Cactus Club/Earl's Secret Cajun Blackened Chicken With Creole Butter



  • 3 litres water
  • 1 small bunch fresh bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white or malt vinegar

Creole Butter (much more than you'll need, but great to have on stock!):

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Blackening Seasoning (for 2 double chicken breast):

  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano


  • 2 boneless double chicken breasts, skin on (tip: ask your local butcher to prepare if you can't find this in store)


For the brine:

  1. Add all ingredients and bring to boil for 3-4 minutes
  2. Let cool completely (about 2 hours), then refrigerate
  3. Immerse chicken breasts in a sealed container of cooled brine and set in fridge for a minimum of 8 hours, and ideally 12-14 hours)

For the creole butter:

  1.  Mix dry ingredients with minced garlic in small bowl
  2.  Add softened sticks of butter and mash together until well combined (a fork is fine if butter is soft enough)
  3.  Lay out creole butter mix onto plastic wrap and shape into a log roll
  4.  Wrap formed roll in parchment paper and refrigerate or freeze

For the chicken:

  1.  Preheat oven to bake at 425 F
  2.  Remove chicken from brine solution and pat with paper towel until dry
  3.  Drench chicken in heavy coating of prepared blackened seasoning (you'll want to use all the seasoning to get a good crust)
  4.  Lightly oil cast iron skillet or grill and set to high heat for searing (I use ghee instead of olive oil due to the high smoke point)
  5.  Place seasoned breast, skin down, onto preheated skillet and sear for 1 minute, then turn chicken 90 degrees for another minute
  6.  Flip chicken and sear for 1 minute
  7.  Place chicken onto parchment lined baking sheet, skin side up, and brush plain melted butter onto chicken skin
  8.  Remove from oven when internal temperature is 165F (about 8-10 minutes for thinner pieces, and up to about 20 minutes for thicker breasts)
  9.  Place slice of creole butter on top of chicken after plating over bed of asparagus and/or mashed potatoes
  10.  Enjoy!

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