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Southwestern-Style Pressed Chicken

Chicken and turkey are done when they are cooked through completely, with no trace of pink at the bone or at the center of boneless pieces.When pierced with a long-handled fork, the juices that are released should run clear. Larger poultry cuts may also be checked with an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat, away from the bone; the thigh should register 170°F.

Ingredients:

  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil or extra-virgin
    olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. Southwestern Grilling Paste
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 chicken, about 3 lb.

Directions:

In a shallow baking dish, whisk together the lime juice, oil, grilling paste, salt and pepper.

Rinse the chicken under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Lay the chicken on its back. Separate the breast into halves by cutting down the center of the breastbone. Turn the chicken, flatten and, using the heel of your hand, crack the backbone. Turn the wings back and fold the tips under the breast. Make small slits on either side of the breast tips, then insert the ends of the drumsticks into each opening. Place the chicken in the lemon juice mixture, turning to coat well. Cover and marinate at room temperature for 1 hour or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill.

Remove the chicken from the marinade, wiping off any excess, and place it, skin side down, on the grill. Center a grill press on top of the chicken to hold it flat. Grill the chicken, removing the press occasionally and turning the chicken over so it does not burn, until the juices run clear when a thigh is pierced with a knife and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, away from the bone, registers 170°F, about 30 minutes; if necessary, move the chicken to a cooler part of the grill to prevent it from burning. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before carving. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Serves 2 to 4.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.