Another new baby in the church nursery means another new meal to prepare and another recipe to try out! It’s summer in Texas after all so that also means no one is eager to spend too much time standing over a hot stove or heating up the house with the oven either. The best solution is deliciously crispy, grilled chicken.
I found a beautiful recipe in a back issue of Bon Appétit magazine for Spicy Grilled Chicken with Lemon Parsley where one grills an entire spatchcocked chicken on the grill. Spatchcocking refers to a butterfly-like technique where you remove the backbone of the chicken to be able to spread the chicken out for roasting (or, in our case, grilling). I found a great video on YouTube here to demonstrate the technique further!
We started by removing the backbones of the chickens and splaying them out on a sheet pan. Then we rubbed the skin all over with a mixture of seasonings and kosher salt. The kosher salt not only adds flavor but tenderizes the meat as well. One thing I did alter on this recipe was that I backed off the cayenne pepper by 1/3. I like heat like the next guy, but I was cooking for a family with littles and 1-1/2tbsp of cayenne is a bit much in general in my opinion. The result was a gentle sizzle eased by lemon and chicken that we were completely unable to put down ad left a lasting craving in their wake the following days.
One might ask how we grilled two whole birds on the grill along with the other ingredients. Though the birds were both about 3-1/2lbs each, it was actually quite doable! Also, everything was done in batches/stages using both direct and indirect heat, so this makes things quite easy to keep an eye on. Of course you could just as easily cut the recipe in half and wind up with the same result!
The resulting dish is a zesty, crispy, unrelentingly addicting meal that’s brightened up by grilled lemon and earthy-green parsley. Grilling lemons (especially Meyer lemons) not only heats them up helping to more easily render their juices, but also caramelizes the natural sugars. The resulting juices brighten up the sizzle of the rub on the flame-licked chicken skin.
I included a sidecar of shells and cheese (from a box – it’s honestly the Mr’s favorite!) and a semi-homemade Summer Fruit Pie to round out the meal. What are some of your favorite rubs for grilled chicken?