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Aug 7, 2007 08:59 AM

grilled whole chicken

I bought a whole chicken at the farmer's market, and plan to cut it up and put it on the grill. I was thinking just salt and pepper, but looking for more interesting ideas...

Also, any cooking tips?


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  1. Wait! Don't cut it up yet...can you do a "beer can" chicken? It's quite tasty and there has been discussion of it on this board...requires a grill, can of beer, some spices for a rub on the chicken and some herbs to stuff into the can of beer, upon which you put the whole chicken.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Val

      I was going to suggest this as well!

      1. re: elizabeththinks

        Mmmmmmmmmmm. My first thought, exactly. Best chicken I have had all summer was done with sliced garlic and fresh oregano under the chicken skin, as well as in the beer...

    2. Along with S & P you could use a short marinade of vinaigrette salad dressing, also lemon or lime juice, minced garlic, rosemary & sage; barbecue sauce. To suggest a few.

      1. For grilling, I find the best way if to butterfly the chicken (I think the technical term is something like "spatchocking" or something like that; the site just had a story on it recently), and flatten it out. I take 2 heavy bamboo skewers, and pass one throught the outer wing, through the breast, and out the other side thru the other outer wing. The second through the thigh, bottom of the breat, and thru the second thigh.

        Grill it at a relatively low temp (300 deg) on a covered grill, bone side down for about 30-40 mins--it'll smoke a bit as fat renders from the skin. Then flip for 15-20, to brown and crisp up the skin. Back over for a few, and brush with whatever marinade or topping you are using. I typically use a kosher bird for moistness, and cook to 160 in the breast, 180 in the thigh, and they come out nice and juicy. I found that whole, unbutterflied birds are tough to cook evenly unless you set up a rotisserie.

        5 Replies
        1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

          This is our favorite way to grill chicken!
          I marinate the whole flat (butterflied) chicken in olive oil and lemon juice with some garlic, then stuff lots of fresh minced hebs under the skin (sage, rosemary, thyme, etc...).

          1. re: PamelaD

            That's how I do it most of the year. In the summer, I tend to make something my family calls "gonza" (it's sort of an Italian barbeque sauce, I have no idea about the name, or where it comes from, or if it's just a old, made up family term.)

            You take about 1/2 can of whole plum tomatos, and crush them with your hands. Add the juice of 3 lemons or so, and about half that amount of olive oil (My grandmother never measured, so neither do I..just taste and adjust as I go). Add a generous amount of oregano (more than a TBSP), and salt and pepper to taste. Brush it on in the last 10-15 mins of cooking, placing the pieces of tomato "artfully" around the skin, and dabbing with the more liquidy part a few times. It gets consistent raves

            1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

              Webber make a rotisserie for the kettle and it make the most amazing chicken (among other thing), season the bird, stuff cabity with lemon, herbs. Rotisserize over hardwood charcol for about an hour. Produces crispy skin, and uber moist meat. Only shortcomming is the supplied 8 inch power cord.

          2. re: ChefBoyAreMe

            You can also put foil-covered bricks or something else heavy and heat-proof on the chicken to help it lie flat and cook evenly, although I'm not sure that's necessar with the skewers. Good idea.

            1. re: bear

              I only use the skewers to hold the bird together after are removing the hip joint with the backbone, so the only thing holding the legs and thighs to the body is skin. With the skewer, it stays together better. Doesn't effect the cooking, only the final presentation, though.

              Chicken under a brick, though, is another great technique--Tuscan style. start it on the stove, finish in the over. I tend to do that in the winter, if I don't feel like shoveling the snow off the grill and deck.

          3. Just yesterday , I "grilled "a whole chicken. I made a rub , inpired by "A new way to cook" with kosher salt , fresh sage , garlic and lemon zest, all chooped -up finely with the mezzaluna. Stuffed the chicken with a lemon cut in half , dryed then rubed the chicken with the rub , and let it rest for 1 1/2 hour , then grilled on indirect heat on the gas BBQ until the thight meat was 180F. Amazing !

            1. Here in Chicago, we have a local treat called Italian Beef sandwiches. You can get them with hot or sweet Giardiniera. A mixture of peppers, celery, carrots, onions, spices (and other veggies, depending on which stand you go to).

              I've been using the hot mix as a marinade before grilling, and man, it is good!

              pic here:

              Order Giardiniera here:
              (click on the Italian Style Peppers link)