Thanks to my friend and extraordinary barbecue chef, Mr. Banks, I am bringing you a trick for making sure you can make the most tender and juicy chicken on your barbecue. And Mr. Banks also, very generously, told me I could share with you his entire recipe and process for an impossibly simple, yummy barbecued roast chicken. We made this for a crowd of twelve this week and it turned out oh sooo good.
Back to the poultry. Here are Mr. Bank’s exact tips and steps, with his big secret for juicy, tender chicken included.
1. Bring the entire chicken to room temp. Starting with a cold chicken means ending with a dry chicken. Let that chicken rest on the counter for at least 30 minutes. Pat it dry with paper towels.
2. Butterfly the chicken. Turn the chicken on its back and cut down the middle of the breasts. Pull it open. UPDATE: I chatted with Alan again about this recipe, and he said he will often cut down the back instead of in the middle of the breast, it leaves more moisture in the breast of the chicken.
3. Preheat your grill. You want to be able to hold your hand above the grill for about 8 seconds before you need to take it off to know your grill is the right temperature.
4. Spray that chicken with Pam (quick, simple, and just the right amount of coverage).
5. Are you ready for Mr. Banks favorite seasoning? This is his favorite whole chicken combo: Lawry’s poultry seasoning, lemon or lime juice, and Wishbone Italian dressing. And if it’s Mr. Banks favorite, than it’s mine too. Rub that bird well with poultry seasoning and step out to your grill.
5. Your job is to grill 2/3 of the time with the bone side down, 1/3 of the time with the breast side down, flipping it and basting every 10 minutes with the lemon or lime juice and Italian dressing.
6. Cook until this exact temperature. Are you ready? A meat thermometer should read 155 in the breast and 165 in the thigh (it will take about an hour and a half). It is important that you continue to the next step, Mr. Banks big secret, which finishes the cooking process (so in the end the breast will come to 160 and the thigh to 170).
7. Are you ready for Mr. Bank’s secret weapon for a tender juicy bird? This part is intrigal. Here it is.
That’s right. A cooler and a sheet of foil. Mr. Banks taught me this. Pick out a cooler that fits the meat your are cooking. Take your meat off the grill five degrees under the final temp, then wrap that baby in foil and let it rest, in the cooler (with no ice), for thirty minutes. Letting the meat rest allows juices to seep back throughout. Cut into it early and all your juices end up on your plate, not in the meat. Mr. Banks told me, if you’re making chicken, wrap it in foil and put it in a cooler. If you’re making ribs, wrap ‘em in foil and put ‘em in a cooler. If you’re making a tritip, wrap it in foil and put it in a cooler. And if you can manage to wait the full 30 minutes, it will mean a juicy cut every time.
I have one more awesome Mr. Banks tip that I am dying to share and that that I’ll be putting to work on red meat, just as soon as I can, and just in time for Father’s Day. So I will see you again soon!