Anyway...on to the food: Butterflied Grilled Chicken...I tried it and I failed. I can admit it to you right now. Well, maybe failed is a bit harsh, in the end we still ate it and it was pretty damn good, so how can that be a true failure, right? I have wanted to grill a full chicken for years now and just haven't. I'm sure it was a bit of fear that held me back, but whatever. I finally tried it... uhm... it didn't turn out as well as I thought and now I know why I was hesitant! I grilled that bird for 50 minutes thinking it would be plenty of time, but boy was I mistaken! I cut into it and ...yep... raw still... eewwwww!!! (Hence the reason I said failed.) The biggest problem I had on the grill was flare ups. Good gravy, I could not control them even on the low setting! I thought I'd burn the hell out of it if I left it on any longer. I did fix the tiny failure by finishing it off in the oven, but by that time all the other sides ... grilled green beans and bread...were cold. So huge disappointment aside, I think I can solve the problem next time I try it. One, I needed to break the breast bone so that the chicken would lay flat on the grill, closer to the heat. Or two, I could roast it in the oven for 30-40 minutes before throwing it on the grill, but see that seems a bit like cheating, and well, it totally takes away from my want/need of not using the oven!! It's a shame too, I was so looking forward to telling you how much fun I had and what a wonderful outcome it was! The chicken, once finally cooked, was splendid, that at least made it all worth while!
Never fear, my loyal readers, I was beaten, but not broken... I will attempt this again. I NEED to attempt this again, put it that way. No way will I allow this to go down as my demise :) Actually, for the $3.99 we paid for the 4.5lb bird, why the heck wouldn't I try it again???
Butterflied Grilled Chicken with Rosemary, Lemon, & Garlic
1 (4.5 lb or less) chicken
6 garlic cloves
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon dried Rosemary
1 Tablespoon dried Thyme
2 teaspoons lemon pepper seasoning
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 Tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
Light a grill or set your broiler on high and give it a 15-minute head start. Cut out the chicken’s backbone with poultry shears, a cleaver or a sharp, heavy chef’s knife. (If you think you will make stock at some point, by all means tightly wrap the backbone in plastic and put it in the freezer.) Place the chicken skin side up and press firmly on the breast with the heels of your hands until it cracks and flattens (THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT...make sure the chicken breast breaks and the chicken lays flat). Position the legs so they lie flat and the drumsticks point out. Tuck the wingtips over the tops of the wings to hold them in place, or cut them off.
In a food processor, add the garlic and pulse a few times until it's minced fairly well. Add all the other ingredients and pulse until well combined. Brush or rub the skin side of the chicken with the mixture, reserving about 2-3 tablespoons.
Reduce the heat on the grill to medium and set the chicken skin side down on a grill or skin side up on a broiler rack positioned so the highest point of the bird is 5 or 6 inches from the flame. When the skin begins to brown after 8 or 9 minutes, flip the chicken over. (The easiest way is to grab the knobby ends of both drumsticks with several layers of paper towels if you are in the kitchen, or with clean oven mitts if you are grilling.) After about 10 minutes, when the bony side is browned, lower the heat to low or low, flip the chicken again and cook another 10 minutes, or until the skin is very crisp and brown. Flip the chicken again and continue to grill until the thickest part of the chicken reaches 165 degrees when checked with a meat thermometer. Let it rest about 5 minutes before carving. Since my timing was all screwed up, I can't guarantee how long it's going to take.. over and hour for sure...just keep an eye on it and use a meat thermometer. If you are worried about under cooking it...roast it in the oven for about 30 minutes before you throw it on the grill.