To BBQ or not to BBQ. That is the question.
Fire means flavor and can transform the simplest meals into a memory that lasts forever. Not everybody has the time to build a fire and wait for coals though, and these fancy grilling machines costs a lot of money, but there are simpler ways to get that charred effect.
I bought a griddle pan and use it all the time and it has literally transformed the way I cook.
This roasted chicken I made last night was one of the most delicious things I have ever made (if I may say so myself) and it took no time to prepare.
Whole, organic, free range chicken
Pink Himalayan salt
Scallions aka spring onion (optional)
Herb oil (optional)
Put your griddle pan on a gas stove top and turn it all the way up. Meanwhile wash the chicken and cut it open between the breasts to expose the inside completely. Cut the grapefruit into think slices and wash the rosemary.
By now the pan should be smoking hot. Place the chicken carcass down onto the pan and press it down firmly so that as much of it touches the pan as possible. Don’t burn it of course, but get a really nice dark caramelization.
Turn it over and sideways and twist and turn the whole chicken to get that amazing effect on a much of the skin as you can manage.
Put the chicken aside to rest.
Pre-heat your oven to medium hot (350ºF; 180ºC).
Place the grapefruit slices on the piping hot pan and turn them over after a minute or so.
Briefly scorch the fresh rosemary stalks.
Lay grapefruit slices at the base of a deep baking dish and place the rosemary on top. Grind your salt all over the charred chicken and place it flat (carcass down, skin up) on top of the grapefruit and rosemary. Put one slice of grapefruit on top of the spine.
Roast for 40 minutes or until cooked through.
I served it with steamed string beans with a squeeze of lime. No salt, no oil needed as the chicken is packed with flavor and the simple, acidic beans will balance it nicely.
– Do not cover the chicken with foil or wax paper while cooking or you’ll loose the crispy skin.
– Careful not to break the skin (like I did) then removing it from the griddle pan. Especially if you have guests; it just looks better if it stays in tact.
– Do not put oil over the chicken when roasting it. The fat that cooks out of the chicken mixes with the grapefruit juice and forms this heavenly, tart teriyaki style dressing that you just want to dunk your head into.
– The herb oil (and scallions for that matter) is completely optional and I simply used it to decorate the plate and add a hint more flavor. If you don’t have some already, don’t buy some especially for this dish. I always have some handy to dip bread into…
– So important to wash the chicken and rosemary!
– Open a window and/ or kitchen doors when grilling the chicken to let the smoke escape. A draft through the kitchen is even better.