I have one very spoiled hubby! I kicked off Father’s Day weekend by butterflying and grilling a whole chicken last night, and it was absolutely delectable! Moist, juicy and so very tender! I see barbecued chicken sandwiches in the making with the leftovers for Sunday lunch today! Or maybe I’ll just let the hubs enjoy the rest! 😉 Such a wonderful, easy thing to grill outside on a warm, sunny day! I love things that take awhile to grill, too, so I can relax, have fun and enjoy it longer! And this easy recipe will make you look like a rock star grill diva! Just simply butterfly the chicken, coat it with my “rib rub”, grill and baste with barbecue sauce at the very end! The secret is to get the grill nice and hot, place the chicken on skin side-down in the center of the grill, and immediately turn off the 2 center burners leaving the 2 outer burners on medium-low and close the lid. Turn when skin gets a nice color and is lightly charred in areas, about 15-20 minutes. You want it charred, but not burnt to a crisp. Then you can cook on medium-low to low heat until done through. Depending on your grill, this can take another 45 minutes to an hour. They say it’s best to use a meat thermometer to check the temp. The internal temp should be 180 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh and 170 for the breast. When just about done, baste chicken with barbecue sauce and grill each side another 5 minutes each. Never baste with sauce at the beginning or it will just burn because of all the sugar in it. Only add during the last 10 minutes. And always, always, always let the meat rest before cutting or all the hot juices will run out and you’ll have dry chicken and a big mess to boot! I simply served this with a cheddar, bacon, roasted garlic and potato casserole that baked in the oven and a quick garden salad. No fretting or rushing! Just such a relaxing evening on the deck! Enjoy! Throw 2 on and invite the neighbors!
GRILLED BUTTERFLIED & BARBECUED WHOLE CHICKEN
For my “Rib Rub”:
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, can sub light if that’s what you have on hand
1 1/2 tsp. hickory smoked salt (I order mine online)
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 Tbl. paprika
1 Tbl. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
Rest of Ingredients:
1 whole chicken, butterflied
1/2 – 1 cup Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce or your favorite
Mix all rub ingredients until very well mixed. Set aside.
Remove innards from chicken and rinse with cold water inside and out. Pat dry with a paper towel. Don’t rub or you’ll have little tiny pieces of paper towel stuck all over. Remove backbone by placing chicken breast side-down and snip with kitchen scissors along each side of backbone. (The bone on top.) Open and flip over, skin side up, and press in the middle between the breasts along the bone to flatten.
Coat both sides with some of the rub. Not heavily and not super lightly, just until nicely coated.
Heat all 4 burners on grill to high. When hot, 400 – 450 degrees, rub center of grates with vegetable oil, place chicken on skin side-down, immediately turn off center 2 burners that the chicken is over and turn down outer 2 to medium-low to low, close lid and grill 15-20 minutes. Check after 10 to see if the chicken needs to be moved away from a “hot spot” to prevent burning.
Turn chicken over with 2 pairs of tongs. I also like to use a large wide grill spatula. Whatever you have that works. Close lid and continue grilling for about 45 minutes to an hour longer, or until done or the breast meat reaches 170 degrees and the thickest part of the thigh is 180 degrees. During last 10 minutes, baste heavily with barbecue sauce on both sides and grill each side 5 minutes longer. Remove to sun-warmed platter to rest tenting with foil to keep warm. Cut in half along breast bone and serve. Or cut further into pieces.