Have you noticed a trend in an ingredient in many of the main meals I post? Pepper. maybe it’s crushed red or cayenne. Sometimes The Stud and I are feeling a little crazy and we add both. We love spicy food. Capsaicin is what gives peppers their heat. It’s been noted that consuming spicy foods helps to boost metabolism and weight loss. Even if that isn’t true, we are still getting a great benefit of flavor from such a small pinch of spice.
As you may know, I am a huge Bon Appetit fan. While most of their recipes don’t align with my lifestyle because of sugar or gluten, I also find many are also too time consuming—which eats up my meal prep for the whole week. The other quarter of the time they are seafood based, and The Stud doesn’t touch the stuff, so I don’t cook it at home. Occasionally, though, a recipe checks off all of the boxes for our household and I dive right into those gorgeous pages.
Side dishes should be easy and mains should be hard or vice versa…not both. With this recipe, you really don’t need too much on the side. Maybe some quinoa and asparagus or roasted carrots. Hell, get your veggie intake and just throw a bunch of lettuce on a plate and make a big-ass salad with whatever you have on hand. While this one requires a little bit of prep and has a longer cooktime, the outcome is lasting…plus think of all you can do while the chicken cooks! A whole chicken provides lots of meat for the whole week and in my opinion, is even better cold. The spicy flavor adds a nice kick to an otherwise boring lunch salad. Bon appetit!
Recipe Report Card:
Amount of Pantry Staples Used: A
Stud approved: A
Taste profile: A
Final grade: A
Spicy Grilled Whole Chicken
Adapted from Bon Appetit
2 tbl hot smoked Spanish paprika
2 tbl coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoons cayenne pepper
1 3½–4-pound chickens, preferably organic, backbones removed
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 lemons, halved (optional)
outdoor grill (can roast in oven if you do not have access to a grill)
Prepare grill for medium-high, indirect heat (for a charcoal grill, bank coals on one side of grill; for a gas grill, leave one or two burners off). Combine paprika, black pepper, and cayenne in a small bowl.
Place chicken on a work surface, skin side up. Using your palms, press firmly on breastbone to flatten breast. Season chickens all over with paprika mixture, patting to adhere.
Grill chickens, skin side up, over direct heat, rotating occasionally and moving to cooler side of grill as needed to control flare-ups, until browned, 5–8 minutes. Turn skin side down and grill, rotating occasionally, until browned, 8–10 minutes. Turn chickens skin side up and move to indirect heat. Grill, rotating occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of thighs registers 165°, 50–60 minutes. Transfer to cutting boards and let rest 5 minutes.
Make ahead options:
Spice mixture can be made ahead of time.
1. To avoid tearing the skin on the breast or thighs, turn the chickens over by picking them up from the ends of the drumsticks.
2. We were also successful in roasting the chicken first, and finishing it on the grill
3. I accidentally flattened the backbone instead and it turned out just fine!