Free-Range Chicken with Flavored ButterSteven Raichlen
Free-Range Chicken with Flavored Butter
- Yield: Serves 2 to 4
- Method: Indirect grilling
- Equipment: Butcher's string
- 1 chicken (3-1/2 to 4 pounds)
- Roasted Garlic Butter (see recipe)
Step 1: Remove the packet of giblets from the body cavity of the chicken and set aside for another use. Remove and discard the fat just inside the body and neck cavities. Rinse the chicken, inside and out, under cold running water and then drain and blot dry, inside and out, with paper towels.
Step 2: Loosen the skin from the chicken and put the flavored butter between the skin and the meat. To do this, start at the top of the neck cavity and tunnel your finger under the skin. Gently loosen the skin from the meat, taking care not to tear it. Worm your whole hand under the skin, loosening it from the breast meat, then the thighs, and even the drumsticks. Spoon the flavored butter under the skin and use your hands to distribute it as evenly as possible. (Massaging the outside of the chicken will help distribute the butter.) Truss the chicken.
Step 3: Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium. If using a charcoal grill, place a drip pan in the center.
Step 4: When ready to cook, place the chicken, breast-side up, in the center of the hot grill grate over the drip pan and away from the heat, and cover the grill.
Step 5: Grill the chicken until the skin is a deep golden brown and the meat is cooked through, 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours. (Use an instant-read thermometer to test for doneness. Insert it into the thickest part of a thigh, but not so that it touches the bone. The internal temperature should be about 165 degrees F; the temperature will rise as the bird rests.) If using a charcoal grill, youll need to add 12 fresh coals per side after 1 hour.
Step 6: Transfer the chicken to a platter, let rest for 5 minutes, then untruss. Quarter or carve the chicken and serve at once.
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