Honey-Lemon Grilled Chicken
I like simple ingredients cooked to perfection. With that being said, one of my favorite things to make is roasted chicken. There is nothing like it! The only problem is that it already feels like summer with a high of 80 degrees and the last thing I want to do today is turn the oven on.
The solution for me is to grill it. When we bought our house, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the previous owners had a gas line installed. We never have to worry about running out of propane while in the middle of cooking! Also, they added a roof to cover the entire area so, we can grill no matter what the weather is.
You might think that I would cut my chicken up before grilling but I like to spatchcock (butterfly) it. Leaving the chicken whole insures a more juicy chicken.
Spatchcocking is much easier than it sounds. All you need to do is cut out the backbone with a pair of kitchen scissors and lay it out flat. It's a great method that can be used with any sauce.
To spatchcock the chicken, open the package and take out the liver, heart, and neck. Set aside for another use. Lay the chicken, breast side down, on a cutting board. Using kitchen scissors, cut along one side of the backbone, then cut the other side. You may use a knife but, I find the scissors to be much easier. Turn the chicken over and press in the middle of the breast till you feel a pop.
Rub some olive oil on it and season with salt and pepper. I tossed my backbone in a pan, which I put some bacon grease in the bottom of, with my giblets and baked them in the toaster oven for a little snack.
I always like to put what you might call the "presentation" side of meat down first on the grill. If you want to speed up your cooking time, you could heat up a cast iron skillet on the grill while your preheating the grill and lay it on top of the chicken.
I had several lemons left over from making over 100 lemon bars for a charity event so, I'm making a honey lemon sauce. While the chicken is cooking I start my sauce and chop some veggies to grill.
I flip the chicken over several times. This helps keep the juices in the middle of the chicken. Once it reaches an internal temperature of 155 degrees, I start basting the chicken with my sauce and also throw some veggies on to grill.
If you don't already have one, I highly recommend a long handled basting brush. This will help you not burn your arm off while reaching over a hot grill. Keep basting every few minutes until it reaches the right temperature. I drizzled my veggies with some really good 18 year balsamic vinegar someone gave me as a gift. That person really knows my heart!
I know some people like to use a beer can for grilling a whole chicken but, for me, I like this method best. It doesn't take as long and I don't have to try to get it to stand up. Happy grilling!!!
Honey-Lemon Grilled Whole Chicken
1 Whole Triple S Farms Chicken
1/4 C. plus 2 Tbs. Olive Oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Juice of 2 Lemons
2 Tbs. Honey(raw and local preferred)
2 tsp. Dried Thyme or 1 tsp. Fresh Thyme
1. Heat grill to medium.
2. Remove and set aside for another use the liver, neck, etc from the inside cavity of the chicken. Place chicken on a cutting board, breast side down. Using kitchen scissors, cut along each side of the backbone of the chicken. Discard backbone. Open and press chicken flat. Rub with 2 Tbs. olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
3. Place chicken, skin side down, on the grill. Grill until skin has grill marks, is a golden brown and nicely charred. When it's reached this, turn the chicken over carefully. Turn every 6-7 minutes. If you have a lot of flare ups, turn one of the burners off and use indirect heat to cook. Continue to cook until internal temperature is 155 degrees.
4. Add remaining ingredients to small sauce pan and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 2 more minutes.
5. Brush with sauce. If you wish, you can also flip the chicken again and apply sauce to the underside, and flip back again. Continue basting every few minute until you reach internal temperature of 165 degrees. Remove from grill to a plate. Allow to rest for 10 minutes and then cut into serving pieces.
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