Grilled Chicken with Chimichurri
Our grilled chicken recipe is a great way to break out of the same boring chicken recipe-slump that you usually find yourself in by the Fourth of July each year.
What You’ll Need
- A 5-lb whole chicken (generally a “fryer” in supermarket parlance)
- A charcoal grill with a hinged grate (you can use gas asÂ well, but the charcoal adds flavor!)
- Apple wood chips (or another type of wood chip withÂ mild smoke)
- A marinade
We like to marinate our chicken in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and fresh oregano, but other kinds of fresh herbs work well too. Whisk together 4 Tbs good quality olive oil, 1 1/2 Tbs lemon juice (preferably freshly squeezed), 1 Tbs chopped garlic, and 1 Tbs of fresh chopped oregano (in a pinch, 1 tsp of dried oregano will do).
In order to get the chicken to cook evenly, we like to slice the skin near where the thigh meets the spine, pop the thigh bones out of their sockets, cut the chicken along its ribcage, and flatten the chicken so that the breasts and legs are on the same plane; the chicken will resemble a frog if you do it correctly. Alternatively, if you know how to spatchcock a chicken, this will produce the same result.
Season your chicken generously on both sides with salt and pepper, then place it in the marinade. We like to let it marinate for at least an hour, or at least as long as it takes for you to fire up your charcoal grill. Take about two cups of your wood chips and soak them in water while you wait for the grill to get going.
Set your grill up for indirect heat. If you are using a chimneyÂ starter, light a full chimney’s worth of charcoal briquettes and when they are covered in ash, pour them along one side of the grill so that you have one side of the grill grate with all the briquettes and one side with none. We will be grilling the chicken on the side of the grate with no briquettes underneath, hence the term indirect heat.
Take about half of your soaked wood chips and place them directly on the hot coals, then place your grate on the grill so that the hinged part of the grate is over the coals. Put the lid on your grill, and wait for the wood chips to start to smoke; you’ll definitely be able to tell the difference between the charcoal smoke and the smoke produced by the wood chips.
You’re ready to put your chicken out on the grill. Take it out of the marinade, shaking off the excess, and place it skin-side down onÂ the part of the grill without briquettes. Cover the grill and let cookÂ for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes is up, remove the lid and rotateÂ the chicken so that it is still skin-side down but the other leg andÂ wing are now closer to the briquettes. Let cook, covered, for 10Â more minutes. (Note: if at any point during the grilling process theÂ smoke venting from the grill seems to diminish or the wood chipsÂ are completely spent, add more wet chips.)
After about 25 minutes of total cooking time, it’s time to flip theÂ bird over and cook the other side. We recommend using twoÂ sets of grill tongs to flip the chicken over. The skin of the chickenÂ should have started developing a nice brown color from the appleÂ wood smoke. Again, cook the chicken rib cage-side down for 15Â minutes, then rotate the chicken and cook for 10 more minutes,Â for a total cooking time of about 50 minutes. The chicken isÂ cooked when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the breastÂ reads 165 degrees.
Take the chicken off of the grill and let it rest for at least 10 minutesÂ so that the chicken doesn’t release all its juices and dry outÂ when you cut it. The skin should be a deep brown color from theÂ apple wood smoke. Cut the chicken into serving pieces for yourÂ friends and family and serve; we recommend serving this chickenÂ with a nice bright chimichurri sauce to accent the smoky goodnessÂ of the chicken.
- 4 cloves of garlic, green germs removed
- 1/4 C red wine vinegar
- 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
- Fresh oregano
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 3/4 C good-quality extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Mince the cloves of garlic on your cutting board. Add 1/2 tspÂ of coarse salt to minced garlic and using the side of your knife,Â mash the salt into the garlic. Place the garlic mixture into aÂ medium mixing bowl and mix in the red wine vinegar.
Remove parsley leaves from stems and chop finely. Add 1/3Â cup of finely chopped parsley to the mixing bowl. Finely chopÂ oregano leaves and add 3 Tbs worth to the mixing bowl. AddÂ crushed red pepper flakes to mixing bowl.
Slowly whisk olive oil into the herb mixture in the mixing bowlÂ until it emulsifies. Season with salt and pepper to taste. ServeÂ as condiment for chicken or other grilled meats and veggies.Â Garnish grilled meats with the extra chopped parsley.