July 24, 2014

Grilled Wood Planked Chicken Legs


When you think of wood plank cooking...what's the first thing that pops up in your head?

Yup, I thought so...


Did you know that the flavor a wood grilling plank can add to meats & poultry is equally delicious?

Recently, the kids and I were shopping at our local Whole Foods Market when we came upon their selection of wood grilling planks.  I introduced the kids to them, let them smell the different woods then chose a few to place in my cart.

I instantly decided that I would use the two larger planks with chicken, so we headed over to the poultry section and I let the kids pick out what they wanted - not only did they pick out chicken legs...they picked out the mother of all chicken leg packages...I think there were about 18 legs in that package, lol!  Both my kids and my husband can never get enough of legs!

I let the kids decide how they wanted to flavor half of the legs and they both agreed that they wanted something lemony which I thought was interesting for chicken legs.  The combines fresh squeezed lemon juice, grapeseed oil, salt (a decent amount), pepper and some lemon peel zest, and brushed it over-top their legs.  I think that was it, maybe some garlic or onion salt too, not sure...I actually did not write it down, I was just enjoying watching them do it too much I guess.

For the other half, I decided to go a little spicy but keep it simple since I wanted the grilling plank to do its magic.  My husband really enjoyed them, he could taste the smokiness from the Hickory Grilling Planks I used, loved the spice and funny enough commented on the crispness the skin...something I was unsure of since I was cooking on the planks vs the grates of the grill.

Both versions of the legs came out great and each thought theirs was "the best"!
Letting my kids take the lead or have input on what we enjoy from the kitchen is important to me.  They feel empowered and I know they are learning so much along the way...so many important things for their future in their own kitchens.  We actually were talking about what else they want to make this summer...my daughter has a bucket list of things she wants to learn and what I love about it is some of them...I will be learning alongside of her!!  SHE is going to try things at the age of just-turned-10 that I have yet to try!  Love that!!

The kids decided that we will do a week of Italian cooking...I am SO excited to experiment with them and I can't wait to sit down with pen and paper in hand, capture their ideas, create a plan and bring it to life.  This is going to be fun!

I also purchased a couple of Whole Foods smaller Red Cedar Grilling Planks from whole Foods, which I plan on making some stuffed jalapenos on - I think those are going to be good!!  Ever cook veggies on a plank? Any tips for me?

Do you grill with flavored planks?  If so what are some of the things you make?  I'd love to hear about them and give them a try!

For more grilling inspiration, check out Whole Foods Complete Guide To Grilling.

Spicy Grilled Wood Planked Chicken Legs - 
2 flavored grilling planks (like a hickory, Maple or Cedar)
4 cloves of garlic, smashed
8-10 skin-on chicken drumsticks
Salt & pepper
1 TBS olive or grapeseed oil
2-3 TBS chili with garlic sauce (depends how spicy you want it)
3 TBS honey

Soak your planks in a water-filled casserole dish for 90 minutes to 2 hours (place something on top of the planks to hold them down under the water).  I decided to add a few smashed cloves of garlic for a little something extra. Pat your chicken legs dry then season with salt and pepper...don't be shy.  In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, chili with garlic sauce and honey until smooth.  Brush it liberally over the chicken. Place the legs on the planks, carefully transport them to the grill, carefully place the chicken filled planks on your grill grated over medium heat and grill until done, brushing them a couple of times with the reserved marinade.  Halfway through the grilling, turn the burners off directly under your planks and finish up the cook via indirect heat.  Don't worry if your planks begin to char - its all good!

Colleen's Notes: Think of indirect heat on your grill (when the burner directly below what you are cooking are off) like using an oven. FYI, Patting your chicken dry before cooking will help ensure some crispiness. The photos in this post were taken prior to the legs being fully cooked - the actual legs were crispier.

This is the third in a six part series involving Whole Foods Market, I was compensated to do this post however as always all opinions are my own.



  1. You're right, I automatically think of salmon when I think of grilling with wooden planks. Though I can just imagine how delicious the chicken was with the wood flavor!

  2. These chicken legs look delicious! I have actually never grilled with wood planks and I definitely will try all sorts of proteins when I do! Especially this recipe!

  3. Grilling planks! Another great cooking technique - thanks!

  4. I love this idea! My dad has been cooking like this for years! I must get on "board" with this asap, pun intended!

  5. I also think of salmon when I think of wood plank grilling. But your chicken looks fantastic, Colleen! A great summer recipe:))

  6. these are gorgeous! and you got me - I'v never "planed" anything other than salmon. Hmmmm....

  7. I've never actually used "planking" before, because I don't like salmon. Never thought about it for other meats. thanks.

  8. I have eaten salmon grilled on wood plank at a restaurant, but have never done it myself. I didn't know Whole Foods at plank selections. Too cool. You have inspired me. But even more that's too cool is your kids and cooking. That's wonderful!

  9. I love the idea of planked chicken!

  10. Love this. I plank everything from A to Z. It just makes food taste delicious and is perfect for keeping food moist. I need to try this asap. They chicken is absolutely perfect. And I love your plank. I`ve never picked them up there before but I`ll be on the lookout next time I visit.

  11. Love that you stepped out of the box with the wood planking! I'm going to have to try this. Fantastic idea!!!
    Renee - Kudos Kitchen

  12. Yum I love chicken legs, these look delicious.

  13. We love chicken on the cedar planks, just makes everything so much more flavorful. And it's a fun way to serve food other than on a platter!