Make Ahead

Cedar-planked lemon thyme chicken

February 22, 2010
1 Rating
Author Notes

I'm a dreamer.....*sigh*...and that's not at all a foolish decision. new year's resolutions are off to a great start - make large portions of dishes which can be reinvented throughout the week. So, I've made 'Merrill's' meatloaf twice. Its lasted us 3 dinners: slices of meatloaf with tatties, second time in tomato sauce, with pasta and third, sprinkled on some carrot and lentil soup. I had dreams for this chicken too. We would have some for Sunday dinner. Salads and Sarnies would follow...and who knows what else. *Hmmmm*. Pipe dreams they were. All I ended up with was a platter full of bones (yes, perfect.....perfect for making stock) - the flesh demolished by loving mouths: any cook's delight to be honest. And if you're still seeking the verdict: Crisp skin, tasty, well seasoned (in such a short time) moist, succulent....I could go on but my husband has run out of words...and ALL without a marinade! I learnt from a food blogger (The Little Teochew)....that cooking the chicken at high heat crisps the skin yet keeps the flesh surprisingly juicy and super tasty ! The citrus flavours of the lemon thyme, combined with the sweet smokiness of the chicken makes this a tasty offering....on any day of the week! —Kitchen Butterfly

  • Serves 4 adults.....
  • 1 whole, organic chicken (mine weighed 1.25 kg), rinsed inside and out
  • 1 large bunch bunch of fresh lemon thyme
  • 1-2 tablespoons Seasalt
  • 1 tablespoon Butter
  • 1-2 bulbs of garlic
  • Cedar plank, prepared according to manufacture's instructions or soak in water for 20 minutes prior to use
In This Recipe
  1. Preheat your oven to 240 degrees centigrade. Set an oven rack in the middle. Place your cedar plank in an oven tray/brownie tin, place that on the rack and let heat up till it starts to crackle
  2. In the meantime, make a fragrant salt by pounding a large handful of lemon thyme with 1 - 2 tablespoons of sea salt, till a rough paste is formed
  3. Mix half of this paste with 1 tablespoon of butter and reserve the other half.
  4. Gently separate the skin above the breast from the flesh, so it doesn't tear and rub some lemon thyme butter underneath.
  5. Rub the remainder of the lemon thyme butter inside the cavity of the chicken, then stuff it with some stalks of lemon thyme and garlic cloves. Secure the opening with a toothpick or truss it up.
  6. Rub the reserved lemon thyme paste on the outside of the chicken, ensuring all bits are well rubbed.
  7. By this time, the cedar plank should be crackling. Bring it out of the oven and using a tea towel soaked in olive oil, rub it all over.
  8. Place the chicken on top of the plank, breast side up and pop in the oven. {Note you will need an hour per kg of chicken. Mine was ready in 1 hour 15 minutes.} If at anytime, you're worried the plank is getting too dry, put some water in the tray.
  9. About 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time, flip the bird over so the underside crisps up
  10. Once ready, bring out of the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
  11. Serve and carve the chicken...from the plank and serve with roasted garlic...on the side and potatoes!
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For the first 9 years of my life I hated food and really loved sugar till Wimpy (British Fast Food chain) changed my life! These days, all grown up, I've junked junk food and spend my days and nights on a quest - to find and share the sweet, sweet nectar that's food in The #NewNigerianKitchen! Dreaming, cooking, eating and writing...about and adoring a strong food community that's big and bold enough to embrace the world's diverse cuisines - I'm passionate about celebrating Nigerian cuisine in its entirety. Why do I love food so? It is forgiving. Make a recipe. Have it go bad....but wake up tomorrow and you can have another go at succeeding! Only with food!