Victor Protasio
Active Time
1 HR 50 MIN
Total Time
3 HR 5 MIN
Yield
Serves : 8

The secret to this perfectly juicy grilled chicken recipe from chef Anthony Endy of The Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort is twofold: One, let the chicken sit in the aromatic citrus-and-herb flavored brine for 24 hours, and two, once your coals are hot, keep it moving on the grill. After the initial sear, turn the chicken often, and grill until a probe thermometer inserted in the thickest portion registers 155°F. Try serving it with Santa Maria–Style Pinquito Beans and a Mild Tomato Salsa on the side.

How to Make It

Step 1    Make the chicken

Combine 8 cups water, oranges, lemons, chiles, parsley, thyme, bay leaves, rosemary, garlic, salt, and peppercorns in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil over high. Cook, whisking occasionally, until salt dissolves and herbs are aromatic, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool completely, about 1 hour. Place chicken halves in mixture in stockpot. (Chicken should be fully submerged in liquid.) Cover and refrigerate 24 hours.

Step 2    Make the chimichurri

Process all chimichurri ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth, about 1 minute, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container until ready to use, up to 8 hours.

Step 3    Make the chimichurri

Process all chimichurri ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth, about 1 minute, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container until ready to use, up to 8 hours.

Step 4    Make the spice blend

Stir together all spice blend ingredients in a small bowl until combined. Set aside.

Step 5    

Open bottom vent of a charcoal grill completely. Light 2 charcoal chimney starters filled with hardwood lump charcoal. When coals are hot, pour them evenly onto the 2 outer sides of grill, leaving center of grill unlit. Top each side of coals with an oak wood chunk. Adjust vents as needed to maintain an internal temperature of 300°F to 350°F. Coat top grate with oil; place on grill. (If using a gas grill, preheat to medium-low [300°F to 350°F] on outer burners, leaving middle burner[s] unlit.) Remove chicken from brine; discard brine, and pat chicken dry.

Step 6    

Place chicken, skin side up, on oiled grates over center portion of grill without coals (or unlit center portion of gas grill). Grill, uncovered, until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of breasts registers 110°F, about 15 minutes, rotating chicken every 2 to 3 minutes to avoid burning. Flip chicken on grates; grill until skin is slightly caramelized and browned, about 3 minutes. Cover and grill until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of breasts registers 150°F, about 25 minutes, flipping and rotating chicken every 5 minutes.

Step 7    

Sprinkle chicken all over with 2 tablespoons spice blend. Place chicken, skin side up, on grates. Grill, uncovered, until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of breasts registers 155°F, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove chicken from grill, and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Let rest 15 minutes. Carve chicken. Sprinkle with additional spice blend to taste. Serve with chimichurri.

Suggested Pairing

Spicy Argentine Malbec

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