Previously I posted Mayo Magic Chicken which yielded uber moist boneless skinless chicken breasts and now I thought I’d apply that method to plank grilling. I chose chicken tenders for this effort. Why? I could come up with many elaborate reasons but quite simply a one pound package fit perfectly on the maple plank I’m using. And just because I’m grilling with a plank, doesn’t mean I have to grill salmon. Here’s what is needed for this simple grilling recipe.
Maple Planked Mayo Magic Chicken Tenders Ingredients:
1 lb chicken tenders (approximately 8)
½ cup mayonnaise (I used the healthier olive oil variety)
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp celery salt
½ tsp Ancho chile powder
½ tsp lemon zest (optional)
1 maple grilling plank
Submerge the plank in water for an hour or two. I’ve heard that a longer soak produces more smoke. I may have to figure out how to measure that someday.
Pro Tip ~ In order to free up your sink for prep work and still soak the plank, fill a baking sheet with a lip all the way around with water and place a glass bowl on the plank to keep the wood underwater.
Drop the ingredients into a bowl and combine:
Add the chicken tenders and get in there with your hands and make sure every tender is coated well with the goop. I know this looks strange but it will be a means to a tasty end. Let the chicken soak while the plank soaks and grill prep is underway. Suggest you refrigerate while waiting, we are dealing with poultry and mayo here after all:
A pile of Rockwood Charcoal is ignited resulting in a hot fire for this grilling effort.
There is no better charcoal than Rockwood. You can find it at BBQ specialty shops, independent grocery stores and butcher shops in and around St. Louis.
Now the maple plank is placed directly over the coals to prepare for planking the tenders. Why maple? Maple pairs well with poultry with a mild, somewhat sweet smoke flavor. And then the mayo magic chicken tenders go on the grill plank:
Notice the char appearing around the edges in the photo above? That is expected when planking, in fact, the planks can even catch fire as was the case in this post done by Scott on Atomic Buffalo Turd’s (ABT’s otherwise known as grilled jalapeno poppers) so keep one of these handy.
It took only a few minutes to generate serious smoke:
After 20 minutes the mixture is melting leaving moist tasty chicken tenders behind:
I added a few small tomatoes during the last few minutes of grilling-not more than 10 minutes or the fragile veggie will blow a tire like the one in front of the second tender on the right.
The planked tomatoes were a flavorful addition to the moist chicken tenders.
The chicken taste test told a story of moist, juicy meat with a lemony flavor followed by a slow glow from the Ancho chile. The dish was a hit with the wife, always a good sign when grilling. The maple plank provided a sweet, subtle, smoky flavor that was evident in the chicken tenders. I’m anxious to try other plank woods in future grilling efforts. Would I do anything different were I to make this recipe again? Yes, I would reduce or omit the lemon zest. I thought the amount of lemon interfered with the smoke flavor somewhat. I suggest giving this a try and enjoy the magic yourself.
If you have any questions about the maple planked chicken tenders, feel free to leave them below or shoot me an email.
- 1 lb chicken tenders (approximately 8)
- ½ cup mayonnaise (I used the healthier olive oil variety)
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp celery salt
- ½ tsp Ancho chile powder
- ¼ tsp lemon zest (optional)
- 1 maple grilling plank
- Combine all the ingredients, minus the maple plank and chicken in a bowl and mix together well
- Add the chicken and mix it together well to coat all the chicken
- Place the chicken in the fridge while soaking the plank for an hour in water
- Get the grill ready for medium high grilling (400 degrees or higher)
- Place the plank on the grill for three minutes, flip over and place the chicken on the plank
- Close the lid and grill until the tenders reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees
- Remove from the grill and serve