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Two Chile-Lime Chicken

June 2010
Two Chile-Lime Chicken

by 9 people

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Grilling the entire bird is the ultimate flavor bomb—cookingmeat on the bone keeps things juicy while the skin crisps up,and turns out an outer layer brimming with flavor. Plus, awhole grilled chicken makes for a stunning presentation. Thechicken will need to be butterflied (see instructions below) so that it liesflat and grills evenly over direct heat. Bonus: This cuts downthe cooking time by half. And small, hibachi-size grills neednot apply, as youll need extra grate space to move the chickenaround when inevitable flare-ups occur.

Makes: 4 servings

Prep: 15 mins

Grill: 40 mins

Ingredients
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground ancho chile or chili powder
  • 1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, finely chopped, plus 2 tablespoons sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 3 1/2-pound chicken, butterflied
Directions
  1. Using the flat side of a chefs knife, mash the garlic and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt into a paste. Transfer to a bowl, then stir in the ancho chile powder, chipotle chile and adobo sauce, paprika and lime juice.
  2. Using your fingers, loosen the chicken skin all over, being careful not to tear the skin and avoiding the area closest to the removed backbone. Rub the paste all over the chicken, smearing it first under the skin, then on the underside of the chicken, then over the skin. Transfer to a gallon-size resealable plastic bag and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  3. Preheat a grill to medium. Position the chicken, skin side down, on an oiled cooking grate, using tongs and a spatula to lay the chicken flat and stretch it out to its full size. Grill, turning every 10 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer registers 170 degrees or juices run clear when pierced with a knife and the skin is crisp, 35 to 40 minutes. (If any flare-ups occur, move the chicken to a different spot on the grill and cover briefly.) Let rest for 10 minutes before carving.
Tip How-to:
  • To butterfly a whole chicken, place the chicken, breast side down, on a work surface. Find the backbone--it runs from neck to tail.
  • Using kitchen shears, cut along one side of the backbone; repeat along the other side to remove it.
  • Flip over the chicken, so it's breast side up. With the palm of your hand, press down to crack the breastbone, so the chicken lies flat.