Turmeric Grilled Chicken

Turmeric Grilled Chicken

Serves 4 and doubles easily
15 minutes prep time; 4 to 24 hours for marinating; 60 minutes indirect grill time; 15 minutes rest

Grilling a whole, butterflied chicken is one of the easiest ways to cook for a crowd. In this recipe, shallots, garlic, red chiles, turmeric and salt are combined into a pungent paste that makes the bird as beautiful as it is tasty. Be sure to add some of the paste under the skin for an added kick when you cut into the chicken.

This is our managing producer Sally Swift's spin on a recipe from Food & Wine magazine featuring hunky Chef Pete Evans, author of My Grill: Outdoor Cooking Australian Style (Weldon Owen; reprint edition May, 2011).

Wine: Pair this earthy chicken with a lightly chilled Grenache-based wine like Côtes du Rhône from the southern Rhone Valley.
4 medium shallots, peeled
12 garlic cloves, peeled
3 fresh red jalapeño or long red Asian chiles, seeded, if desired, for less heat
3-inch piece of ginger root, peeled and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt, more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
4-pound chicken, butterflied
3 fresh limes

1. Up to a day ahead, combine the shallots, garlic, jalapeño, ginger, turmeric, oil, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor and puree into a thick paste.

2. Place the chicken in a large dish and smear it with the paste, making sure to thickly coat both sides, and slipping some under the skin. Cover loosely and refrigerate for 4 to 24 hours.

3. Heat coals in an outdoor grill until they're covered in grey ash, or heat a gas grill on medium-high. Set up the grill for indirect cooking, with the coals spread out around the circumference of the grill, leaving an empty spot in the middle.

4. Place the butterflied chicken, bone side down, over the empty space in the middle of the grill. Cover and cook 20 to 30 minutes, checking occasionally, and adding more coals if the fire is burning too fast. You want to cook the chicken most of the way through on the bone side before turning. The bird should be nicely charred on the bottom.

5. Turn the bird carefully and continue cooking until the skin is nicely browned and crisp, and the internal temperature measures 170°F on an instant-reading thermometer, about 15 to 25 minutes more.

6. Carefully remove the chicken from the grill and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Cut the bird into pieces and drizzle with generous squeezes of fresh lime juice.