Low effort for huge payoff
This red bird is the easy spatchcock chicken recipe you’re looking for. Fiery Korean Chicken slams your nostrils and tastebuds with so much flavor, plus it’s juicy. Let’s dig in.
Do you ever just want to buy chicken, take it out of the pack, and cook it?
I mean how crazy are we that I have to ask that?? The BBQ obsessed world loves to dry brine, wet brine, marinade, inject, etc… but sometimes we just need a simple go-to that’s packed with flavors. Open, season, cook, eat.
Welcome: Fiery Korean Chicken.
I’ve made this recipe a few years ago initially, after realizing how delicious gochujang + citrus tastes. Then suddenly I realized it’s a thing, a HUGE thing. Sometimes they even add cheese!
Now if you’re a fan of Korean food you’re probably rolling your eyes, wondering why I didn’t know this. My exposure to Korean food is newer, within the last 5 years. The love for it has grown deep, which is why I wanted to showcase a few recipes back to back:
Back to talking about how EASY this chicken is to prepare, and why you should make it. I mean, don’t you want to dig in to this plate below?
How to spatchcock a chicken
The recipe I’m sharing can easily be prepared with any cut of chicken, skin on (Your results will not be the same if you use skinless breast or tenders). I’m going to show you an easy process of how to spatchcock the chicken in this video below. The spatchcock process starts at the 1:00 mark:
Why make a spatchcock chicken?
The process of splitting the chicken is ideal for the most flavor for this style of cooking. We’re basting all sides, essentially the “inside” of the chicken too, so you’re exposing as much as possible to the smoke and flames.
- More texture. We’re searing the chicken towards the end, which means you’ll get those delicious crispy bits you fight over.
- Even cooking. No undercooked chicken here! Stick with my method of measuring temperature of the chicken breast and it’s foolproof.
- Speed. Whole chickens cook much faster this way. We’re impatient and hungry!
Cooking the spicy chicken
You’ll need to have a smoker or grill which can do both: Smoke and Sear. Any charcoal grill will be able to replicate this recipe, just cook the chicken indirectly.
You might notice later that we’re smoking the chicken at 275F. Don’t worry, you won’t have soggy skin at the end because we’re also going to sear. Just trust me!
Steps for success:
- Spatchcock the chicken. We went over this above.
- Basting the chicken. Use half of the marinade we will prepare for this first basting. This is the first layer of flavor.
- Smoking the chicken. We’re going to cook it almost all the way through, building that first layer of flavor.
- Basting again. The chicken breast will be almost fully cooked, and we’ll baste it all a second time and crank up the heat.
- Searing the chicken. Locking in that second baste, building the char and crispy skin. This also helps the chicken stay juicy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to use a whole chicken? You should use drumsticks, thighs, wings, or bone-in chicken breast with skin. Skinless chicken runs the risk of drying out, and the searing just won’t have the same effect.
Is this super spicy? I find it to be medium spicy. It depends on your gochujang. I’m used to the one I have, so I’m familiar with the spice level. Taste and adjust.
Where can I get gochujang? We have it most of our stores, but I buy this same brand below:
- 2–3 lb chicken
- 1/4 cup gochujang
- 3 tbsp orange juice
- 1 tbsp soy
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Preheat the grill or smoker to 275F, indirect heat.
- Spatchcock the chicken to prepare for the grill (see video for step by step).
- Mix the ingredients together for the baste. Set 1/2 aside for later.
- Baste the chicken completely on both sides.
- Place chicken in the grill, allow smoking for 60-90 minutes until it registers 155F.
- Baste the chicken again on both sides, while preparing the grill for searing.
- Sear the chicken for a couple of minutes on each side, building char or grill marks. The breast should read at least 165F before removing it from the grill. It will continue to cook while resting.
Taste your gochujang beforehand to make sure it’s not too spicy, you can always adjust the baste ingredients to your taste. You do not need to prepare this hours in advance.
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 90 minutes
- Category: Chicken
- Method: Smoking
- Cuisine: Korean
Keywords: Korean, chicken, smoking, grilling, spicy food