Saturday, March 31, 2012

BBQ Whole Chicken

With the unexpected hot March weather, we jumped at the opportunity to whip out the BBQ for a lazy Sunday evening. BBQs for our family always is an insane meat fest with steaks, sausages, burgers and ribs. Nothing wrong with that at all, in fact some would say the 'meat sweats' are an obligatory part of the BBQ ritual. I wanted to do something a little different for this BBQ, something less intense than steaks and burgers. So I decided to cook chicken, not just chicken wings, or drumsticks, but a whole chicken!!! Its way more economically friendly to buy a whole chicken that to buy prepacked chicken pieces. It's also tastier to cook a chicken whole. 

The Prep
I never jointed a chicken before, I just rested on my laurels and it kinda paid off. What I did is I got a good pair of sharp kitchen scissors,and thats all I used. I prepared my marinades, Paprika & Honey and Garlicy Lemon, & Thyme (recipes below). These are my two favourite marinades for a roast chicken and they will work perfectly for BBQ Chicken.

Once the marinades were prepped, I set about flattening out my chicken so he can rest comfortably on the BBQ grill. What I did was I placed the chicken in front of me, breast side up and with the scissors I cut down the centre of the two breasts. Once I had cut the whole length of the chicken, I turned the chicken over and leaned down on it with my own weight (the poor chicken !!) and snapped some bones to get him nice and flat.
One little trick I did with the chicken before I cut him down the middle is I gently slide my fingers under the skin, to separate the skin from the meat. This, for some reason, really crisps up the skin.

I seasoned the chicken well with salt and pepper, skin side and under side. I then massaged the chicken with the marinades, coating every inch of the chicken. Be care with the paprika marinade, that stains EVERYTHING!!! Leave the chickens to marinade for 1-2 hours and they are good to go!

The Marinades

Paprika & Honey

  • 2 tbsp of smoked paprika
  • Leaves from 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 3 tbsp of runny honey
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 grated garlic clove

Garlicy Lemon & Thyme
  • 2 grated garlic cloves
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • leaves from 5 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil

The Method
  1. Mix the marinade ingredients together in two separate jugs
  2. Prepare the chicken (as above) and place plates.
  3. Rub the marinades into the chickens and allow to rest for 1-2 hours
  4. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
  5. Place the chickens on foil trays, skin side up and roast in the oven for 35 minutes.
  6. Get the BBQ nice and hot.
  7. Remove the chicken from the oven and place on the BBQ grill skin side up.
  8. Cook on the BBQ for 10-15 minutes.
  9. Remove from the BBQ tray onto the serving tray, cover with tin foil and rest for min. 15 minutes.
  10. Serve to the table whole.

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