2 roaster chickens (each 3-1/2 to 4 pounds), preferably organic
For the marinade:
Juice of 2 lemons, or more to taste
1 tsp kosher salt, or more to taste
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs, such as chives, tarragon, rosemary, etc.
Method: Direct grilling
Makes 2 chickens, serving 4 to 6
- Place a bird, breast side down, on a cutting board. Using kitchen shears or a sharp knife, cut through the flesh and bone along both sides of the backbone so that you can completely remove the backbone. Open the bird like a book by gently pulling the halves apart. Using a sharp paring knife, cut along and under both sides of the breastbone and cartilage attached to it. Discard the breastbone. Cut off the tips of the wings. Spread the bird out flat. Repeat with the other chicken.
- Combine the lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until an emulsion is formed. Stir in the herbs. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and/or pepper or lemon juice as desired. Set half aside for serving.
- Place the chickens in a large baking dish or resealable plastic bag. Pour the remaining half of the marinade over the chickens, turning them to coat. Refrigerate for 8 hours, or overnight.
- Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to medium. Brush and oil the grill grate.
- Arrange the chickens on the grill grate bone side down. Immediately start basting the chicken halves with the basting mixture. Baste generously and often—once every 3 to 5 minutes. (Stir the basting mixture as you use it.) Continue grilling until the chickens turn a rich golden brown and the meat is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes per side. (To test for doneness, lift the leg and make sure there are no remaining traces of red at the hip joint. Alternatively, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh—it should read 170 degrees.) Serve the chicken at once with the remaining marinade.