Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Don't Be Chicken: Grill It This Way

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Don't Be Chicken: Grill It This Way

Article excerpt

I can't be the only one, can I?

It's too obvious. It's too easy. Isn't it?

And just because I haven't heard of anyone else doing it, that doesn't mean that there aren't millions and millions of people out there doing it.


Here is the deal: When I grill a chicken, which I have been doing quite a lot of lately, I grill the chicken. The whole chicken. And nothing but the chicken.

So help me, I don't know anyone else who does this.

Everyone else in my apparently extremely limited circle of acquaintance grills chicken parts. All breasts, maybe, or a whole lot of breasts and a couple of leg quarters. I prefer dark meat, so for me it is usually just the leg quarters.

In the past, even when I bought a whole chicken (it's a lot cheaper per pound) I would cut it up and grill the individual pieces.

And then, one day, my wife said, "Why not just grill the whole thing, like a turkey?"

That may need an explanation. Many years ago, I realized that my favorite way to prepare turkey for Thanksgiving is to grill it over indirect heat. The grill it has to have a lid large enough to fit the turkey acts like an oven, only it imparts so much more flavor to the bird because of the burning charcoal and a little bit of smoke. The difference in flavor is astonishing.

It's like hamburgers. Done on the stove, good. Done on the grill? Great.

A chicken is just a smaller version of a turkey, and tastier. So why not give it the same treatment?

I can't be the only one. Can I?

I have only done this with organic chickens, but that cannot be what makes the entire difference. The whole chickens I have grilled have been the juiciest, sweetest and flat-out best chickens I have ever made, and I have cooked a flock of chickens in my time.

Even when I was just grilling chicken parts, I always used indirect heat to avoid the charring that often results from cooking them directly over the flames. …

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