Copycat Church’s Fried Chicken Using the Vortex

I could make (and eat) ‘fried’ chicken using my Vortex BBQ all day long. It has never let me down. It has never been anything but easy. This copycat of Church’s fried chicken was no exception. Incredibly crunchy skin. Unbelievably moist and flavorful meat. And as easy as coating it, grilling it, eating it. Done.
There are no tricks or special handshakes that you need to know to get fried chicken right using the Vortex. And although a lot of sites say to rotate the lid every 15 minutes while cooking, I’ve not found that it makes a difference. I don’t over-crowd my grill and I make sure I have a super-hot fire. If you’ve found that rotating the lid is a requirement, let me know but so far, I’ve not had anything but success just keeping the lid right where it is. I also do not flip my chicken while it is cooking. Doing so will result in ‘batter loss’, a bad thing. Just keep it right where it is.

Also try my insanely-awesome proper pub fried chicken, another fantastic recipe for deliciously crispy tasty chicken cooked using the Vortex. You can also use off-the-shelf fried chicken coating to make spectacular chicken on the Vortex. Check out my Kentucky Kernel chicken too!

Copycat Church's Fried Chicken Using the Vortex
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-8 pieces
 
Ingredients
  • 4-8 pieces of chicken (I prefer bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs)
For the dry mixture
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 3 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup Bisquick
  • 1 envelope Italian dressing mix
  • 1 envelope onion soup mix
For the wet mixture
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup cold water
For a crispier coating
  • Vegetable oil
Instructions
  1. Fire up your grill with the Vortex BBQ. Let the coals get good and hot.
  2. Combine all of the dry mixture ingredients in a pie plate.
  3. In another pie plate, whisk together the eggs and water.
  4. Working in batches, dip the chicken into the wet mixture, then into the dry mixture.
  5. One more time, dip the chicken into the wet mixture and then the dry mixture.
  6. Transfer chicken to your grill grate around the Vortex and cook until done, about 45 minutes.
  7. Lightly brush the chicken with oil the last 5 minutes of cooking to get a crispier skin.

Proper Pub Fried Chicken using the Vortex

Tom Kerridge is a Michelin-starred pub chef in England. Yes, pub chef. That’s why I knew that his recipe for proper pub fried chicken would be something special, something incredible. And, oh me, was it ever. The seasonings give every single bite the most fantastic flavor. Tender, moist. And crunchy skin? Oh yes. You could deep fry it, but I cooked this chicken over charcoal using the Vortex and no oil. Yep, no oil (except for like a tablespoon to help crunch up the skin at the very end).
I have to admit something. I made a change to Chef Kerridge’s original recipe. Please don’t hate me, but I added hot sauce to the buttermilk brine. I could not help myself. I ALWAYS add hot sauce to my buttermilk when using it for chicken. Not a whole lot, just a little bit to add a slight kick and offset the sourness. You don’t have to do it, and you don’t have to tell anyone if you do.

Also try my copycat of Church’s fried chicken, also made using the Vortex.

Proper Pub Fried Chicken using the Vortex
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3-4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 6-8 pieces of chicken (I prefer bone-in, skin-in thighs)
  • 2 1/4 (or more) cups buttermilk
  • Hot sauce, to taste (optional)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 4 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons chile powder
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried marjoram
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground dried sage
  • 2 teaspoons ground white pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing
Instructions
  1. Place chicken into a large resealable container.
  2. Add enough buttermilk to cover the chicken. Add hot sauce, if using.
  3. Seal and shake gently to coat the chicken and combine the hot sauce. Refrigerate overnight.
  4. Fire up your Vortex. Fill completely with coals. You'll need at least a 22" charcoal grill.
  5. Combine all dry ingredients and pour into a pie pan or alternatively, place in a large resealable bag.
  6. Working in batches, remove chicken from the buttermilk. Shake off excess and roll in the coating. Alternatively, add the chicken to the bag, seal and shake to coat.
  7. Place chicken around the edges of your grill. Cover and cook 30-45 minutes or until the chicken has reached 160 F as measured in several locations.
  8. Lightly brush the chicken with the oil and cook another 5 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165 F as measured in several locations.

Chicken Fingers using the Vortex

I’m a huge fan of cooking chicken wings using the Vortex BBQ. I’m also a huge fan of ‘frying’ chicken using the Vortex BBQ. And now, I’m a huge fan of making chicken fingers using the Vortex BBQ. Just as easy as wings or fried chicken, these fingers came out tender and super tasty. They have a very nice coating that is light on crunch but heavy on flavor. And nothing could be easier to make, either!
Chicken fingers on the Vortex BBQ cook a whole lot quicker than do wings or chicken thighs. Don’t throw them on and ignore them. They’ll be done in no time.

As I mention in the recipe note, I put foil on my grill grates before I added the chicken. I’m not 100% sure if that’s required, but the chicken didn’t stick.

If you’re looking for a great side dish for your chicken fingers, make a batch of seasoned skinny fries, also made using a Vortex. For dipping sauces, try my copycat of Chick-fil-A’s dipping sauce, firecracker dipping sauce or my chili dipping sauce.

Chicken Fingers using the Vortex
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Note: I covered my grill grates in foil and brushed on a light coating of oil because I thought the fingers might stick. I haven't tried to make them yet without foil. You might want to foil yours also, or at least oil them before adding the chicken.
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds chicken tenderloins
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Hot sauce, optional, to taste
  • Vegetable oil
Instructions
  1. Fire up your charcoal grill with the Vortex BBQ insert. Let the coals get good and hot.
  2. Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a pie plate.
  3. Pour the buttermilk into another pie plate. Whisk in the hot sauce if using.
  4. Working in batches, dip the chicken into the flour mixture, then the buttermilk, and then once again in the flour.
  5. Transfer to your grill and cook for 15-20 minutes or until done. Lightly brush the chicken with the oil the last 5 minutes of cooking.
  6. Serve hot.