To say I’m a huge fan of ‘fried’ chicken using a Vortex BBQ insert would be the understatement of the decade. I have several Vortexes (Vortices?), using them for everything from wings to potato wedges to this hot stuff chicken. This hot stuff chicken using the Vortex is easily some of the most flavor-packed, crunchy skin, moist chicken I’ve ever had. You just cannot beat the Vortex and chicken (and other things!). You’ll be amazed that this dish was cooked on a grill using charcoal and not done in a deep-fryer.
Whenever I cook this hot stuff chicken using the Vortex I always give it a quick, light brushing of oil just at the end. This helps crisp up the skin. Some folks also recommend using spray duck fat or oil. Or butter. Whichever you use, it’s a good thing to do since it really makes great chicken into superb fried-like chicken. I brushed it on about 5 minutes before my hot stuff chicken was completely done and let it finish cooking. That’s all!
PS: If you have duck fat spray, I highly recommend using it any time you make chicken on the Vortex. It’s a real game changer.
Place chicken into a large resealable container or bag.
Combine all of the marinade ingredients and add to the chicken. Seal and marinate at room temperature for one hour.
While the chicken in marinating (about 15 minutes) fill your Vortex with charcoal and light.
Place flour in a bowl or bag.
Remove chicken from marinade and shake off excess. Transfer to flour and coat well. If using a bag just add, seal, and toss to coat. In a bowl turn the pieces in the flour to coat. Shake off any excess.
Place chicken pieces around your grill with the bottom and top vents wide open. Close the lid and cook for 45 minutes or until the chicken reaches 160 F. Turn the lid 90 degrees every 15 minutes to ensure even cooking.
Lightly brush the tops of the chicken with oil. Cover and cook another 5 minutes. The chicken should be at least 165 F.
One of the things I really love to cook with my Vortex is to take written-for-a-deep-fryer chicken recipes and adapt them for my charcoal grill. Just about any thing you can do in a vat of hot oil can be made better using a Vortex. And with almost no oil at all. I do use a bit of oil at the very end of the cook, just to help crunch up the skin. It’s optional, but oh does it make that skin superb! This sweet tea fried chicken using the Vortex was a total twist for me, and I thought it was incredible. The tea adds a bit of sweetness, a bit of a herby hint, to the chicken. This is my first time marinating chicken in tea, sweet or not, and it definitely won’t be my last.
I used Luziannne tea bags (our favorite tea for iced tea) when I made sweet tea fried chicken using the Vortex. It might be interesting to try other teas, maybe infused some different flavors. Or just do as I did and use what you know and love and get some incredible tasting chicken.
Bring the water to boil in a small pot over high heat.
Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.
Add the teabags and remove from the heat. Let the bags steep for 5 minutes then remove.
Let the tea cool completely.
Place chicken into a large sealable container. Add the tea. Make sure all the pieces are submerged, adding a bit more water if needed.
Refrigerate for 24 hours, turning at least once to make sure that all sides of the chicken get marinated.
Fire up your charcoal grill fitted with a Vortex full of charcoal.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and buttermilk.
In a shallow bowl or pie plate, whisk together the flour, garlic salt, lemon pepper seasoning, poultry seasoning, paprika, pepper and salt.
Remove the chicken from the tea, shaking off any excess. Working in batches, transfer the chicken to the buttermilk mixture and coat well.
Remove and shake off any excess, then coat in the flour mixture. Place on a wire rack while you finish dredging all of the pieces.
Transfer chicken to the grill around the Vortex (assuming the coals are ashed over and are good and hot). Cover and cook for 45 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165 F as measured in several places. Turn the lid 90 degrees every 15 minutes so the chicken cooks evenly.
Lightly brush the tops of the chicken with some oil and let cook another 3-4 minutes to get the skin good and crunchy.