Kate Heyhoe

Kate's Global Kitchen

Whole Chicken, Halved, and Grilled

by Kate Heyhoe
Serves 4 to 6

Whole Chicken, Halved, and Grilled  

A whole chicken is thrifty but can take some time to cook on the grill. Cutting the chicken in half, using a chef's knife or poultry shears, takes just a few minutes but saves plenty of cooking time. Flavor the chicken with a dry rub or marinade before cooking.

For best results: Grill the chicken halves skin side down on medium heat, until light and golden. Then flip them over and cook over indirect heat, covered, until cooked through (at this point it's like roasting them in the oven). The skin will continue to brown from the indirect heat. Rotate the halves in relation to the heat source so the meat cooks evenly.


1 whole chicken, cut in half (about 4 pounds)
cooking oil (such as olive, vegetable, or canola)

Spice Rub:
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled*
1/2 teaspoon rosemary, chopped*
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled*
3/4 teaspoon salt

*Note: If using fresh herbs, triple the amount.


Rub each chicken half with a small amount of oil, then rub in the spice rub (or other spices of choice). If possible, refrigerate at least 30 minutes for spices to penetrate. But you can also proceed with grilling immediately and it will still taste good.

Heat one-half of the grill to medium, leaving the other half unheated. Just before grilling, lightly coat the chicken skin with nonstick spray or brush the grill with oil. Grill, skin side down, directly over medium heat, until grill marks form and the skin starts to turn color (watch that the skin doesn't burn). Turn the halves over and move them to an area away from the heat source, so they can cook indirectly. (If you have a two-tier grill, move them to the upper rack, above an area without direct heat.) Cover the grill. Every 15 minutes or so, reposition the halves so they cook evenly. Cook covered until done, about 40 minutes for a 3 to 4 pound bird, then test for doneness. Chicken is done when it reaches 165 degrees F., as measured by a meat thermometer.


Kate's Global Kitchen for June, 2001:

06/02/01 One Husky Little Tomato: Mexico's Tomatillo Unwrapped
06/09/01 Cooking with Jazz, Dakota-Style
06/16/01 Macho Nachos: Fiesta Food for Dad's 'n' Grads
06/23/01 Timelines & A Timely Menu

Coming in July-August: The Big Grilling Guide & The Haiku of Food Contest


Copyright © 2001, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.

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This page created June 2001