The more often I grill, the better I get at making the most of my fire. I mean, if you’re going to build a beautiful bed of glowing embers, why not lean into its delicious potential? Case in point: this trussed, golden chicken that crisps to juicy perfection just after you’ve prepped a charred tomato salsa that will be its perfect partner (and make your taco dreams come true). This time-efficient approach to grilling is a gratifying way of respecting the fire; it’s extremely satisfying to work your grill like a range and watch an entire meal come together on the grates.While the chicken roasts
, you’ll have plenty of time to finish the salsa
, and to prep anything else you want to serve. My PK Grill retains heat exceptionally well, so if I begin with one chimney of coals and a couple of chunks of wood (oak, pecan, or olive), I typically don’t need additional fuel to grill-roast a whole chicken. If the temperature does start to dip to 300°F, I simply add another wood chunk or two or a couple more chunks of lump charcoal or adjust the vents to kick up the fire with more oxygen.One wonderful thing about grill-roasting at a moderate temperature is that you can use your hands to help handle what you’re cooking, which is great when you want to rotate the chicken. If you get too caught up using just tools, you’re more likely to lose balance and pierce the meat or tear the skin. I like to slide a flat metal spatula under the chicken, then use my hands to carefully turn and rotate the bird; it just gives you a little more control, which I appreciate.After the chicken’s done and resting, don’t turn your back on the fire just yet. Char a stack of corn tortillas on the hot grates (conveniently seasoned with tasty rendered chicken fat). Chances are, you’ll have enough heat left to coal-roast eggplant or alliums, or even bake a skillet of brownies
, but we’ll get to that later. For now, pass the limes—it’s time for tacos.