Traditional barbecued chicken, made with chicken parts, takes frequent flipping and vigilance to ward off incineration. All of that changes when the chicken is whole. The entire process slows down. The flame is indirect, which means the threat of flare-ups disappears, and the chicken roasts on the grill while you relax. It takes a little longer, but the process is effortless, and incineration is out of the question.
Prep: 15 minutes (plus 10 minutes for rub and sauce)
Grill: About 1½ hours.
BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– Long-handled spatula
– Long-handled tongs
– Long-handled basting brush.
Indirect heat, medium (325° to 350°F)
3- or 4-burner grill–middle burner(s) off
2-burner grill–1 side off
Clean, oiled grate
Indirect heat, medium ash
Split charcoal bed (about 2 dozen coals per side)
20 replacement coals
Heavy-duty drip pan set between banks of charcoal
Clean, oiled grate on medium setting.
INGREDIENTS (MAKES 4 SERVINGS)
1 chicken, about 4 pounds, washed and dried
2 tablespoons Fragrant Chile Rub
2 teaspoons canola oil
Oil for coating grill grate
1¼ cups Sweet, Hot, and Sour BBQ Sauce.
1. Heat the grill as directed.
2. Tie the legs of the chicken together with kitchen twine. Rub the outside of the chicken with the chile rub and canola oil.
3. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Put the chicken on the grill away from the heat, cover the grill, and cook until an instantread thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers about 170°F, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Baste twice with the BBQ sauce during the last 20 minutes of cooking. If your grill has a temperature gauge, it should stay at around 350°F. If you are using charcoal, you will probably have to replenish the coals after the first hour.
4. Remove the chicken to a large serving platter with tongs, using a spatula for support. Let rest for 8 to 10 minutes; carve and serve.