How to Grill a Whole Chicken

Burned out on skinless, boneless chicken breasts? Transform the grill into an outdoor oven, and try roasting the whole bird instead. Better Homes and Gardens food editor Jan Miller shares how to master the technique.
Spatchcock Barbecue Chicken with Raspberry Glaze Spatchcock Barbecue Chicken with Raspberry Glaze

In May, thousands of grilling enthusiasts gathered in Chicago's Lincoln Park for two days of grilling demonstrations, tastings, and more at the first-ever Better Homes and Gardens and Weber Chill and Grill Festival.

Jan Miller, a Better Homes and Gardens food editor, demonstrated how to grill chicken with rosemary-accented raspberry glaze. See the following slides for step-by-step instructions.

Step 1: Prep the bird for grilling Step 1: Prep the bird for grilling

"Grilling a whole chicken is easy to do and fun to eat," Jan says. Start with a 3-1/2- to 4-pound broiler-fryer chicken. Kitchen shears are the best tool for breaking down a whole bird. Follow along the neck and make a lengthwise cut along both sides of the backbone to remove.

Step 2: Butterfly the chicken Step 2: Butterfly the chicken

With the chicken skin side up, press down between the breasts to break the breastbone. Continue to apply firm pressure to make the chicken as flat as possible. This method of splitting open and flattening the chicken is called spatchcocking, and it allows for more even cooking.

Step 3: Marinate with fresh aromatics Step 3: Marinate with fresh aromatics

"The rosemary stands up well to balsamic, and the salt and cayenne add a background warmth that pairs well with the sweetness of the glaze," Jan says. To make snipping fresh rosemary a breeze, strip the leaves from the stem into a small bowl, and then use a pair of kitchen shears to cut the leaves with quick, short strokes.

Step 4: Make a glaze Step 4: Make a glaze

Seedless raspberry jam and dry red wine combine with the remaining vinegar mixture and reduce until thickened and syrupy. Fruit preserves add a subtle sweetness to the glaze -- mix it up and try swapping the raspberry jam for your favorite flavor, such as apricot or fig.

Step 5: Turn the grill into a roaster Step 5: Turn the grill into a roaster

"Indirect cooking allows your grill to act more like your oven," Jan says. After placing the chicken flat on the grill rack, cover and grill for 50 to 60 minutes or until no longer pink (a meat thermometer inserted in the thigh should read 180 degrees F).

Step 6: Coat with glaze Step 6: Coat with glaze

Brush chicken with the raspberry glaze a few times during the last 5 minutes of grilling to get an even, saucy consistency. "Balsamic gives the bird that dark, beautiful color," Jan says. Serve the bird whole with a few sprigs of rosemary and a tumble of fresh raspberries for an impressive yet simple presentation.