Follow tip #1 Buy a Good Bird and get a nice whole chicken from Bell & Evans at Marsh (if you're a local Indy person) or the nice whole chickens from Whole Foods. The WF butchers will butterfly your bird if you ask them. So say thank you and smile pretty and let them do it for you. If you need to butterfly it yourself it's not hard. Apparently there's an official and catchy other name for that technique and it's tip #5 Spatchcock is Not a Dirty Word. But I'm not too sure anyone in the midwest would know what you meant if you asked them to, "Please spatchcock my chicken". Sounds British. Which in turn makes it clever and funny.
And that, in a round about way, brings us to tip #4 Buy a Brick. We had our home built, so we actually have some nice large brick pavers under the deck stairs so for me it's Go Knock Some Pillbugs Off Your Bricks and then wrap the bricks in foil.
We grill a lot of chicken at our house and of course we're familiar with the chicken under a brick concept, but we've never tried it. Let me tell you that it was absolutely fabulous. Crispy skin and very moist chicken. So the bricks will stay near the grill and I'm guessing we'll be making "brickin' chicken" often. I haven't given you a funny little aside yet, so let's review "brickin' chicken", shall we? Have you ever seen someone shoot a basketball with two hands and their elbows cocked out to the side like chicken wings? Have you ever seen me shoot a basketball? Right? Looks like a chicken and often misses and hence the "brickin' chicken". That's me. Clearly they love me and appreciate my skills.
|Brickin' Chicken (plus the start of grilled salad)|
one 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 pound chicken, butterflied
2 T olive or vegetable oil
kosher salt (about 2 tsp)
freshly ground pepper (about 1 1/2 tsp)
paprika (about 1 1/2 tsp)
Heat grill for high indirect heat (medium high if indirect is not an option). Place chicken, skin side up on a baking sheet. Rub with olive oil, kosher salt, freshly ground pepper and sprinkle with paprika. Tuck wings slightly under breast (or just under the legs, that's all the limberness my chickens usually possess). Place chicken, skin side down on grill over indirect heat (turn the burners off under the chicken or the fat from the skin will drip down and flame up which either burns the chicken or leaves an unpleasant black smoke coating or both). Place foil-covered brick or bricks (depending on size of bird and bricks) on chicken. cover grill and cook until skin is golden and crisp, about 25-30 minutes. Using tongs and very thick mitts, remove bricks, turn chicken skin side up and replace bricks. Grill another 25-30 minutes until chicken is cooked through (165 degree internal temp in the thickest part of the thighs). Remove bricks carefully and serve the chicken whole on a platter or cut into pieces on a platter.
Serves 4 (or 6 if you have a big bird and little people)
If you'd like to grill your salad: lightly brush or drizzle olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper your romaine (split in half), tomatoes, onions and avocados. Grill until they have nice grill marks. Serve by assembling on a plate or platter and sprinkling with a yummy vinegar and plain olive oil or plain wine or sushi vinegar and flavored olive oil. You could also sprinkle the salad with crumbled feta or goat cheese or use a vegetable peeler and shave on some Parmigiano Reggiono.
|covering the bricks|
|chicken under bricks plus grilling the salad ingredients|