The spatchcocked chicken takes on the apricot smoke flavor before being slathered in that wonderful Asian sauce. The skin is firm if not crispy in places and the meat tender and juicy. If you’re tired of the same old BBQ chicken, try an Asian twist next time.
Spatchcocking is a great way to speed up the grilling process of a chicken and increase the absorption of smoke. The bird will cook much faster than a whole chicken and is much easier to manage on the grill.
I’m using a Char-Broil 940 X. It’s configured for indirect, or two-zone grilling, with coals and smoke wood on the left and the chickens on the right. I used apricot wood for this but apple, peach or pear would work great as well.
Target temperature inside the grill is 325-350 degrees.
Chickens on the Grill
I have my spatchcocked chickens as far away from the heat as possible. I also have the breasts facing away from the heat. The dark meat of the legs and thighs can handle the higher temps more than the white meat.
Tip: The oil will add flavor and help tighten up the skin. The last thing we want is a rubbery chicken. If you can’t find garlic-infused oil, use regular oil. It won’t add any extra flavor but it will help brown the chicken and firm up the skin.
Note: The glaze will not be as thick as barbecue sauce and will require at least two slatherings. I did it twice but wished I’d done a third one. But, by closing the lid, the glaze will thicken and caramelize.
- 2 whole chickens
- Coarse salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Freshly cracked white pepper
- 3 ounces garlic-infused olive oil, reserved
- 4 ounces hoisin
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce
- 1 tablespoon mirin (substitute sake)
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil (substitute more of the garlic-infused olive oil from above)
- ½ teaspoon sriracha
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
- ½ teaspoon Chinese five spice
- ¼ teaspoon ground mustard
- ½ teaspoon sesame seeds for garnish
- 1 teaspoon green onions, finely sliced for garnish
- Spatchcock the chicken.
- Lay the chicken flat and season the underside with salt and pepper before flipping over and seasoning the skin side.
- Prepare the grill for two-zone grilling with charcoal and smoke wood on one side and the chicken on the other. The target temp inside the grill is 325-350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the chickens on the grill and close the lid.
- At 30 minutes and 60 minutes, brush with garlic-infused olive oil.
- At the 90-minute mark, combine the rest of the ingredients minus the garnish.
- At the 2-hour mark, brush the Asian glaze on the spatchcocked chickens.
- Close the lid for 15 minutes and re-apply the glaze.
- Repeat the process of glazing the chickens until they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees, which should be around the 3 hour mark.
- Remove from the grill and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes. The chickens should continue to cook to the desired 165 degrees while they rest.
- Garnish with the sesame seeds and green onions.
- Slice and serve.