Is there anything more fun than putting a whole chicken on the grill? I absolutely love buying whole chickens – this beauty cost me just $4 – but when the temperature starts rising, I don’t want to run my oven for an hour and a half to make my beloved Roasted Chicken. So I ask the butcher to remove the backbone and lay the chicken on the grill. It’s so easy!
You can do this on a propane grill but a charcoal grill is much better for indirect/direct heat grilling in my opinion. And you can’t beat the taste!
An hour or two before dinner, whisk together the zest and juice of an orange, a bit of olive oil, and garlic cloves. Marinate the chicken, take it out 20 minutes before you want to cook (so really the same time that you’re heating up the charcoal), season the skin with salt and pepper, and toss it on the grill. Enjoy a glass of wine in the garden and the divine scent of dinner on charcoal while the grill does all the work. (I enjoyed a glass of Kuhlman Cellars Hensell rosé if anyone is wondering. Okay, fine, two glasses. And some Herbes de Provence almonds.)
When the chicken breast hits 165 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s done. Always use a kitchen thermometer if you like perfectly cooked dinner. Remove chicken to a cutting board, sprinkle with rosemary from the garden, and voila! Laid-back, $4 dinner. It pairs wonderfully with couscous and veggies or my grilled potatoes and a salad.
Orange Whole Grilled Chicken
1 small whole chicken, backbone removed
1/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves
Sea salt, black pepper
2 rosemary sprigs
- Rinse chicken and pat dry.
- In a baking dish, whisk together zest and juice from one orange, olive oil, and garlic cloves. Set chicken in the dish, turning several times to coat, leaving skin side down to marinate. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate for 1-2 hours.
- Heat charcoal. (Take chicken out of fridge 20 minutes before you’re ready to grill.) Flip skin-side up and season skin well with sea salt and pepper.
- Grill on indirect heat (not directly over the coals) skin-side up for about 12-15 minutes with the lid closed. Flip and grill skin-side down on in direct heat for 12-15 minutes. Transfer directly over the coals and grill for 5-10 minutes until beautifully golden. Check the temperature with a meat thermometer. Transfer to a cutting board when the breast hits 165 degrees Fahrenheit. (Finish on indirect heat if internal temperature is not yet at 165.)
- Let rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with rosemary and carve into four pieces: breasts, wings, and thighs/legs.
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