The secret to perfect grilled chicken

Perfect Grilled Chicken


  • 1 whole chicken
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 inch piece of green garlic or 1 garlic clove
  • 4 sprigs of savory, sage or thyme
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
Grilling chicken on the bone is the best way to get crispy skin and juicy flesh. Older breeds of chicken work especially well as they have thicker skin that takes longer to render and crisp, with a boneless piece there isn't enough time to do the job.

Butchering the chicken:
  1. First remove the wing tips and feet. Next remove the legs at the joint in the usual fashion.

  2. Then with a large heavy knife cut on both sides of the backbone.

  3. You should be able to remove the backbone, neck and head in one piece. You will now have a whole breast on the breast bone with the first joint of the wing attached.

  4. Lay the breast skin side down on the cutting board, carefully place the knife along the breast bone and split the breast in half. Save the wing tips, feet, neck and head for stock or soup.
Make the marinade:
  1. Season the breast and legs with salt and pepper to taste. This is best done the day before.

  2. Slice the green garlic thinly and pound with a mortar and pestle until smooth.

  3. Pick the leaves of the savory of the stem and add to the mortar. Pound until you have a paste. Add the olive oil to the mortar.

  4. Smear the marinade all over the chicken pieces and refrigerate.
Grilling the chicken:
  1. Prepare a wood or charcoal fire. Pull the chicken out of the refrigerator at least 1 hour before cooking.

  2. When the fire has burned down to glowing embers rake the coals under the grill. Your are shooting for a medium hot fire.

  3. Wait about 15 minutes for the grill to heat up and place the chicken pieces skin side down on the grill. Place a weight such as a heat proof casserole or a clean skillet on top of the chicken.

  4. After a few minutes start checking the chicken to see how well it is browning.

  5. Once the chicken is brown and crispy flip it over to the bone side and continue to cook- this time with no weight.

  6. For a medium sized chicken that was brought out to room temperature sufficiently the breast should take about 20 minutes and the legs should take 25 to 30 minutes. Allow to rest in a warm place for at least 15 minutes.
Serving the chicken:
  1. Once the chicken as rested separate the legs and thighs. For the breasts, slide a small knife along the breast bone and then slide it along the rib cages. Separate the joint of the wing and the carcass.

  2. Cut the breasts in large slices and arrange on a platter with the drumsticks and thighs.

Camino Restaurant
3917 Grand Ave.
Oakland, CA 94610
Phone: (510) 547-5035

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