BBQ chicken: impressive, simple, cheap

A whole grilled chicken looks impressive, but itís simple to prepare. Another plus? Itís an economical way to feed a crowd. For your next summer gathering, try this recipe for barbecued chicken, cooked over indirect heat to avoid charring the sauce. Make the most of summerís abundance of corn by grilling a few ears, then topping with a spicy mayonnaise.

Barbecued Chicken
Serves four to six. Time: 90 minutes

Butterflying the chicken ó removing the backbone so that it lays flat on the grill ó makes it easy to cook a whole chicken evenly. Buy a whole chicken and ask the supermarket butcher to remove the backbone, or follow the instructions below for preparing it at home.

1 3Ĺ to 4-pound whole chicken
1 cup bottled barbecue sauce

To prepare a gas grill for indirect cooking, turn on all the burners and preheat the grill to high. Turn off the burner on one side ó left/right, or back/front ó and adjust the other burner so the temperature will remain around 425 degrees Fahrenheit with the grill lid closed.

For a charcoal grill, arrange coals on one side of the grill, light them, cover the grill and let it preheat.

While the grill is heating, prepare the chicken. To remove the backbone, place the whole bird on a cutting board, back-side up. With a sharp knife, slice evenly down one side of the backbone, then repeat on the other side. Remove and discard the backbone, neck and bag of giblets, if included. Trim and remove fat and any red tissue not removed with the backbone. Turn the bird over and press firmly in the middle of the breast, to crack the thin breastbone so the chicken will lay flat on the grill. Brush barbecue sauce over the entire bird.

Place chicken, breast-side down, on the section of the grill without direct heat. Close the lid. After 35 minutes, turn the chicken over and close the lid. Adjust the heat if necessary. After 35 minutes, open the grill. Insert an instant-read meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast; the chicken is done at 165 degrees. Remove chicken from the grill and carve into serving pieces.

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