Sunday, May 17, 2009

Grill it Whole!

Chicken again, I groaned...the steak-lover in me longing for a fix.

Alas, big juicy steaks are a rare commodity in my freezer. Well, let's do something special with that chicken. Forget the adobo, forget the braised thighs. Let's grill the whole bird!

During the day on Friday, I got the chicken ready. Washed it, removed the "bits" (my husband asked me to save those for skewers next time...we've been watching too much of No Reservations lately!). Pat dry and get out the kitchen shears, those heavy duty scissors that come with most knife sets. Flipping the bird so that the breasts were down and the back bone up, I cut my way straight up the spine and with a few cracks and pops opened up the chicken flat.

Then for some seasoning. Sprinkled it generously with kosher salt and some freshly ground black pepper and then massaged it with some olive oil. Hmmm...maybe that was backwards...better add some more salt and pepper!

Into a pan into the fridge, ready for dinner that night.

But, as things rarely go according to my was to be a grocery shopping night. We were totally O.U.T.! of everything. Oh well, it'll be fantastically seasoned for Saturday night, I thought.

After a long walk down to Lake Washington to enjoy the beautiful shining orb in the sky, we decided on an earlyish dinner Saturday night. About 3:30, I got the chicken out of the fridge to let it warm up a bit before grilling. This is a very important step to proper roasting and grilling...the meat MUST not be refrigerator-cold!! It will not cook properly. So, warm that bird up to room temp (or at least close to room temp--it'll take 30 minutes to an hour).

A few minutes before I deemed my bird warm enough, my sweet honey lit the grill. This was after chasing down some propane. The gas station down the street has been out twice now! Very irritating when you're halfway through grilling something.

Oh, and during this resting time, I embellished the chicken with a little more flavor. More salt and pepper, some garlic powder, and just a bit of paprika.

Onto the hot grill it went, bone side down for about 10 minutes. Flip it onto the skin side for another 10 minutes to brown up the skin. It may get a little black in places, so be careful. Then flip it back to the bone side for 5 minutes, doing the flippity-flip every five minutes until you've reached a grand total of 35-40 minutes on the grill. If it looks to be browning too much, scoot it over to a cooler part of the grill.

Remove the bird to a platter, cover loosely with foil and let that baby rest for about 10 minutes. This is just enough time to saute up some fresh green beans with garlic and lemon. I also served mine with some potatoes roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper (400 degrees for around an hour).

This chicken was just the thing to whet our appetites for summer. The crispy brown skin and the moist meat were soooo good. Nothing dry about this bird!

Of course, we needed a little summery dessert. Naturally, I've been eyeing the strawberries, fully aware that the Northwest season is almost upon us. And you know how a few weeks before the NW strawberries arrive at the farmer's markets you find yourself salivating for those juicy, sweet, red all the way through berries only to settle for those large, bland tasting, white-cored California poser strawberries?

Yeah, that's what I did. But sliced up and sprinkled with a bit of sugar, left to marinate during dinner...they weren't too bad! Plus, we went old-fashioned and poured a tiny bit of cream over the top. Strawberries and Cream! Yum.


alice said...

Julie this looks amazing! I am such a scaredy cat when it comes to cooking whole chickens. You give me hope. :)

Jenn said...

I've never grilled a whole chicken. Much less roast a whole chicken. That looks like it turned out great!!

Seeing those strawberries, now I wish I had gotten some strawberries from the farmer's market.

Sig said...

I seldom make whole chickens, I do make quail often though. This looks great Julie!

Kelly said...

We grill whole chicken a lot, mostly with jerk or cajun spices, and it is so good! I love the pic of the charred skin ... the best part!

karuna said...

thnx julie for stopping by my blog. Ya it was the first time we went to Seattle, for next time I knw whome to ask. U have a great blog.

Lo said...

Oh, wow. I'm totally hearing you on the start of summer... and grilling a whole chicken sounds like a way to get things started. Splitting the chicken is definitely the way to go. After that, it just takes a bit of patience :)

Yum. Strawberries. Still waiting for WI strawberries over here... in the meantime, I've settled for the mass produced CA variety too. *sigh* Still, better than NO strawberries after a very long winter!

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