I use the heck out of my Vortex on my charcoal grills. I have several of them and I keep them busy with everything from wings to my favorite, ‘fried’ chicken. This time I took a fairly traditional deep-fryer recipe and adapted it for the Vortex. This Cajun-brined friend chicken is absolutely amazing. The chicken is just crazy tender and juicy. Like drip-when-you-bite-into-it moist. Oh, and that crunchy skin. Oh my goodness. The skin is just incredible. This is unbelievable chicken right here.
I almost always use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs when I make this Cajun-brined fried chicken or any other ‘fried’ chicken using the Vortex. The dark meat has the most flavor and always cooks up tender and juicy. You can use any cuts you like but for my money, you can’t go wrong with thighs. I often find them on sale in family packs at the grocery store for less an a dollar per pound. Eight big thighs for less than six bucks is a total steal in my book.
Cajun-Brined Fried Chicken using the Vortex
- 2 quarts water
- 1 cup kosher salt divided
- 1 cup Cajun seasoning divided
- 8 chicken thighs bone-in, skin-on, or whatever cuts you prefer
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 quart buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- In a large sealable plastic container combine the water, all but 2 tablespoons of the salt and all but 2 tablespoons of the Cajun seasoning. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- Add the chicken and submerge. Cover and refrigerate 8-24 hours, turning the chicken at least once to make sure all of the pieces get brined evenly.
- Fire up your charcoal grill with the Vortex insert full of charcoal.
- Whisk together the remaining salt, Cajun seasoning, flour, black pepper and cayenne.
- In another large bowl combine the buttermilk and hot sauce.
- Working in batches, remove the chicken from the brine and shake off excess. Transfer to the flour mixture and coat well, then shake off any excess.
- Transfer to the buttermilk mixture and coat well, then shake off any excess. Once more coat in the flour mixture, shake off excess, then transfer to a wire rack while you coat the remaining pieces.
- Transfer to your grill around the now-ashed charcoal-filled Vortex. Close the lid and cook for 45 minutes or until the chicken has reached 165 F as checked in several places.
- Lightly brush the tops of the chicken with some oil and cook another 3 minutes to get the skin good and crunchy.
- Remove chicken from the grill and let cool slightly before serving.
Nutritional values are approximate.