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Italian Grilled Chicken

Cook’s Illustrated is one of the best magazines for cooking. They include the scientific aspect that many chefs gloss over.  Recipe Testing is basic science.  There are hypothesis’ and variables and constants.  Not only do they test the mess out of their recipes, they explain in full detail why they change the variables they change and what the results are.  

But like any other chef/home cook you will even personalize their recipes to fit you and your taste buds.  I can probably count on 1 hand the number of recipes I found where I ALWAYS follow it word for word with no changes or substitutions.


This recipe incorporates three of my favorite flavors (garlic, lemon and thyme), my second favorite way to cook (grilling) and crispy chicken skin!

And check out our video of how I make this amazing recipe.

Italian Grilled Chicken
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  1. 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  2. 8 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  3. 1 teaspoon grated zest plus 2 tablespoons juice from 1 lemon
  4. Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  5. 4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  6. 3 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  7. 1 3 3/4- to 4 1/4-pound whole chicken
  8. Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  9. Vegetable oil for cooking grate
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the oil, garlic, lemon zest and pepper flakes.
  2. Simmer and stir frequently over medium-low heat for about 2 minutes.
  3. As soon as it reaches a simmer, add 3 teaspoons thyme and 2 teaspoons rosemary.
  4. Cook for 30 seconds more.
  5. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve over a bowl, making sure to push the solids with a spatula to remove all the oil.
  6. Transfer the solids to another bowl and set both aside.
  7. Spatchcock or Butterfly the chicken and flatten the breastbone.
  8. Loosen the skin on the breast and thighs, being sure to remove any fat.
  9. Mix together 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.
  10. Mix 3 teaspoons of that salt mixture with the cooled garlic mixture.
  11. Spread the salt and garlic mixture under the skin that you loosened earlier.
  12. Sprinkle the rest of the salt mixture on the underside of the chicken.
  13. Put a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet and the chicken on the rack.
  14. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  15. Light 4 1/2 quarts briquettes on one side of a grill, leaving the other side empty.
  16. When the grill is medium-hot, scrape the grates clean.
  17. Put the chicken skin side down over the side without the coals and lay the bricks over the chicken’s breasts.
  18. Cover the grill and cook for 22-25 minutes, until the skin is lightly brown and there are faint grill marks.
  19. Take the bricks off the chicken.
  20. Carefully flip the chicken over on to the side with the coals using tongs or a towel.
  21. Place the bricks back over the chicken.
  22. Cover the grill and cook for an additional 12-15 minutes, until the chicken is well browned.
  23. Remove the bricks.
  24. Flip the chicken over again, so the skin side is down, on the hot side of the grill.
  25. Cook until the chicken skin is nice and crisp and an instant read thermometer registers 165, an additional 5-10 minutes.
  26. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let it rest 10 minutes.
  27. Meanwhile, whisk the lemon juice and remaining thyme and rosemary into the reserved oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve the chicken with the sauce separately.
  1. You can grab two bricks from any home improvement store for a couple of bucks but if you don't have any or can't get them use a very heavy pan (like cast iron). You need a good deal of weight to weigh down the chicken.
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Summer Grilling 2011
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Summer Grilling 2011
Tasty Tin http://tastytin.com/
4 In business/ Recipes

Thomas Keller’s Fried Chicken

Although I was born in the north, my roots hail from the south.  My grandmother (aka Mom-mom) learned to cook in North Carolina where she was born and she brought her southern roots to Philly.  So my love of fried chicken comes from, what I consider, a traditional way of cooking it.  


But these days chefs all over the world have started “reinventing” fried chicken.  Fried chicken is appearing on menus everywhere with all kinds of accompaniments, brined, buttermilk soaked etc.  I’m used to flour, salt, pepper, oil and chicken as my ingredients but decided to try one of these new recipes floating out there.  To see if it was worth the hype.  Personally, I don’t think so.  And I’ve eaten fried chicken at a few places around the country and am usually upset with the result.  But to each is own.  Here’s the recipe I tried at home that to me required way too much work for fried chicken.


Thomas Keller's Fried Chicken
Serves 24
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Prep Time
26 hr 30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
27 hr
Prep Time
26 hr 30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
27 hr
  1. 24c water
  2. 1c kosher salt
  3. 1/2c + 1T honey
  4. 18 bay leaves
  5. 30 unpeeled garlic cloves
  6. 3T whole black peppercorns
  7. 5 large rosemary sprigs
  8. 11/2 bunch thyme
  9. 11/2 bunch parsley
  10. 2T finely grated lemon peel
  11. 3/4c lemon juice
  12. 3.5 lbs chicken pieces
  1. 6c flour
  2. 5T garlic powder
  3. 5T onion powder
  4. 4t paprika
  5. 4t cayenne
  6. 1t black pepper
  7. 4t kosher salt
  8. 6c buttermilk
  9. 12c peanut oil
  1. Bring all ingredients except chicken to boil in lg pot.
  2. Boil 1min.
  3. Cool completely.
  4. Chill until cold, about 2hrs.
  5. Rinse chicken.
  6. Add to brine, pressing to submerge.
  7. Chill 12-24 hrs. Drain and pat dry.
  1. Line 2 lg baking sheets w/parchment.
  2. Mix 1st 6 ingr. + 4t salt in lg bowl.
  3. Place buttermilk in another bowl.
  4. Dip chicken in flour, then buttermilk, then flour.
  5. Place on prepared sheets.
  6. Let stand 1-2hrs.
  7. Pour peanut oil into heavy large pot.
  8. Heat to 320/330°.
  9. Fry leg and thighs first turning once about 13mins.
  10. Breasts 7 mins.
  11. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
  12. Sprinkle with salt.
Tasty Tin http://tastytin.com/