Recently, we had returned from vacation and after a week of heavy, fried food, wanted some light, non-beachy food and a grilled chicken sounded perfect. We were tired so made a quick run to the grocery store to get the ingredients for a Spatchcock Chicken under a brick, Grilled Okra, and Mac & Cheese (recipe below). Our chef friend, Brandon Frohne had posted a terrific Peach BBQ recipe so we used that has a topping for our chicken. So we get home and drop our bird into a salt brine and I walk to the patio only to realize that we are out of propane. ARGH! No worries, I have a fire pit and some nice dry hardwood. Now the downside to this plan is that A.) It’s 88° outside and a fire might be the last thing I want to be around B.) I have no way to support the chicken over the coals. No way to fix the first problem and by this point, my inner caveman had already spoken and I needed to make this work. And we had some large 4×4 boards that could be used to support our regular grill grates.
So I built the fire and about 40 minutes later, it was burned down to white-hot coals.
I spatchcocked the chicken (just cut its back bone out so it can be flattened), coated it with olive oil, salt and pepper. Placed it on the hot grates, skin side up. Then placed two bricks wrapped in aluminum foil on top of it.
15 minutes on that side, then flip it and finish for about 15 minutes on the other side or until it reaches 165° at its thickest point. A meat thermometer is your friend here. Don’t risk food poisoning.
A few minutes before the chicken is finished, I threw on some whole okra which had been tossed in oil, salt and pepper, a peach cut in half and oiled with a touch of pepper, and a couple more things we cooked just to make more use of the fire while we had it going.
Off came the chicken and it was perfectly cooked. Chef Frohne’s BBQ recipe was done and worked perfectly with the smoky chicken. I felt, and probably smelled, like a caveman. Mission accomplished!