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Simple Smoke-Roasted Whole Chickens

Categories: Entertaining, On the Grill
Type: Main Dishes

Chicken flavored with garlic and rosemary and cooked with the indirect heat and smoke of a slow, low fire is the kind of dish you could never get tired of.

Serves: Serves 6


  • 2 whole chickens, 3lb (1.35kg) each
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
  • 3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 lemons, halved

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  1. Light a fire well over to one side of your grill, using enough coals to fill 11/2 large shoeboxes.
  2. Place one chicken on your work surface, breast side up, and push down hard to flatten it as much as possible. Repeat with the second bird, then rub both all over with the olive oil. Mash together the garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper, and coat the chickens evenly with this herb mixture, pressing gently to be sure it adheres.
  3. When the fire has died down and the coals are covered with white ash, place the chickens on the side of the grill away from the coals, breast side down, legs facing toward the coals, being careful that none of the meat is directly over the coals. Put the lid on the grill with the vents open one-quarter of the way. Cook for 30 minutes, then turn the chickens breast side up, add another 1/2 shoebox full of fresh charcoal, and continue cooking for 30-45 minutes more. To check for doneness, make a cut into the thickest part of one thigh, all the way to the bone; there should be no sign of pink. (It's not easy to take the temperature of a flattened bird, but if you do use a thermometer, look for a final temperature of 160°F/71°C.)
  4. When the chickens are done, transfer them to a cutting board, cover loosely with foil, and allow them to rest for about 10 minutes. Carve each chicken into 6 pieces, squeeze the lemon halves over them, and serve.

excerpted from:

Excerpted from Grill It!.
Copyright © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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