Tuscan grilled whole chicken

I did not place this chicken on the barbecue as a whole, but I first unfolded it by removing the backbone. This is especially useful for those who are not able to grill indirectly.

You can’t grill an whole chicken directly on the grill. You can do so by unfolding the chicken, because the temperature will be distributed more evenly.

If you are able to grill indirectly, you can just prepare an unfolded chicken as well, but you can save yourself effort by placing it on the barbecue in its entirety.

This is a classic dish. I myself add chilli flakes to it, because I like a slightly spicy taste to the chicken.

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Tuscan grilled whole chicken



  • 1 chicken
  • 2 tbsp rosemary leaves fresh
  • 2 tbsp sage leaves fresh
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp paprika powder
  • 1 tbsp chilli flakes
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin


  • Before we start seasoning the chicken, we will first remove the backbone. It comes in handy to use special poultry scissors or game scissors for this. Place the chicken breast side down. Cut along the spine with the scissors. Start at the neck and work your way to the tailbone. Do this on both the left and right sides of the spine so you can remove it easily. Then unfold the chicken. You will then see a piece of sternum. Cut that lengthwise with a chef’s knife, so that you can then remove it with your hands.
  • Put the rosemary, sage, garlic, pepper and chilli flakes in a food processor and finely chop the mixture. Then put it in a bowl and mix the salt through it. Then add the oil and mix well.
  • Use a chef’s knife to make a number of indentations of about 2 cm in the chicken. This allows the marinade to reach well under the skin and into the meat. Then spread a royal layer of the mixture on the chicken and rub it in well.
  • Now we are going to grill the chicken on the barbecue. I myself am a fan of indirect grilling, because it provides a crispy piece of skin and juicy meat. In addition, you do not run the risk of flare-ups with indirect grilling. Both methods are described below.
  • Direct grilling – Prepare the barbecue for direct grilling. Provide a moderately hot temperature, about 220 ℃. Place the chicken skin side down on the wire rack. Grill both sides for about 15 minutes. Turn the chicken a quarter turn every 4 minutes to create a nice diamond pattern. The chicken is ready when it has reached a core temperature of 75℃. When grilling directly, keep an eye on the chicken to prevent any bursts of flame.
  • Indirect grilling – Prepare the barbecue for indirect grilling. Place a drip tray in the middle and ensure a working temperature of approximately 120℃. Place the chicken, skin side down, over the drip tray. Leave the chicken on the wire rack for about an hour or until it has reached a core temperature of 75℃.

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