I’ve written before about spatchcocked chicken (here and here), but it’s a message that bears repeating: the easiest way to grill chicken is to cut out the backbone. Removing the backbone allows you to spread the chicken out, exposing the thighs to direct heat while shielding the breast and wings. Voila–the white meat stays juicy, while dark meat gets the crisping it needs. A bonus: the skin-side-up chicken needs virtually NO attention as it cooks. Did I mention that the skin gets crispy, too? So many high points for such a simple technique.
A brief (30 minutes or less) dip into Vietnamese style ga nuong seasoning will deliver amazing flavor for very little effort.
Spatchcocked ga nuong style chicken
- 2 T lime juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 T Vietnamese fish sauce
- 4-lb whole chicken, backbone removed
Mix lime juice, salt, sugar, black pepper, and fish sauce together in a small bowl. Place chicken in a zip-top plastic bag; pour liquid mixture over the chicken. Seal the bag and turn it several times to coat the chicken. Rest the bagged chicken, at room temperature and breast side down, while a charcoal or gas grill preheats to 375-400 degrees. Cook chicken, spread open and breast side up, for approximately 1 hour, then test temperature near thigh. During the first 20 minutes of cooking, baste once or twice with leftover marinade. Remove when it reaches at least 160 degrees. Place on a platter and tent with foil; rest 10 minutes before carving or serving.