Read to the end before you begin. Step-by-step directions are overrated.
If you’ve gotten this far in the book, you’re feeling confident by now. You should have some new skills. You are ready for a challenge. Now is the time to get down, dirty, and bloody. It’s barbecue (grilling) time. (Not to be confused with real barbecue but that’s a whole other item.)
Hey, remember that Brick you wrapped in aluminum foil and used to make one hell of a grilled cheese sandwich?
Well, find it. You might still be using it as a handsome door stop or as a Stanley Kubrick action figure, but now’s the time to put it to its primary function. Cooking. And in this particular case, outdoor grilling (barbeque?).
Go forth and multiply. You’re going to need two bricks for this particular job. So, find another brick. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
If you’re inside, pick up the silver bricks and take them outside to where you should have an outdoor grill ready and waiting. (If you don’t have an outdoor grill, you really didn’t need to wrap that extra brick, just peruse the rest of this for the sheer enjoyment.)
Take out your handy box or book of matches (no lighters, show a little class), and ignite the newspaper. Stand back and admire your work for a minute or two.
Kill a couple of minutes.
After about five minutes check your chimney and make sure the coals are smoking. Wave your hand a dozen inches above the coals. You should be able to feel the heat. The briquettes should be ready for grilling in about 30 minutes. Most of the briquettes will have turned ashy white.
In the meantime go back inside.
Now for the fun part. You should have had the chicken sitting on your counter for a bit. Taking the chill off.
Unwrap the chicken.
See if they’ve included gizzards and the like in the cavity of the bird. If they have, take them out and chuck them. A better cook than you or I would know what to do with this stuff, but you’ll have to communicate with them if you want to find out.
Find the bird’s backbone.
From here on in it’s going to get sloppy and messy. What could be more fun?
What you want to do here is separate the bird’s spine from the rest of the carcass. You can do this with a sharp knife, boning is good, but it might have been a good idea to previously have invested in a pair of poultry shears. (Pair? Collective nounism at its finest.)
Get that spine out of there. (Now it will truly be chicken.)
Flatten the bird with skin side down. You should be looking at the breast bones.
Get rid of them. Shears, knives, fingers. Greasy. Sloppy. Innards. Cool.
Once you’ve detached that breast bone (Very little description here, you have to have the experience yourself.), spread that bird out on the board. It’s called butterflying. You’re turning what was a three dimensional object into something that more closely resembles a two dimensional object. Give or take an inch, verging on the infinite.
Might not be a bad time to rinse the bird, then use some paper towels to pat it dry.
Use a brush or another paper towel to spread some vegetable oil all over both sides of the 2D poultry.
Now if you’ve been paying attention and pre-read these instructions, you should have already combined the salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder and cayenne pepper.
Rub this tasty combo into both sides the bird. There should be a healthy amount left over.
Wash your hands.
Check the time. If its around half an hour since you started the coals go out and take a look. If not kill some time. Beer me.
When the briquettes are right, spread them out on the bottom of the grill. I usually dump them into one half, the hot side, and leave the other side alone. Up to you. Make sure the cooking surface is in place.
Grab the chicken and head out to the grill.
Toss the bird onto the hot side. Skin side down. Cover the bird with the aerated sheet of metal. Put your two bricks on top of the sheet. Put the cover on top of the grill.
Set your timer for thirteen minutes.
After 13 put on your gloves. Open the grill. Grab a brick. Toss the very hot brick between your hands until you find a safe place to put it. Concrete and fireproof is usually smart. Do the same with the other brick. Grab the metal sheet and put it on top of the bricks.
Use your tongs to flip the chicken.
Cover the bird loosely with aluminum foil and let it sit for eight minutes.
After you and whoever have consumed this bird, you will be proclaimed king by acclamation.
what you’re going to need
one whole chicken (you usually get what you pay for)
poultry shears (say what?)
1 ½ tablespoon large grain sea salt
2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon whole cumin, toasted and ground
2 teaspoons garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon cayenne
flat piece of metal preferably with holes and big enough to cover a chicken
2 bricks wrapped in aluminum foil
heavy leather work gloves (heat resistant)
plates, knives, forks, napkins