I’m sneaking this one in as a bit of a last hurrah to summer, as I suspect here in Melbourne we have just a few barbecuing weekends left. If you’re in the northern hemisphere, this would be a perfect spring weekend lunch.
This is how I like to cook a whole chook on the barbecue. First, butterflying it will ensure it cooks more evenly. Then placing it under a brick helps to speed up the cooking process. It takes about 45 minutes to cook this chook, almost half the time it would take you to roast it. If you rub the chicken with garlic, lemon and thyme, by the time it comes off the barbecue you’ll have your whole neighbourhood salivating.
I like to serve this with really simple things – roast potatoes and a tomato salad, a Greek salad, or a green salad and bread. It would also be fantastic with garlic mash and salsa verde drizzled over the whole lot.
- 1 whole free range and/or organic chook, butterflied (ask them to do this where you buy it if you’re not DIY inclined)
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- zest & juice of 1 lemon
- 4 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
Wash the chicken, remove any excess fat from the ends, and pat dry. Butterfly the chicken by cutting down the middle on the back side of the chicken with a pair of kitchen scissors.
Spread your butterflied chicken on a board breast side up and press down firmly to flatten it out a bit.
In a bowl, mix the thyme, garlic and lemon zest with some salt and pepper. Rub it all over both sides of the chicken. Place the chicken on a clean, oiled barbecue grill, breast side up. Place a large plate on the chicken, and a brick on top of the plate. Cover, and cook on low to medium for about 20-25 minutes each side. You should only turn the chicken once.
When chicken is cooked (juices should be clear when pricked with a skewer) remove from the barbecue and squeeze over the lemon juice. Set aside for a few minutes, covered.
Serve with salad and roast potatoes or garlic bread.