Achieve the Perfect Grilled Whole Spiced Chicken for Your July 4th Barbecue — And Keep the Seasoning Intact!

by Ryan Lee
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Grilled Spiced Chicken

Crafting a succulent, well-seared grilled whole chicken at home can be challenging. However, with a few straightforward tips, you can create a showstopper for your Independence Day BBQ.

Firstly, we ‘spatchcock’ the chicken. This technique involves removing the chicken’s backbone and flattening it by pressing on the breastbone. This method allows the dark and light meat to cook evenly.

Despite causing some moisture loss through dripping and evaporation, this technique offers a prime advantage: it enables better adherence between the seasoning and meat. Positioning the spices beneath the skin ensures they stay put and have direct contact with the meat, resulting in a more pronounced flavor profile.

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The flavor base for this recipe, taken from our book “The New Rules,” aims to alter the way you cook by rethinking traditional dishes. The spice-rub for this recipe is inspired by an Iraqi spice-rubbed chicken. To expedite the process, we replace the lengthy list of spices with curry powder and garam masala — two Indian spice blends that encompass about a dozen different spices. Ground sumac in the rub imparts an earthy, citrusy flavor to the chicken and, along with paprika, bestows a deep, brick-red color.

The chicken takes under an hour to cook, yielding a rich and complex flavor, enhanced by the smoky notes from the grill. If using charcoal, ensure that the grill vents, both at the bottom and on the lid, are open to maintain airflow and prevent the fire from being snuffed out during the covered cooking period.

Serve the dish with basmati rice or warm flatbread.

Iraqi Spice-Crusted Grilled Chicken Recipe

Find the recipe at: link

Time to prepare: Active preparation – 1 hour, Resting time – 30 mins, Total – 1½ hours

Serves: 4

2½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 medium garlic cloves, grated
1 tablespoon ground sumac
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon sweet or hot paprika
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 whole chicken, about 4 pounds
Lemon wedges, to serve

For the full list of instructions and more recipes, head over to Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street at 177milkstreet.com/ap.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Grilled chicken

Q: How do I keep the seasoning intact while grilling a whole spiced chicken?

A: To keep the seasoning intact, apply it under the chicken’s skin for direct contact with the meat. This ensures it stays in place and imparts impactful flavor.

Q: What is the benefit of spatchcocking a whole chicken?

A: Spatchcocking involves removing the chicken’s backbone and flattening it. This technique allows for even cooking of the dark and light meat, ensuring they finish at the same time.

Q: What is the flavoring for this grilled chicken recipe?

A: The flavoring is based on an Iraqi spice rub. It includes a combination of spices such as sumac, coriander, curry powder, garam masala, paprika, cumin, cardamom, salt, and pepper, resulting in a rich and complex flavor profile.

Q: How long does the chicken take to cook on the grill?

A: The chicken typically cooks in under an hour, resulting in a deeply browned and flavorful dish. The smokiness from the grill adds to the overall taste experience.

Q: What should I serve with this grilled chicken?

A: The recipe suggests serving the chicken with basmati rice or warmed flatbread, complementing the flavors of the dish.

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