The changing of seasons always inspires my cooking. With the warmer weather finally upon us, I have been very excited to try new grilling recipes. This recipe was inspired by my ardent love for fresh dill and citrus!
Here is what you’ll need:
• 1 (3-5 lb) whole chicken. I strongly recommend organic not only for the health benefits, but because the taste is so much better!
• 1 lemon
• Approximately 1 cup of chopped fresh dill
• 1 quart of buttermilk
• 4 cloves of fresh garlic
• Salt and pepper
Pour the buttermilk into a large bowl (large enough to marinate the chicken). Slice the lemon and add to the buttermilk along with the dill and grated garlic, and season generously with salt and pepper. Place the chicken in the bowl, cover and leave it to soak up the glory for 8-24 hours!
Be sure to remove the chicken from the fridge 1 hour prior to cooking, so it can warm up. I have found the best method for cooking a whole chicken on the grill is to butterfly it, which will also lead to beautiful browning of all the skin as well. You will need a sharp knife or good kitchen shears, but basically all you need to do is remove the backbone so that it will lay flat.
Fire up your grill! I prefer a charcoal grill for the flavor, but it is a little harder to keep at a consistent temperature. I highly recommend banking your coals to one side so you can have an area of indirect heat to cook the chicken and better control the temperature. Be sure to grease the grill surface with Crisco to avoid the skin from getting stuck.
Now you are ready to cook this bird! Before placing the chicken on the grill be sure to season the skin side with more salt and pepper. Place the bird over the indirect heating area and place two bricks (wrapped in foil) on the top to weigh it down. Cover and cook rotating at least once. Depending on the size of your bird this will take 45 – 75 minutes to cook.
The end results were delicious. The brine served to infuse the chicken with a beautifully refreshing flavor and helped to keep it moist during the cooking time. I threw together a salad of romaine lettuce, fresh cherries, dill (can’t have too much!), feta cheese, and some chopped pecans and dressed it with a citrus poppy seed dressing. There you have it folks, the perfect way to enjoy a summer’s eve.