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June 2006 Issue
Grilled Garlic Chicken
by Philip R. Gantt
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Welcome to Seasoned Cooking and to Phil's International Flair!

With summer coming fast, it is time to do more cooking outdoors. Here is one of my favorite recipes. It's simple and can be easily modified with spices to your personal preference. However, I recommend trying it simple style first. You can always add seasonings after it's cooked. This also helps when having guests who may not have the same preferences as you do. It's generally not a good idea to experiment on guests.

Now, on to the recipe! Be well, and good eating!


Grilled Garlic Chicken

This dish is really simple, and very tasty if you like cooking outdoors. This garlic grilled chicken makes an excellent main course. I suggest serving it with a bowl of salsa, grilled corn and a fresh salad.
  • 2 fryer chickens, halved, or 4 chicken breasts, skin on
  • 1 cube butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 8 large cloves garlic, crushed and finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Place the butter, olive oil and finely chopped garlic into a microwavable bowl. Heat this mixture in the microwave at 50% power for 4 minutes and allow the flavors to infuse. Microwave on high for an additional 1 to 2 minutes before using.

Prepare a fire, preferably in a charcoal grill, and while the coals are getting ready, prepare the chicken as follows: Brush the chicken halves, all sides, with the garlic butter mixture. Then season all sides generously with salt and freshly ground pepper. Option: An herbal mixture may also be applied, such as Mrs. Dash, Emeril's Essence, Lemon Pepper, or any other favorite seasonings. Or, consider using fresh rosemary, chile pepper or other favorites. I generally only use salt and pepper with the garlic butter. Simple is good for the first try of any recipe. Build on it from there.

When the coals are ready, place the chicken on the grill, skin side down, and monitor closely. Have a spray bottle of water handy to suppress any flareups. Not placing the chicken directly over the coals may help prevent flareups as well. The chicken will take about 45 minutes to 1 hour to fully cook. Turn the chicken every 5 minutes or so to assure even cooking, turning or rotating as necessary. Covering the grill will reduce cooking time and impart a smokier taste to the chicken. I prefer to cook this dish over an open grill. We want to grill the chicken, not smoke the chicken. In the final product, we want the garlic to be the primary flavoring agent.

After the chicken has cooked for 20 minutes per side, reheat the butter/garlic mixture and baste both sides of the chicken. Do not remove the bits of garlic from the basting mix. Repeat this basting procedure every minute or two, turning the chicken frequently. Cook an additional 10 to 15 minutes assuring that the chicken is evenly cooked. Test for doneness by piercing the thigh deeply with a knife or fork. The juices should run clear. If the juices are not clear, continue cooking for a few more minutes and test again.

I like to let the flames lick the outside surface of the chicken during the last few minutes of cooking. The char flavor adds an extra essence and quality to the flavor that cannot be achieved by any other means. Be careful not to burn the skin, however if it does burn, it can be removed. I know some people who think the charred skin is the best part. I would almost agree, I just don't like it burnt.


  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

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