Saturday, May 25, 2013

Barbecued Whole Chicken


2 3½- to 4-pound whole chickens

1. Rub the chickens well with the barbecue rub. Cover, put in the refrigerator, and let them sit for 1 hour.

2. In a covered cooker, build a small fire on one side and allow all of the fuel to become completely engulfed in flame. After it has burned down somewhat, put the chickens on the grill over the side with no fire. Cover the cooker and vent slightly.

3. Cook for 3 hours, maintaining the fire with intermittent feedings, maybe twice an hour.

4. Check the chickens by poking your fork into the thighs. If the juices run clear, dinner is ready.

The more you learn about barbecue, the more you understand that it is the method that makes it barbecue. In this case, I don’t even use a “barbecue sauce.” Instead, I rub the chicken with a dry rub, and its reaction during the cooking process results in a mellow, tender, smoky flavor and a crisp, crusty skin. The rub seems to concentrate the flavor on the surface in the same way a sauce would. I encourage you to experiment with the rub—it’s a way to make your own personal barbecue statement. Some people like a lot of sugar, while others go heavy on the paprika. As is normally true with any aspect of barbecue, the quality of the barbecue is directly proportional to the quality of the patter you spin while serving it.

Serves 4

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Serve this with Grilled Andouille Sausage and Yam Salad and José’s Jicama Slaw.

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