Adapted from: Lynn Webb’s My Gourmet Connection

Image credit: Hilah Cooking

Although not for the squeamish, in our view this is the best way to grill a whole chicken outdoors. Spatchcocking (or removing the backbone) lets a chicken lay almost flat, ensuring even cooking on the grill. The flavorful rub includes sugar, so watch the chicken carefully and move it frequently so that the skin browns deeply without charring. Perfect the plate with some roasted sweet potatoes and zucchini.


1 whole (3-4 pound) chicken

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon light brown or turbinado sugar

2 teaspoons coarse sea salt

3/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


Place chicken breast—side down on a cutting board. Using a sharp serrated knife or shears, remove the backbone by cutting down either side. Turn chicken breast—side up and press down on the breastbone to fully flatten (you should hear a crack or two).

Combine paprika, sugar, salt, oregano, and pepper in a small bowl. Loosen the skin over the breast and work about a teaspoon of the mixture under the skin onto the breast meat. We like to add a bit of butter to the mix as well. Rub the remainder of the mixture all over both sides of chicken. If time allows, place in a roasting pan, cover and refrigerate at least 20 minutes and up to 1 day.

Prepare a grill for medium-heat cooking, leaving a cooler area on one side of the grill to move chicken to, if needed. Place chicken on the grill skin—side up. Cook, flipping frequently and moving it to the cool area if you get a flare-up, until it is well-browned and cooked through, about 30 minutes. A thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh and breast should read 165°F.

Transfer to a platter and let rest 10 minutes before carving.