Grilled Whole Chicken over Greek Salad
This is one of our family favorites! Plus it is super healthy – so it makes it one of my favorites. It is Gluten Free and Paleo Friendly for those who stick to those nutrition guidelines.
I make it often when we have people over, or even when we go to a pot luck barbecue. It may seem long and in depth, but it’s actually very easy to prepare the salad, dressing, and even prep the chicken the day before and then just toss the salad and place the grilled chicken on top right before you serve it – so don’t get intimidated.
You can prep this the day before without dressing it or just toss together while the chicken is on the grill.
- 2 Large heads of romaine lettuce (or 4 hearts of romaine) washed and cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 large tomatoes, chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1 large cucumber, chopped into bite sized pieces (only peel if the skin is tough)
- ¾ cup Kalamata Olives, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup Feta Cheese, crumbled
- ¼ – ½ cup Greek Salad Dressing – to taste (recipe to follow)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- A few stuffed grape leaves around the sides (optional – but this is hubbies favorite part)
Throw everything together in salad bowl and toss together. It’s nice to let the all the flavors meld for about 30 minutes before serving. But if you are prepping the salad the day before do not add the dressing until about 30 minutes before you serve it or your salad will be very wilty. Spoon salad onto a serving platter, chicken will go on top when it’s ready.
GREEK SALAD DRESSING
- 3 -4 cloves of garlic, super minced
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp honey
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ½ cup Olive Oil
Mince garlic super fine and place in a jar with the rest of the ingredients and shake, shake, shake until it is well combined and emulsified.
Use to dress Greek salad and store remaining dressing in the fridge to use on salads or veggies. Use within 5-7 days.
GRILLED WHOLE CHICKEN
Prep the Chicken
You are going to prepare your chicken so that you can grill it FLAT – that way it will grill up in about 45 minutes to an hour instead of the 2 ½ hours it would take to cook it whole. Here is how we do it:
- Remove neck and gizzards from the inside cavity of the chicken.
- Using kitchen shears, remove the wings (this step is optional – we remove the wings and grill them separately so they don’t end up charred.)
- Flip your chicken so it is SPINE side up (breast on the bottom) and, using your kitchen shears, remove the spine.
- Lay chicken open, cavity side up, and snip on each side of the breast bones so the chicken lays very flat.
- Rub with olive oil, salt, pepper, and dried rosemary liberally. Put right on the grill or cover and keep in fridge until ready to grill.
Prep the Lemons and Onion
- Simply cut your lemons in half
- Slice the onion in thick slices – about 1/2’” thick and dress with a drizzle of olive oil (so they don’t stick to the grill) and salt.
On the Grill:
- Preheat your grill to low to medium heat
- Place Chicken Cavity side down and grill for about 30 minutes
- Flip Chicken over, now breast side down, and grill for another 15-30 minutes until chicken is cooked through. It’s done when juices run clear and leg joint detaches very easily. To test this, insert a thermometer in the thickest part of a leg. It should register at 160 degrees internal temperature.
- BEFORE CHICKEN IS DONE… When your chicken is near completion place the onion and lemon on the grill.
- *** Onion will take about 20-30 minutes to grill up so it’s nice and soft and sweet (flipping half way through.)
- *** Grill Lemons CUT SIDE DOWN for only about 5 minutes. Heating them up will make them super juicy.
- When Chicken is done, I like to cut it into 8 (10) pieces: 2 legs, 2 thighs, 4 breast pieces – cut each breast in half mid-way, (and 2 wings if you grilled them separately.)