If roasting whole chickens has never really worked out for you, then give this recipe for spatchcocked grilled chicken a try. The home-made spice rub is delicious, and using the spatchcocking technique helps the bird cook faster and more evenly (no more dry white meat and undercooked dark meat). We're sharing it here, but you can find it (and plenty more chicken recipes) in The Short Stack Cookbook, which features more than 150 ingredient-inspired recipes from the authors and editors of Short Stack.
Spatchcocked Steakhouse Grilled Chicken
What happens when you treat a chicken like a steak? Only good things, if this recipe is any indication. From the Lawry’s-inspired spice rub (don’t judge—that stuff is delicious) to the high-heat grilling technique, this bird is juicy and highly flavorful. Spatchcocking the chicken, wherein the backbone is removed and the chicken is flattened, creates a shorter, more even cooking process; alternatively, you could also use this rub for cooking individual chicken pieces.
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
3/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 3- to 4-pound (1.4- to 1.8-kg) whole chicken
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 lemons, halved
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
In a small skillet, toast the cumin seeds, fennel seeds and peppercorns over medium heat until fragrant and the seeds become slightly golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the seeds and peppercorns to a spice grinder (or mortar and pestle) and add the paprika and garlic powder; pulverize until fine. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon of salt.
Rinse the chicken cavity and pat the inside and outside dry. Set it breastside down on a cutting board and, using kitchen shears or a cleaver, separate the backbone from the ribs (save the backbone for your next batch of chicken stock). Turn the chicken breast-side up, place both your hands in the center of the breastplate and press down hard until you hear the breastbone snap; the chicken should be flattened at this point. Wiggle your fingers between the skin and the breast meat to create a pocket. Do the same at the thigh junction, wiggling your fingers deep down to the leg. Generously season beneath the chicken skin with the spice rub. Season the underside of the chicken as well, and sprinkle the remaining rub over the top of the skin. Set the chicken on a plate and let marinate at room temperature for 1 hour or for up to 2 days in the
Prepare a charcoal or gas grill to medium-high heat with a medium-low zone. (For medium-high, you should be able to hold your hand a few inches above the grill grate for about 3 to 4 seconds; 6 to 7 seconds for medium-low). Use grill tongs to dip a folded paper towel into the canola oil and wipe down the grill grate; repeat this a few times. Place the chicken on the hotter side of the grill, skin-side up. Cover the grill, open the vents in the top and bottom of the grill and cook until the underside of the chicken is deep brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Turn the chicken over and place it on the cooler side of the grill. Cover the grill and cook until the internal temperature in the leg-thigh joint registers 155°F (68°C) on an instant-read thermometer, about 10 to 15 minutes longer (depending on the size of the chicken and the intensity of your fire).
Transfer the chicken to a plate and let it rest for 10 minutes. Toss the scallions and lemon halves with the olive oil and remaining ½ teaspoon of salt and place them on the hot side of the grill, setting the lemons cut-side down. Grill until they’re marked and browned, turning the scallions over halfway through cooking, 3 to 4 minutes for the lemons and 4 to 6 minutes for the scallions. Transfer the lemons and scallions to a platter. Carve the chicken and arrange it on the platter with the lemons and scallions. Let guests squeeze the lemon over the chicken before eating.