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Classic Grilled Whole Chicken

Perfectly grilled chicken will have crispy skin and succulent meat. In this recipe, you cook 2 chickens so you can serve one tonight and store the other to use in other dishes (see related recipes at left).

Storage tip: Let the additional whole chicken cool to room temperature, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Or remove the meat, discarding the skin and bones (or save them to make stock); you should have about 1 lb. (about 2 cups) meat. Pack into 1 or more airtight containers and freeze for up to 3 months.

Ingredients:

  • 2 chickens, each about 4 lb., neck and giblets removed
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Directions:

Prepare the chickens
Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for indirect grilling over high heat.

Brush the outside of each chicken with the olive oil and sprinkle with the oregano. In a small bowl, stir together the salt and pepper, and season the chickens inside and out with the mixture. Let stand while the grill heats.

Grill the chickens
Lightly oil the grill rack. Place the chickens on the rack over the drip pan and cover the grill. Cook for 45 minutes, rotating the chickens occasionally to ensure even browning. (If using a charcoal grill, add 12 more briquettes at this point to keep the fire hot.) Continue cooking until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh, away from the bone, registers 170°F, about 30 minutes more.

Transfer the chickens to a carving board and let stand for 10 minutes. Carve 1 chicken and serve immediately. Reserve the remaining chicken for another meal (see note above). Makes 2 chickens total; serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Grilling, by Rick Rodgers (Oxmoor House, 2007).