Fear not step by step instructions included! Learn how to grill a whole chicken on the grill and preserve all the tender juiciness of the whole bird!
Hi, friends! How was your weekend? Mine was REALLY REALLY low key on the exercise and activity front. I think I might have pulled a muscle in my groin or something, lovely I know. But the BEST part of the weekend was the new oven which I used to finally perfect a new bread recipe coming later this week!
Today though, I want to talk about facing your cooking fears. So many of my students say “they don’t know how to cook.” I can relate because in college I didn’t know how to cook either. The only way I learned to cook was trying new things.
Sometimes I totally messed recipes up and sucked, but I learned from it. There are still things that intimidate me though and one of those things is cooking an entire chicken.
Every time I would think about it I was immediately panicked. I don’t know how to do that! What if I mess it up? What if I don’t like the way it turns out? This is going to be hard. Trying new cooking methods almost ALWAYS intimidate the crap out of me.
But, every month when I go into my ButcherBox to set the box (I get a custom box) there it was staring at me, the option to get a whole chicken. Finally, I decided to try it, it was time to challenge myself! Then it sat in the freezer for two months before I had the nerve to finally try it.
I looked up a ton of different cooking methods but settled on grilling it because that sounded the best. Ultimately I want to try many methods of cooking a whole chicken, but I figure one thing at a time let’s start with grilling.
I looked up “How to Grill A Whole Chicken” a million times and then watched a million YouTube videos. Finally, I settled on spatchcocking it, which I’m pretty sure just means you remove the backbone so you can flatten it for even cooking.
So, that’s what I did. I thought I wouldn’t make it through it, I thought it would be so gross I’d go running to Mr. Hungry begging him to do it. Turns out, one good strong pair of scissors and it really wasn’t that bad.
With that accomplished, I felt pretty good about myself! I stuck the chicken in a bag and whipped up a marinade with 1/3 cup lemon juice, 1 cup avocado oil, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon oregano leaves and 1 teaspoon salt. I let it marinade for 24 hours before grilling it, but you could probably do just an hour if needed. Then I rubbed some extra salt and pepper on it.
Now for the tricky part, setting up the grill right. I have a gas grill so here is what I did (directions are different for a charcoal grill):
Turned on all the burners to HIGH.
Turned down one of the middle burners to low.
Placed the chicken open side (the side you cut out from ) down, with the breasts over the MEDIUM heat burner. Basically, you want to move the chicken breasts away from the high heat and the legs to be closer to the high heat. That way the whole bird cooks without the breasts getting dried out.
I checked it after 10 minutes and found it was cooking too fast so I turned the middle burner OFF. Some directions I read said to flip the chicken at the end, just to crisp it.
Some said to flip it halfway through, and that’s what I did. I kept an eye on it checking on it every 10 minutes or so. If it had gotten to crispy I would have flipped it back to its backside. In all, it took about 40-45 minutes.
I made sure to check the temperature in multiple places, the thickest bart of the thigh, the breast, and random other places to make sure the whole bird had reached a temperature of 165F.
Once it had, we removed it from the heat and we let it sit for 20 minutes before carving into it. I tried to carve it up pretty for you guys for a photo, but I have no idea how to do that. Also, Mr. Hungry was picking at the skin so I let him carve all the meat off it and pick away!
It definitely was not as easy as going to the store and getting a rotisserie chicken, but it wasn’t as hard as I thought or feared either. Whole chickens are definitely a lot cheaper pound for pound, so a great way to save money! I know I’ll definitely be doing this again this summer for all the summer barbecue fun as well!
I wanted to share this experience with you guys because I want to encourage you to try new recipes and try new cooking techniques. I know that it’s scary and time-consuming trying to learn how to cook. Everything I know about cooking is 100% self-taught.
We ate a lot of fast food, hamburger helper, and things from a can when I was growing up. I mean, I didn’t bake chicken until I was 27 because I kept avoiding it because I’d never done it before, therefore it must be crazy hard. Turns out it’s crazy easy.
The more things you try, the more times you put yourself outside of your comfort zone when it comes to cooking, the better you will get. Yes, you will misread directions a time or two but from failure, we learn even more.
Now I know I need to press a little harder or figure out how to “butterfly” the chicken so it’s flatter when it’s on the grill and I need to learn to carve a chicken so I can plate it more presentably in photos and for dinner. But, even without those skills, the recipe turned out delicious and now I have one more cooking skill under my belt!
What was the last thing you “learned to cook” or tried?
How To Grill A Whole Chicken
[clickToTweet tweet=”Trying new cooking methods can be intimidating, but once you do you become that much better of a cook! Learn how to grill a whole chicken on the grill and preserve all the tender juiciness of the whole bird! #glutenfree #paleo” quote=”Trying new cooking methods can be intimidating, but once you do you become that much better of a cook! Learn how to grill a whole chicken on the grill and preserve all the tender juiciness of the whole bird! #glutenfree #paleo”]
Greek Spatchcocked Chicken
Greek Spatchcocked Chicken: How To Cook A Whole Chicken
- Special equipment: Strong scissors or poultry shears
- Using strong kitchen scissors or poultry shears, cut down either side of the spine and pull to remove it.
- Whisk together avocado oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, and salt in a mason jar or bowl. (I used a mason jar and blender bottle whisk to combine dressing ingredients. You can also whisk them together in a bowl.
- Add chicken to a gallon-size resealable plastic bag and pour marinade in. Seal the bag and ensure that the marinade is evenly distributed around the chicken. Refrigerate for 1 – 24 hours.
- Remove from the refrigerator and let sit for 30 minutes. While the chicken is in the bag, press down to flatten it out as much as possible.
- For a gas grill: turn on all the burners to medium-high heat; after about 15 minutes turn one of the middle burners to low and turn the remaining burners down to medium.
- Place the chicken skin-side up on the cooler (with the burner on low) side of the grill with the legs facing the hotter side. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes, check it. If it seems like it’s cooking too fast or burning, turn off the burner on low. Flip the chicken when you have 10 minutes or less of cooking time (about 45-55 minutes total.). If you want the skin super crispier flip it earlier, if you want it just seared then flip it at the very end.
- Check that the temperature in the thickest parts of the chicken (at least three spots) is now at least 165 degrees F. Remove from the grill; let rest 20 minutes before carving.
Like this recipe? You will probably love these other ways to fire up your grill!
Like this recipe? Follow my healthy grilled recipes board on Pinterest and pin this one for later!