Grill-Roasted Chicken with Herb Mop

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Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Servings: 6

Sitting down to a whole roasted chicken is popular nowadays. Indeed, there is hardly a supermarket in the country that doesn’t sell rotisserie-roasted chickens. But cooking a bird at home is simple and less expensive, plus you get a flavor bonus when you cook it on a grill. In this version, the chicken is basted with an herb mop as it cooks to enhance the taste and to keep the meat moist.


For the herb mop:

  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup tamari or reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. dry mustard
  • 1/2 Tbs. dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 Tbs. dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper

  • 1 chicken, about 4 lb., neck and giblets removed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 6 fresh rosemary sprigs, each 6 inches long


To make the herb mop, in a bowl, whisk together the oil, tamari, vinegar, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, mustard, parsley, rosemary, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper, mixing well. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks. Shake or whisk well before using.

At least 30 minutes before you plan to begin grilling, remove the chicken from the refrigerator. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, and season inside and out with salt and pepper. Slip the rosemary sprigs into the cavity, then tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Reserve about 1/4 cup of the herb mop for serving.

Prepare a grill for indirect grilling over medium heat; the internal grill temperature should be 350º to 375ºF. If using charcoal, bank the lit coals on either side of the grill bed, leaving a strip in the center without heat, and place a drip pan in the center. If using gas, preheat the burners, then turn off 1 or more of the burners to create a cooler zone. Brush and oil the grill grate.

Place the chicken, breast side up, over the indirect-heat area of the grill. Cover the grill and cook, turning and rotating the bird occasionally, and basting the bird about every 15 minutes with the herb mop, until nicely browned all over and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, away from the bone, registers 170ºF, or the juices run clear when a thigh joint is pierced with a knife tip. This will take 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut the chicken into serving pieces and arrange on a platter. Pour a little of the reserved herb mop over the chicken and pass the rest alongside. Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Grill Master, by Fred Thompson (Weldon Owen, 2011).

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