From Scratch, With Love

My Very First Barbecued Chicken

with 2 comments

I’m so proud of myself.

This last week I said to John, “How about I roast a chicken this weekend?”  Then later, “What if I were to barbecue it?”  He was more excited about the barbecue idea.  I’ve been excited since Monday.

I have roasted a chicken before.  Once.  During my previously mentioned first summer of independence in New York.  My best friend, Sarah, had come to visit and we decided to roast a chicken.  It was good, but I was much more amateur and it was nothing to get excited about.  Since then I’ve come to appreciate roast chicken much more and decided I had to make one.  And then my father made a great barbecue chicken last time I went to visit and I felt it would be a better meal for the season.  Especially since corn is in season.

Another great thing I discovered was that young chickens were on sale for 99 cents at the grocery store.  That’s $3.50 per chicken! That means this whole meal probably cost me less than $10 for two people.  AND we decided to not eat the breasts and save them for putting on salad this week, so that’s a protein for four meals (entree salad, summer entree salad, and “pilotto” later this week).  If I were more confident in my barbecuing skills I would have gotten two chickens and used one of them to put on my pita sandwiches for lunch instead of using deli chicken, which sells for $9/lb.  Next time.

So I’m going to share my barbecued chicken method with you.  I hope you try it so you can feel the great sense of accomplishment I feel right now.  I recommend half a chicken per person.  By the way, the credit for this method goes entirely to my father, who I interrogated over IM this morning on the best way to barbecue a chicken.  I’m not so skilled at barbecuing yet, having just started doing it this year.

Barbecued Chicken

Buy the smallest whole young chicken you can find.  The smallest my grocery store had was 3.5 lbs.  The younger ones are more tender and flavorful.  According to my father, the more commercial it is, the better it tastes, but I have yet to test this theory.  Other people swear the organic, grass-fed chickens are the best.  I just got mine at my local Stop and Shop (99 cents a pound!).

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 onion, minced, 4 cloves of garlic, minced, 1 tsp dried thyme, a grating of black pepper, and the juice from one lemon.  Set aside.

With a sharp knife, cut the chicken in half along the breast bone and spine.  With a paper towel, pat the chicken dry and place it in a dish.  Rub the skin and the inside with the onion mixture so that it is well distributed.  If you can, try to get it into the crevices and under the skin.  Flavor!

Start up your grill.  I just bought my grill today, having had only a small tailgating grill unsuitable for grilling a chicken.  Wow, what a lush, you might say.  Come on.  Everyone needs a good grill, especially with a whole summer ahead of them!  Plus now we have a real garage to put it in!

If using a coal grill, place the coals at the edges, not in the center of the grill, so that the chicken is receiving indirect heat.  Let the coals heat up for about half an hour, then cover the grill and go get your chicken halves.  Put the chicken halves on the grate skin-side down and cover.  After 10 minutes, flip the chicken halves.  The skin should be nice and browned from its high heat experience.  Baste the skin with olive oil and cover the grill again.  Grill it for 50 more minutes, basting every 15 minutes with olive oil.  After the 50 minutes are up, cut into a drumstick with a sharp knife.  If the drumstick is still pink, continue to grill, checking for doneness every five minutes.

When the chicken is done, transfer to a serving platter and salt.  Now would be a good time to grill come corn.

I served the chicken with a side summer salad variation and corn.  I reserved the chicken breast for other meals later this week.


Written by poperatzii

June 27, 2010 at 8:58 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Oh I would just kill for a plate of that right now!

    I unfortunately only have a really huge barbecue set that does require quite a bit of effort to get going just to barbecued a meal’s worth of meat and sides but you’ve certainly got me wanting to fire it up just to cook chicken and corn!


    July 3, 2010 at 5:54 am

  2. Make two chickens and use the rest for leftovers! I think that’s what I’ll do next time. Or you can celebrate the great American barbecue holiday on July fourth, and call it multiculturalism.


    July 3, 2010 at 5:59 am

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