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Publican Chicken

TheophanTheophan Posts: 2,425

I saw this dish on this forum, a few years ago, I think, and it sounded really good, but I never got around to making it until now.  I’ve seen 3 different ways to make it, though: recipes posted online that supposedly are the original recipe, a BGE-ized version here, and the way Chef Paul Kahan himself said he actually did it in a video

The biggest difference between the way he did it and the other ways is that he only grilled it to sear and get a bit of char on the chicken, and then took it off the grill, put it in a skillet or something, and roasted it in an oven.  Because he did that, he wound up with pan juices from the chicken and the marinade, and he then poured those juices over the cooked chicken and french fries served with it, adding a little lemon, too.  Those yummy-sounding juices wouldn’t be available if it were just cooked like a regular spatchcock chicken on a grill.

Unlike other versions, I’ve seen, he also did not marinate it overnight, but only salted it overnight (dry brine), and then marinated it with the seasonings I gather an hour or so before cooking it.

So I decided to try it his way.  I dry-brined (salted) the spatchcocked chicken overnight, then marinated it for about 3 hours, then grilled it just to char, then roasted it in the oven till done.  When I was heating it up to grill, I let the temp get away from me, and it was a little over 600° rather than the 500° I had been planning, but I thought it'd be OK and went ahead anyway, but at that temperature it got more charred than I had wanted even very briefly.  It was still really delicious, though.  I was so concerned while it was on the Egg, though, about getting it on and off the Egg quickly that I forgot to take pictures while it was actually on the Egg, but you'll still see before and after.

I didn't have french fries, but my wife, who LOVED the chicken, said next time we definitely need to try it with the fries, because no kidding, the pan juices and a bit of lemon over the chicken was great, and it'd be great on the fries as well.

Publican Chicken


1 3-pound chicken, spatchcocked and deboned, save wings and legs.  (I had a 5-lb chicken, the smallest I could find, and I only spatchcocked it, didn’t debone it.)

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon Espelette pepper (or Spanish smoked hot paprika, but the chef really recommended the Espelette)

1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano

2 cloves garlic, sliced

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


The night before, spatchcock and salt chicken, refrigerate. 

In a large mixing bowl, combine oil, lemon juice, brown sugar, Espelette pepper, oregano, garlic and salt and pepper. Mix well.

Add chicken to marinade, turning it until coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour (maybe 2 or 3 wouldn’t hurt).

Set oven to 325°. (I originally thought 400° for a “hot” oven, but because his was essentially boneless but mine is just spatched but still on the bone, I cooked it slower and longer.)

Grill chicken, skin side down first, direct, hot, maybe 550° or so, get a good char. Flip, char a bit on the other side.

Put in a pan, and roast in the oven until done by Thermapen. Carve, pour pan juices over chicken and any potatoes. He also squeezed lemon over it all, so maybe have lemon wedges on the side?

Here's the chicken marinating:

Here it is about to go on the Egg:

And here's the finished product in the pan I roasted it in (in the oven) after the grilling:


  • bgebrentbgebrent Posts: 19,152
    Beautiful chicken man!  @20stone, pay attention.
    Sandy Springs & Dawsonville Ga
  • JohnInCarolinaJohnInCarolina Posts: 14,475
    Well that looks and sounds incredible.
    "A generation of the unteachable is hanging upon us like a necklace of corpses." - George Orwell 

    "I've made a note never to piss you two off." - Stike

  • SciAggieSciAggie Posts: 3,784
    That's looks and sounds delicious. This is a recipe custom made for my wood oven. I'll be trying this very soon.
    Coleman, Texas
    Large BGE & Mini Max for the wok. A few old camp Dutch ovens and a wood fired oven.
    "Bourbon slushies. Sure you can cook on the BGE without them, but why would you?"
  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 7,782
    Sounds amazing. I'll have to give that a try.

    Rowlett, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander and Sultan of Wings


  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 19,319
    Great color on that chix.  Recipe sounds good-I'm thinking you could go from the direct BGE char-to indirect and toss the chix in a CI pan in the BGE.  Thanks for the inspiration.  
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • andersaandersa Posts: 41
    if you use the leftovers, should it then be referred to as Re-Publican chicken? :lol:
    Very nice looking bird Theophan, I'll have to try it as well. Wondering if slow roasting in the egg followed by a reverse sear will yield similar result though to avoid having to use the oven.
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 12,492
    I was ready to eat that first pic of it just marinating. 

    For some reason, the idea of the lemon juice on the bird after it’s done cooking sounds *really* good. Thanks for sharing this recipe.  

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 13,860
    edited April 2018
    That looks outstanding! And I'm always looking for a new chicken recipe. If you wanted to use the egg for the roast, you might have to rest the bird for quite a while after the sear, waiting for the egg temp to come down from 550° to 325°. Or light two eggs. =)

    Read somewhere that a hot, but not smoked, version of paprika was a decent sub for Espelette. Not likely to find either at any store around here (yes, I know about Amazon). I do have some hot Spanish paprika that I've never used. Bet that would work. Espelette FR is about 5 miles from Spain, I'll bet it's the same stuff. Turns out, Espelette is the finishing line of Stage 20 of Le Tour de France this year (trivia answer, cycling esoterica =)). 

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!


    Central Connecticut 

  • TheophanTheophan Posts: 2,425
    Many thanks to all for the kind comments!

    A few responses:
    • I did think about reverse sear, but wasn't sure whether getting a bit of char on it at first might let that flavor sink into the bird more than charring it at the end, and the juices in the pan surely would taste different.  
    • I also wanted to just finish it in the Egg, but I haven't used CI a lot, and clumsily have done a great job of removing the seasoning a few times, and I wasn't sure whether the lemon in this marinade would wind up un-seasoning my only CI pan, a dutch oven.  But my stainless cookware won't fit in the Egg because of the handles, and I didn't know whether they'd get hard to clean or something because of the smoke.  I've been reluctant to use my good induction cookware in the BGE.  I do think another time I may try the CI dutch oven.
    • The lemon on serving was definitely needed.  I wanted to taste it without, just to see, but because the chef squeezed lemon on the entire dish, french fries and all, I figured I'd try that, too.  And the lemon added a LOT.
    • I did order the Espelette pepper from Amazon, and it was NOT smoky like smoked Spanish paprika.  It was delicious, not super hot, reminded me a bit of Aleppo pepper, for those who've had that.  But all of that said, I do think a smoked reasonably hot paprika would be a fine substitute.  The Espelette wasn't super hot, but did have a bit of zip to it, and sweet paprika wouldn't be as similar.
    • andersa said:
      if you use the leftovers, should it then be referred to as Re-Publican chicken?  lol
    • That was WAY too clever!  <guffawing>  

  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 8,794
    Nice job on the publican chicken!   I’ve made it several times and it is always a hit.  


    2008 -Large BGE. 2013- Small BGE and 2015 - Mini. Henderson, Ky.
  • mEGG_My_DaymEGG_My_Day Posts: 1,237
    That's a great looking chicken!! This is going on my to-do list.  Thanks for sharing! 
    Memphis, TN 

    LBGE, SBGE, Hasty-Bake Gourmet, (Akron was gifted to a friend)
  • smbishopsmbishop Posts: 2,285
    Thank you for sharing!
    Southlake, TX, and Cowhouse Creek, Gatesville, TX.  2 Large, 1 Small and a lot of Eggcessories.
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 6,184
    Yum yum pics. And thanks for posting the recipe and how you did it. Lemon on hand whenever there's some fat is a good idea.
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