Sunday, September 11, 2016

Grilled "Butterfly" Chicken

With the last days of warmth dwindling down I've started to grill a lot more.  I love grilling and, in fact, any sort of open-fire cooking... it feels more primal than cooking on an electric or induction range, and it imparts flavors you just don't get easily in other methods.

One of my latest grilling adventures was a whole organic chicken I found for half off at Festival Foods.  Festival is one of the few places locally that has a really good selection of organic and grassfed meats, and when they've been there a while they wind up in the discount section.  I am a big fan of this section.

So I look up grilling whole chickens, and find that the best way to do it is to butterfly it so you don't wind up with chicken that's raw in the middle and overcooked on the outside.  I admittedly butchered the hell out of it, as I have no idea what I am doing and did not think to watch a video on the subject.  I basically butterflied it in the wrong direction.  I think.  But this managed to get the chicken flat enough to cook properly, so success in that department.

I used a chimney starter full of lump charcoal, which I set on one side of the grill only.  I actually hadn't heard of a chimney starter until very recently and I gotta say... best investment if you grill a lot you could make.  It's probably already paid for itself in lighter fluid.  I use lump charcoal so that I can compost the ashes afterward.  I also soaked some mesquite chips and put them on to create tasty smoke.

Anyway, I started by putting the chicken on the non-charcoal side.  I checked it around every 7-10 minutes until all the pink was gone, then transferred it to the charcoal side to get the skin crispier.  Meanwhile I also cooked corn and mushrooms.  In the end it was a very attractive dish, even if I did butterfly it backwards.

Some other things I have grilled in the past week or so include ample steak (a cowboy rib-eye that took three days to eat, a regular rib-eye, a thick New York strip steak, and a rack of pork ribs I cooked for four hours today over mesquite smoke).  Whether I drag the pictures of these off my phone or camera in the next couple of days I don't know, but I have been eating fairly well lately, so maybe.

Anyway, until next time, happy trails!
-- Setkheni-itw