Salt Roasted Chicken

Indiegog-backer-party

Grilling a whole chicken on a gas grill can be challenging: too long, and you dry it out, too soon, and you have undercooked chicken. This recipe will guarantee you perfect chicken every time, and will wow your guests as well.

I found this technique in a few different places, and adapted it for a barbecue I hosted for my Indiegogo backers.  The leg bones literally pulled straight out of the bird with no resistance.

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Salt Roasted Chicken
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1-2 hours
Passive Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1-2 hours
Passive Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat your grill to 500-600 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Remove the neck and giblets from the cavities in the chicken. Put the lemon, onion, and garlic into the main cavity.
  3. In a large, clean pot or in a sink with the drain plugged, slowly add water to the 3 pounds of sea salt, mixing with your hands until it has the consistency of snow. Cheat on the drier side if you aren't sure how much water; you can always add more later.
  4. Put a remote thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh.
  5. In a foil catering pan, create a bed of the sea salt about 1" thick. Place the chicken on the salt bed, and then pack the remaining salt around the chicken so it's about 1" thick all around, and that there are no cracks. The chicken should be completely encased in the salt.
  6. Place the pan in the middle of your grill, close the lid, and let it roast for 1-2 hours, depending on how large the chicken is, how thick the salt pack is, how much water is in the salt, etc. The chicken will be done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. Remove the chicken from the grill, and using a meat mallet, heavy knife, or your buddy's skull, break open the salt crust and reveal the chicken. Allow to rest for about 30 minutes, and then carve and serve.
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Grilled Chicken Gyros

As Alton Brown says, “I never send breast to do what thighs could do better (and cheaper).” Grilled chicken gyros are no exception. You get a juicier piece of meat that works much better as a leftover (chicken breasts tend to get dry and I find they don’t taste as good on day 2) with the added benefit of being kissed by fire, imparting that flavor into the dish. I also find that cooking with the skin on and the bone in helps with keeping the chicken moist.

PRO TIP: don’t bother trying to cut the bone out.  Let the chicken cool, and then bone it caveman style. Just slide your finger along the bone and pull the meat off.  It’s much easier to do than attempting to cut it out, and it saves your blade from dulling on the bone. You also look much cooler doing it that way.

PRO TIP #2: If you really want to kick this up a notch, fire roast the tomato as well. Cook it whole over direct heat turning a few times to just get a char on all sides. If you char it too much, the skin will just slide off (which may be fine for some recipes, but we want to bring that flavor into the gyro sauce). Make sure to let it cool, as the liquid inside will be boiling hot when you cut into it if you do so right away.

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Grilled Chicken Gyros
Grilled Chicken Gyro
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Grilled Chicken Gyro
Instructions
  1. Set up your grill for direct cooking, and preheat to 550 degrees F.
  2. Cut away any excess flaps of skin from the chicken thighs. Gently slide your finger between the skin and the meat on one side, taking care to leave the 3 other sides attached.
  3. Sprinkle a teaspoon of Saint Brian's Dash Cunning Spice Rub into the pocket you created.
  4. Squeeze the juice from half a lemon onto the chicken thighs.
  5. Put a skewer through both onion slices to keep them together.
  6. Oil the grill, and place the chicken, skin side up, and onions on the grates. Cook on one side for 6 minutes, and flip and cook for another 4-5, or until the internal temperature of the thighs reaches 165 degrees. You will know it's time to flip when the chicken releases easily from the grill. Remove, and allow the chicken and onion to rest for 20 minutes.
  7. While the chicken is resting, whisk together the mayonnaise, cucumber, plum tomato, dill, the juice from half a lemon in a non-reactive bowl. finely chop the onion and add to the gyro sauce. Salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Separate the chicken from the bones, and roughly chop into bite-sized pieces. Toss the chicken with the gyro sauce until coated.
  9. Warm the pitas on the grill. Scoop the chicken mix into the pocket. Serve warmed or chilled.
    Grilled Chicken Gyro
Calorie-conscious option
  1. Instead of a pita, use a large leaf or two of lettuce for the wrap.
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Saint Brian’s Coleslaw

Coleslaw is almost a requirement at any barbecue. It’s a delightful blend of creaminess and crunch, of sweet and acidity. You can chop the cabbage and carrots from scratch or from a pre-made bag, and as long as you get the dressing right, it will be a hit that compliments just about any main dish you pull off of the fire.

Pork Recipes
Beef Recipes
Chicken Recipes
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Saint Brian's Coleslaw
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Make the dressing by combining all of the wet ingredients in a non-reactive bowl and whisking until well mixed. Taste, and adjust seasoning as needed.
  2. Toss the dressing with the cabbage and carrots. Serve right away, or chill and keep for up to 4 days.
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