The Game Changer Grilled Chicken

If you’ve ever tried to roast an entire chicken on a grill, you know what a nightmare it can be to cook both the white and dark meat sections to perfection. Luckily, thanks to Greg Plotkin, American Farmland Trust's West Coast Outreach Manager,  we have found the secret to get perfectly cooked, tender, juicy chicken every time. Once you try this recipe you’ll never roast a chicken the “normal” way ever again!


  • 4 pound whole chicken
  • 4 tablespoons softened butter
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 3 sprigs fresh sage
  • Salt and pepper to taste


1.      Pre-heat the grill to 375 degrees.Make sure that your chicken is fully thawed.

2.       Butterfly the chicken by turning the bird over so that it is breast side down. Using a pair of kitchen shears or a very sharp knife, cut along either side of the backbone. Set the backbone aside for stock or gravy. Turn the bird back over to be breast side up. Flatten the bird so that all skin side pieces are face up and the inside of the chicken is face down.

3.      Thoroughly salt both sides of the chicken and let sit for at least one hour. The salt help draws moisture out of the skin and makes it crispy when cooked. Brush any excess salt off of the bird. Insert your fingers between the meat and skin of the bird and carefully loosen the skin around the breast and legs as much as possible.

4.      Combine the chopped rosemary, sage, and butter in a small bowl and mix. Take small amounts of the butter and herb mixture and place under the skin you just loosened.

5.      Place the chicken skin side up on the grill. You never flip the chicken. Simply close the top of the grill and allow it to cook for about an hour, until your digital meat thermometer registers 165 degrees.

6.      Pull chicken from the grill and let rest on cutting board for 10 minutes. Carve and serve with roasted spring veggies and a simple green salad.

Recipe courtesy of Greg Plotkin, American Farmland Trust's West Coast Outreach Manager.