A brilliant way to barbecue a whole chicken. Split the chicken down the back bone and flatten, slather all over with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with gutsy herbs and a spice.
1 whole free-range organic chicken
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
chopped rosemary or thyme leaves
extra virgin olive oil or butter
a few cloves of garlic
Insert a heavy chopping knife into the cavity of the chicken from the back end to the neck. Press down sharply to cut through the backbone. Alternatively place the chicken, breast side down on the chopping board, using poultry shears cut along the entire length of the backbone as close to the centre as you can manage.
Open the bird out as much as possible. Slash each chicken leg two or three times with a sharp knife.Season with flaky sea salt and freshly ground pepper, sprinkle with chopped rosemary or thyme and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Allow to marinate for at least an hour.
Lay skin side down on the barbecue grid – 7-8 inches from the heat source. Turn over after 8-10 minutes and continue to cook on the other side.
To oven cook:
Transfer to a roasting tin. Turn skin side upwards and tuck the whole garlic cloves underneath. Roast in a preheated oven 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 for 40 minutes approximately. Check the colour of the juices between the thigh and the breast – they should run clean when the chicken is cooked.
Carve on a chopping board and serve hot with a good salad of organic leaves and a herb mayonnaise.