Thomas Keller’s Roast Chicken – on the Grill!
By Kath Dedon
Too hot to make Thomas Keller’s famous Roast Chicken? Not if you have a grill! This is a great summertime meal to enjoy on the deck.
I actually had never made Thomas Keller’s Roast Chicken before; my go-to roast chicken of late has been Marcella Hazan’s version. Seeing all the raves about Keller’s chicken, however, made me put it on my “must try” list.
It’s been quite cool in Seattle lately. Yesterday it warmed up and it’s supposed to be warm for the next week or so. (Warm by Seattle standards—sunny with temperatures in the upper 70s to low 80s; not much humidity. 🙂 This is why we put up with the rainy winters!) So I bought a small chicken and thought I’d try Thomas Keller’s roast chicken before my kitchen got too warm.
When I got home, though, I wondered if I really wanted to have the oven on at 450˚ for 50 – 60 minutes. I decided I did not.
So….I thought, why not use my gas grill? Well, it worked perfectly! The chicken was fantastic served over a bed of baby Swiss chard from my garden (sautéed with a bit of garlic in olive oil). With crusty bread and a big salad made with lettuce from the garden, it was a perfect dinner.
Thomas Keller’s Roast Chicken on the Grill
(Adapted from his famous recipe which I found on epicurious)
About Indirect Grilling: I suggest following the directions for indirect grilling for your particular grill. I have a 3-burner Weber grill. If you have a 2-burner grill, you’ll turn one burner off and put the chicken on that side. You’ll want to be sure to rotate the chicken when it’s half done so it will cook evenly. If you use charcoal, put half of the heated coals on one side, and half on the other and put the chicken in the center.
Note: times given are what worked for my 3 pound chicken and my grill; they may vary depending on your grill and the size of your chicken.
Serves 2 – 4
One 2 – 3 pound chicken
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Rinse the chicken and dry it off very well, inside and out, with paper towels.
2. Generously salt the interior of the chicken.
3. Truss the chicken (I need to improve my trussing skills. As you can see in my photos, I just sort of tied it up.) and salt and pepper the chicken all over.
4. Heat your grill on high for 10 minutes.
5. Follow the directions for your grill for Indirect Grilling. For a 3- burner gas grill: Turn off the center burner, and place the chicken directly on the grill over the turned off burner.
6. Close the grill and cook for 10 minutes. (There was quite a bit of smoke during this period, just so you know.)
7. Lower the heat on the side burners to medium and cook for another 15 minutes.
8. Rotate the chicken 180˚ so it’s facing the other way. (There is no way to know if my two burners are generating the same amount of heat; this insures even cooking.)
9. Cook another 20 – 25 minutes, or until done. Internal temperature should be 165˚.
10. Let rest, uncovered for 15 – 20 minutes and then serve.