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Grill-Roasted Honey Barbecued Chicken

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Serves four.

  • To learn more, read:
    Grilling Big
  • by Tony Rosenfeld from Fine Cooking
    Issue 94

This whole grill-roasted chicken is rubbed with an intense spice paste and then basted with a tangy honey glaze on the grill for a double dose of flavor. It's easy to double for a summer BBQ.

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika, preferably Hungarian
  • 1 tsp. light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. chipotle chile powder
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4-lb. chicken, butterflied, patted dry
  • 1 recipe Honey Glaze 
Season the Chicken:

In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, salt, chili powder, paprika, brown sugar, thyme, black pepper, chipotle powder, and garlic. Rub all over the chicken and between the breast meat and skin. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours or let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Set aside 1/4 cup of the honey glaze for drizzling over the cooked chicken.

Gas-Grill Instructions:

Heat all burners of a gas grill to medium low. An oven thermometer resting on the grill grate (over the hot zone of the charcoal fire) should register about 450°F with the lid down, or you should be able to hold your hand a couple of inches above the grill for 3 or 4 seconds. If it’s hotter than this, lower the burners slightly. Brush the grill grates with a stiff wire brush and then wipe with a lightly oiled wad of paper towels.

Set the chicken, skin side down, on the grill, cover, and cook until it’s nicely browned and easily releases from the grates, 5 to 10 minutes. Watch carefully during this stage and if a flare-up occurs, move the chicken away from the flames until they die down. If necessary, squirt the flames with a little water to quench them.

For a three-burner gas grill, turn the middle burner off and set the front and back burners to medium low. For a two-burner grill, turn the back burner off and set the front burner on high.

Flip the chicken and move it to the cooler zone of the grill (an oven thermometer set on the cooler part of the grill (with the lid down) should register about 350°F). Brush the bird with some of the glaze, cover, and cook, brushing with the glaze every 5 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thighs registers 165° to 170°F, about 30 minutes. Let rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes. Carve and serve drizzled with the reserved glaze.

Charcoal Grill Instructions

Prepare a charcoal fire with a hot zone and a cooler zone by pushing all the coals to one side of the grill. An oven thermometer resting on the grill grate (over the hot zone of the charcoal fire) should register about 450°F with the lid down, or you should be able to hold your hand a couple of inches above the grill for 3 or 4 seconds. If it’s hotter than this, let the coals cook down. Brush the grill grates with a stiff wire brush and then wipe with a lightly oiled wad of paper towels.

Set the chicken, skin side down, on the grill over the hot zone of the fire, cover, and cook until it’s nicely browned and easily releases from the grates, 5 to 10 minutes. Watch carefully during this stage and if a flare-up occurs, move the chicken away from the flames until they die down. If necessary, squirt the flames with a little water to quench them.

Flip the chicken and move it to the cooler zone of the grill (an oven thermometer set on the cooler part of the grill (with the lid down) should register about 350°F). Brush the bird with some of the glaze, cover, and cook, brushing with the glaze every 5 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thighs registers 165° to 170°F, about 30 minutes. Check on the fire occasionally; it may be necessary to add fresh charcoal as the fire dies down.  Let rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes. Carve and serve drizzled with the reserved glaze.

Serving Suggestions

Serve a Summer Succotash on the side, with Caramelized Plum Shortcakes (or simply caramelized plums over ice cream) for dessert.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 660; Fat (g): 36; Fat Calories (kcal): 330; Saturated Fat (g): 9; Protein (g): 60; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 16; Carbohydrates (g): 22; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 7; Sodium (mg): 1350; Cholesterol (mg): 190; Fiber (g): 1;

Photo: Scott Phillips

I used drumsticks and they turned out excellent.

perfect! very easy and super good, love this recipe!

I made this yesterday for second time for my niece's shower. Many said it was the best chicken they ever had!

This dish was an absolute delicious blend of spicey, smokey heat and sweet. The chicken was so moist. Finger-lickin' good... will make this again!

Oh my god this was so good, and so easy! All the ingredients are things I have on hand. The chicken cooked quickly and evenly.

A fabulous part of our 4th of July BBQ- moist, very well seasoned, and quite simple. Rubbing the chicken the night before seemed to imbue the chicken with tremendous flavor. Cooking time appeared spot on for a Weber 3 burner gas grill. We believe utilizing the free range chickens from our local CSA creates a tremendous difference with the result- actually tastes like a real chicken vs the drab supermarket fowl. Even our dog is noticeably more perky and comes into the kitchen when we cook the CSA birds- ignores the stuff from the grocery store.

The glaze was delicious. I can't rate the grill chicken part because of an unfortunate flare-up but the spice rub sure smelled good. I'll try it again after cleaning out my BBQ. :-)

This is our favorite barbecued chicken recipe. We look for excuses to make it.

Very good! I did cut the chicken in to fourths, for easier handling, but it came out as predicted. Be sure to use the glaze. It does make a difference; a pleasant one.

To the person below who is looking for the honey recipe, just click on the word "honey" that is underlined in the recipe. It will take you to the recipe. Looks good, planning on making it this weekend.

Can anyone provide the honey glaze recipe for me? They provided the recipe for the chicken in their newsletter; but not the honey glaze. I would like to make this recipe over the weekend. Thanks for your help.

Giving 5 stars because it looks delicious.Live in apt.no grilling allowed.Could recipe and temperature be adjusted for oven ? Wouldn't want smoke filled kitchen.

This chicken was really great. The ingredients were almost all in my pantry and came together very easily. The sauce had a kick to it when I tasted it after making, but the grilling tamed the heat to a manageable level for two toddlers to enjoy. Fabulous recipe that I would make again!

The taste of the bird, once done, was fantastic. But it would have taken almost an hour an a half to cook if I hadn't finally decided to separate the thigs and the breasts and tun the burners up a little. The charring was wonderful and the glaze gave it a wonderful flavour. I made this for my boyfriend's family last night and the whole thing disappeared from the table in practically no time.

Once I found all the ingredients, this recipe was easy and delicious. It was the best BBQ'd chicken my family and I have ever eaten. It was moist and flavorful. The cooking times were very accurate, and the instructions for checking temperature for doneness were easy to follow and dead-on accurate! I put the Asian chile paste in the rub, which I will continue to do and will use 3/4 of a tsp instead of 1/2 tsp of the chile paste next time. I highly recommend this recipe to everyone - even my 10 and 12 year old loved it.

This was really good. Unfortunately, while they chicken was done perfectly, the skin was charcoaled. My fault - I didn't watch the grill closely enough. Just be careful about the heat level and monitor the progress. The sauce is great kept warm and drizzled over the chicken for serving.

The September 2008 issue arrived and I immediately went to the freezer, cupboards and herb garden! This is a winner and will be in our family recipe file for years to come. Thank you!

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