Cajun seasoning is used in place of regular salt in many kitchens across Southern Louisiana. It’s the staple flavour of my Cajun brick yardbird.
Spatchcocking the bird ensures a more even cook, while the pressure of the brick pins the skin against the heat source to create crisp, golden skin.
- 1 x 2–3 kg (about 4½–6½ lb) chicken
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp garlic granules
- 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp dried thyme
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time: 8 minutes
Set up a grill for two-zone cooking and heat to medium.
Rinse the chicken well under cold water, removing any giblets and trimming back any excess fat from around the cavity. Pat dry with paper towel.
Spatchcock the chicken and place, skin side down, on a foil-lined tray. To make the Cajun seasoning, put all the ingredients in a jar, firmly screw on the lid and shake to combine. Drizzle 1 tbsp of the olive oil over the underside and sprinkle with 1 tbsp of the Cajun seasoning and massage well. Flip the bird over and repeat with the remaining oil and another 2 tbsp of the seasoning, making sure you spread the oil into the crevices between the thighs and wings.
Place the chicken, skin side down, on the indirect heat side of the grill, and place a foil-covered brick on top. You may need to use one brick across the chicken breast and another across the thigh area.
Grill for 25–30 minutes, then turn the chicken over. Replace the bricks, using the opposite (clean) side of the foil to touch the cooked side. Grill for a further 30 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 74°C (165°F).
Transfer to a board, cover loosely with foil and rest for 7–9 minutes, then cut into pieces and serve.
• This recipe will make about 150 g (5½ oz) of seasoning. Any not used for the brick yardbird can be stored for months in a tightly sealed jar for your next dish.
• You will need one or two bricks for this recipe. Make sure you wrap them in foil since they’ll be making direct contact with the bird.
Recipe from Hardcore Carnivore by Jess Pryles (Murdoch Books, hb, $39.99)