Want the buttery flavor of classic roasted chicken without firing up the oven in the middle of summer? Make this roasted chicken on the grill and rub it down with ghee! If you’re not familiar with ghee, it’s clarified butter. *Think, what you’ve likely dipped crab legs in at one point… By melting down grass-fed butter, the dairy solids can be separated from the fat leaving all the nutritional components in tact. Essentially, ghee is dairy-free butter fat (for lack of a better way to phrase it) and it’s been popular in the Indian and South Asian food scene for a long long time. There is an impressive list of nutritional benefits that go along with ghee that are worth reading when you get the chance. OMghee makes a solid product and can teach you more about why the stuff is so awesome. Read about it here.
1 whole fryer chicken, butterflied
2 TBSP ghee at room temperature (I prefer OMghee)
1 sprig fresh rosemary (about 1 to 1.5 tsp)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
6 or so grinds fresh black pepper
pinch of red chili flakes
First off, you gotta butterfly your chicken. If you’re not able to get your butcher (or a helpful farmer) to do it for you, here’s a video to show you how to get the job done at home. It’s easier than you think!
Preheat the grill to 500 degrees (Fahrenheit) while you mix up the remaining ingredients.
When it comes to slathering on this delicious seasoned ghee, it’s important to get under the skin of the bird. I used the back of a spoon to gently lift the skin and place the compound ghee. Then I squished it around with my hand from the outside. Worked well. Once there’s a good amount of compound ghee under the skin, rub a bit on the outside as well. All told about 1.5 tablespoons of the ghee mixture should be used. Reserve about a half tablespoon for final basting of the bird.
Transfer the whole chicken to a flat grill pan meat-side up. Not only does this grill pan make for very easy transport to and from the grill, but it also helps to keep the bird stable while it cooks. Nothing’s gonna slip through the grill grates!
Bring the pan out to the preheated 500 degree grill and place in the center over indirect heat. This means if you have four burners and you’re putting the grill pan in the center, turn off the center burners and leave the outside burners going at full fire. Roast the chicken between 450-500 degrees for 10 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 400 degrees (Fahrenheit) and continue roasting for another 25-30 minutes. At the 20 minute mark, baste the remaining ghee on the chicken, especially on any areas that are lacking seasoning or brownness. Using a meat thermometer, read the internal temperature of the chicken by placing it in the thickest part of the meat. When the temperature reads 160 degrees (Fahrenheit), you are ready to remove the chicken from the grill, cover with foil and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before carving. Carryover cooking will jump the internal temperature up another 5 to 10 degrees, making it the ideal doneness for poultry.