Thomas J. Story
Total Time
1 Hour 45 Mins
Makes 6 servings

Achieve amazing flavor by rubbing a whole chicken with a paste of olive oil, herbs, and spices, then grilling it over flavored wood chips. An online reviewer noted that this is a great recipe for entertaining since it requires very little tending at the grill.

How to Make It

Step 1

In a medium bowl, cover wood chips (if using) in water. Let soak at least 30 minutes; drain just before using.

Step 2

In a food processor, combine garlic, chili powder, thyme, rosemary, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Process until mixture forms a paste.

Step 3

Rinse chicken inside and out; pat dry. Press down on the breastbone of the chicken to flatten the bird slightly; rub the paste evenly over all the skin.

Step 4

Prepare your grill for indirect heat (see "How to set up your grill for indirect heat" below). The temperature inside your grill should be between 350° and 400° (insert a long-stemmed thermometer through lid vent to measure temperature). If using a gas grill, place all the chips in the metal smoking box or in a foil pan directly on the heat in a corner. If using a charcoal grill, scatter half of the wood chips over the coals.

Step 5

Place the chicken over the drip pan, breast side down. Cover barbecue with lid. If using a charcoal grill, adjust vents so that they're open halfway. Cook 40 minutes, then turn the chicken over (if using charcoal, scatter another 20 briquets over coals, along with the remaining wood chips). Cover barbecue again.

Step 6

Continue cooking chicken until a thermometer inserted through the thickest part of breast to bone reaches 170°, about 40 minutes longer. Transfer to a board or platter and let rest 10 minutes under a tent of foil. Carve to serve.

Step 7

How to set up your grill for indirect heat.

Step 8

On a charcoal barbecue: Ignite about 60 briquets on the firegrate of your barbecue. Let burn until coals are dotted with ash, about 25 minutes, then push coals to one side and lay a drip pan on the other side. Set grill in place.

Step 9

On a gas barbecue: Turn heat to high and close lid for at least 10 minutes. Adjust heat to medium and turn off burners as needed to create a hot and a cool zone for indirect cooking. Set drip pan in cool zone; set grill in place.

Chef's Notes

Notes: Adding wood chips to the fire gives the chicken extra flavor.

Ratings & Reviews

cathybrann123's Review

June 30, 2010
I have to disagree with the reviewer who thinks 150 degrees is the correct internal temp. for chicken. I'm surprised you haven't had any problems. You will find 165 is the overall recommended temp. Better safe than sorry.

KathleenCooks's Review

February 23, 2009
Excellent taste, juicy meat, easy to make. I had a bird just over 5 pounds. We charcoaled it 140 minutes per instructions, and the bird was 160 degrees after resting 10 minutes. (Anything above 150 degrees is considered done, BTW. I like to go to about 160 to make sure all the joint meat is done.) The chicken was done perfectly. The combination of mesquite along with the spices gives the meat a hearty taste. The paste did not go on evenly but that did not seem to hurt the taste. Also I forgot to get fresh thyme and used about 1/6 c dried which worked OK, though next time I will use fresh. Only weird thing was while bird was resting it shed red-colored liquid (that's why we took its temp). We decided it was mostly normal juice with coloration from the chili powder, not blood. Good for company since it requires little tending.