Grilling should be simple and fast. Cooking a whole chicken doesn’t exactly fit those two categories. But with a little bit of knife work, you can have a super-crispy-skinned chicken that cooks through quickly.
When senior food editor Chris Morocco was testing Allison Carroll’s butterflied grilled chicken with herbs and cracked olives recipe for our July issue, he loved how easy it was to move the chicken around and cook it evenly all because it was butterflied, a process also known as spatchcocking, which we’re fans of for Thanksgiving turkey, as well.
“Butterflying turns a three-dimensional, rolly, odd-shaped object into 2-D,” he says. “You need to rotate and turn it a lot more if you leave it whole this way it is clearly just two sides.” And it takes about 35-45 minutes to cook it through, so you wont need to refresh your coals midway through. The best part about butterflying is that “the skin gets direct access to heat, so it will stay crispy even loooong after it’s cooked,” Morocco raves. “That crispy skin is dynamite.”
All you really need is a good, sharp pair of kitchen shears to get the job done.