Recipe notes: Scott advises home cooks to ask their butcher to remove the backbones and spatchcock their chicken; if you do that, save the backbone to make chicken stock.
The chicken needs to be marinated for at least 1 hour (and up to 1 hour 30 minutes) before grilling.
The finished chicken can be pulled from the bone, wrapped and refrigerated for up to 3 days. The bones can be saved for making stock.
- One (3- to 4-pound) whole chicken, spatchcocked or cut in half (see NOTE)
- 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 4 to 5 large lemons)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 sprigs fresh oregano
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 small sprig fresh rosemary
Place the chicken in a large bowl or baking dish; stack the halves if necessary.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and mustard until thoroughly combined. Continue to whisk as you slowly drizzle in the olive oil to form an emulsified marinade (it should be thick and creamy). Season with salt and pepper and whisk to combine.
Pour the marinade over the chicken. Using a mortar and pestle or the back of your chef’s knife, press on the herbs (still on their stems) to bruise them, releasing some of their aromas and oils. Add the herbs to the chicken and toss everything together, making sure all parts are covered. Cover with a large plate or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 hour 30 minutes. If you stacked the chicken halves, or if the spatchcocked bird wasn’t fully submerged in liquid, rearrange the pieces halfway through the marinating process, moving the top part to the bottom and vice versa, or just flip the chicken over.
Use a chimney starter to prepare your charcoal. Once the charcoal is red hot, dump it on the lower grate of your grill, leaving enough room for the chicken to sit on the upper grate without being directly over the smoldering coals. (If your grill does not have different grate levels, add the charcoal in a ring around the edge of the drum and place the chicken in the middle of the grate so that it is not directly over the charcoal.) Heat the grill to between 350 and 400 degrees.
If using a gas grill: Set the temperature to 350 degrees. With three burner zones, heat the left and right zones and leave the center off. With two burner zones, turn on one and leave the other one off. You will then place the chicken over the unheated zone.
Remove the chicken from the marinade and brush off any herbs still clinging to the meat so they don’t burn on the grill. Transfer the meat to the grill, skin side up. Close the grill and cook for about 1 hour, rotating the bird every 10 to 15 minutes to maintain an even color.
Flip the chicken over and close the grill again. If the temperature drops below 250 degrees, prepare a little more charcoal in the chimney and add to the grill. Cook until the thickest part of the meat registers 165 degrees, about 1 hour. Transfer the chicken to a platter and let rest for 15 minutes before carving and serving.
(Based on 6 servings)
Calories: 278; Total Fat: 14 g; Saturated Fat: 3 g; Cholesterol: 111 mg; Sodium: 993 mg; Carbohydrates: 3 g; Dietary Fiber: 0 g; Sugar: 1 g; Protein: 34 g.
Adapted from “Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ: Every Day Is a Good Day” by Rodney Scott and Lolis Eric Elie (Clarkson Potter, 2021).
Tested by Tim Carman; email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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