I love to grill during the colder months of the year - quickly moving in and out of the house while maneuvering platters, tongs and draped towel while hips press left to right to open the back sliding door. The fragrance of charred meat wafting in with cold air - yes, there’s something exhilarating, special about grilling in cold weather.
While hosting a small dinner party for fiends last night, I opted for one of the easiest, most delicious grilled chicken dishes you’ll ever make, enjoy. Grilled Orange Chicken . Simply call ahead to your local butcher shop and have them butterfly a whole 3 1/2 to 4 pound chicken. The rest of the preparation is simple, promising dinner ready hungry, discriminating guests in about an hour.
Grilled Butterflied Orange Chicken
1 whole chicken (3 1/2 - 4 pounds)
4 oranges, halved
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
salt and pepper (to taste)
for the vinaigrette:
1/2 cup juice from grilled lemons
1 tablespoon coarse grain mustard
2 garlic gloves, minced
3 tablespoons fresh parsley
salt and pepper
3/4 cup pumpkin or olive oil
Heat gas grill to high - all burners. After 15 minutes, turn far right side burners off, cover with pan spray, close lid.
Cover cutting board with wax paper, or parchment, then lay chicken on top, skin side up. Cover top with additional layer of wax paper, parchment - then using small cast iron skillet, pound carcass until it is evenly flattened so that breast is same thickness as the legs. The goal here is allow for even cooking while on the grill -
Next, before halving, zest two of the oranges, then combine zest with brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Carefully separating skin from breast, thighs with your fingers, rub zest mix generously beneath the skin. Allow to rest in fridge for about 15 minutes.
After chicken has chilled a bit, adorn yourself for the cold, and venture out to carefully lay the whole bird on the cool side of the grill, legs positioned on the hot side of the grill. Lay halved oranges around the chicken, and allow to cook with lid closed for 45, 50 minutes - or until chicken is toasty, golden brown in color.
Once browned, carefully slide chicken to the hot side of the grill to complete cooking for about 5 to 7 minutes - during this time, remove the orange halves and prepare the vinaigrette. Simply combine orange juice, mustard, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper - whisk in oil until thick, emulsified.
Finally, remove chicken from grill and place on wooden board, garnish with grilled orange halves, and top with salt and pepper - after resting for about 10 minutes - pour the vinaigrette atop the chicken and present to your guests - feel free to serve with roasted or mashed potatoes, and steamed broccoli - however, we swooned over the dish with simple homemade crusty bread, Stilton blue cheese, and Honin sauvignon blanc.