Grilled whole meats are incredibly rewarding. By setting aside just a little more grill time, you will get astonishingly juicy and tasty results. Here, I tie the chicken legs together and grill the whole bird on an ordinary grill over indirect heat in this whole-grilled chipotle chicken recipe.
Whole-Grilled Chipotle Chicken
4 portions ✦ 3 + 11/2 hours
1 whole chicken, 2½ –3 pounds
3 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1½ tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons mild paprika powder
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons water
Chipotle-flavored hot sauce, such as Tabasco
For the spice paste, mince the garlic and combine with the rest of the ingredients, except the Tabasco. Flavor the mixture with Tabasco to taste. Rub the spice mixture around the whole chicken, and try to get as much as possible under the skin. Tie the legs together with cooking twine and let the chicken rest in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
Prepare a grill with a cover for indirect grilling—that is, a charcoal grill with coals only on the sides of the grill, or light only one side of a gas grill. Place the chicken on the indirect heat side of the glowing coals and close the lid. Grill the bird, turning occasionally and taking off the cover if the chicken gets too brown, for 70–80 minutes, or until it is completely cooked through.
Rip the grilled chicken into small pieces and let people make their own tortillas or tacos.
Note: If you have a real kettle barbeque, you can give beer-can chicken a try. You simply stick a half-filled beer can inside the cavity of the chicken and set it upright on the grill so that it looks as if the chicken is sitting on the beer can. Keep the grill covered on indirect heat for 70–80 minutes. Open the lid occasionally to make sure that the chicken doesn’t burn.
Reprinted with permission from “The Summer Table” published in 2015 by Sterling Epicure. Text © Lisa Lemke. Photography by Asa Dahlgren
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