet flipped).
And this pic shows chicken off the grill after 30 minutes on one side, and 10 on the other. The white looking piece I never flipped, it was brown on one side and pale on the other. The light brown piece at the bottom of the pic shows the 10 minute side of one piece, and the dark brown pieces are the 30 min sides. This is why I recommend a flip after 20 minutes in the directions, and suggest adding a touch more oil at the mid point.
Hope anyone who tries this enjoys it!
My Version of Kamado Fried Chicken (An Approach with Seasoning the Chicken Directly)
Several of the comments made by the original poster on many of the recent Kamado fried chicken cooks was the inability to get the desired seasoning level on the final cooked chicken, particularly through just seasoning the flour.
This was a skin-on chicken thigh cook utilizing a technique I anticipated would kick up the final seasoning profile. And it did.
Because the flour coating is thin even if double flouring, I chose to go a different route. I applied the main seasonings directly to the chicken with just a supplemental seasoning in the flour.
On the chicken itself went Montreal chicken seasoning, cayenne pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. In the flour went black pepper and bit of salt plus some garlic powder. I could have also added the other seasonings to the flour but I wanted to evaluate just the main seasoning being on the chicken in this experiment.
Floured the chicken and let it rest, then floured again. No oil on the chicken just the natural moisture. The second flouring could probably have been eliminated. A bit of oil spay on the chicken before seasoning might be useful to try next time.
Placed in Big(Red)Joe on indirect at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes turning as needed and rearranging as required for uniform cooking of the various pieces as a function of temperature distribution over the deflector and heated air flow around the deflector. I also added some mesquite wood. Ran the internal of the chicken to about 180.
After removing and setting, the moisture in a few of the chicken pieces started to soften the coating, so in hindsight maybe 5 more minutes on the grill might have been useful. Or just a single flouring and/or an oil coating might have caused more of a moisture seal and more frying effect on the interior of the coating in the shorter period of cooking time.
The result was reasonably crispy chicken with a great flavor both in the coating and in the skin and on the chicken. The chicken itself was quite juicy – one reason of course being they were thighs.
My main reason for posting was to share the result of this (successful) seasoning experiment. You might consider this seasoning approach or some variation thereof on your next Kamado fried chicken cook.
BTW--- the light mesquite smoke flavor from one small chunk was good on the chicken. I was wondering how well the coating would absorb the smoke – either too much or too little – it came out fine.
I would appreciate any additional thoughts on creating the "ultimate" Kamado fried (oven baked) chicken. We have seen a number of different approaches in the various posts all with good results but each seeming needing some tweaking to get to an ultimate fried chicken pinnacle.
But in the meantime - it's all good!
Kamado Fried Chicken
Seasoning the Chicken
Crispy & Still Juicy (And Tasty Too!)
Tonight I did my own take on the grill fried chicken on the batch of drums that I've been making for H's lunches.
I started out with the following: 1/4 cup cornstarch, 3/4 cup flour, 1 tbsp ancho chile powder, 1/2 tbsp paprika, 1/2 tbsp salt, 1/2 tbsp black pepper. Soaked the drums in milk for 1 hr then patted them dry. Tossed them in the flour and spice mix in a gallon zipper bag (about 3-4 at a time) and then hung them on the rack:
40 mins on the grill and they were done:
H said that they DEFINITELY have a fried chicken flavor and texture, but something is missing. I suspect like all the others, I didn't include enough seasoning. H thinks that a packet of Ranch dip mix might be good, so next week I'll try that. Also seasoning the milk/buttermilk that they soak in beforehand might help too!!