Prep 30 mins
Cook 45 mins
Way to grill: direct medium-low heat (about 350°F) Grilling time: 40 minutes to 1 hour Special Equipment: cast-iron skillet (I wrap mine in foil so it doesn't get smoky and for easy clean up) or sheet pan and 2 foil-wrapped bricks, instant-read thermometer
- 1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 whole chicken, about 5 pounds
- Combine the marinade ingredients in a glass measuring cup(everything except the chicken). Pulse with an immersion blender a few times until somewhat smooth.
- Place the chicken, breast side down, on a cutting board. Using sturdy kitchen shears or a very sharp knife, cut from the neck to the tail end, along both sides of the backbone, to remove it. Take special care if you are using a knife; you’ll be cutting through small bones and will have to use some force.
- Once the backbone is out, you’ll be able to see the interior of the chicken. Make a small slit in the cartilage at the bottom end of the breastbone. Then, placing both hands on the rib cage, crack the chicken open like a book. Run your fingers along either side of the cartilage in between the breasts to loosen it from the flesh. Grab the bone and pull up on it to remove it along with the attached cartilage. The chicken should now lay flat.
- Place the chicken inside a 13 X 9 shallow baking pan and carefully rub marinade under the skin and then turn to coat it evenly all over with the marinade. Refrigerate for about 2 hours.
- Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium-low heat.
- Brush the cooking grates clean. Place the chicken, bone side down, over direct medium-low heat and put your cast-iron skillet, or weight a sheet pan down with 2 foil-wrapped bricks, directly on top. Close the lid and cook for 20 to 30 minutes. This WILL smoke alot -- don't panic. Remove the skillet, turn the chicken over, replace the weight, close the lid, and cook until the juices run clear and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh (not touching the bone) registers 170°F, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the grill and let rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Serve warm.
I subbed thyme for rosemary (personal preference), and since we have a rotisserie attachment for our grill, I didn't split and flatten the chicken. The rub was tasty and the meat was very moist. The skin, which is normally crispy for us, was a bit flabby from all the oil in the rub - don' t know if that would be a problem with the split/flattened chicken. I will leave out the oil, and use the seasonings as a rub in future. Thanks for sharing. PS: Very nice clear instructions on prepping the chicken!