As of late we have been using my 15+ year old grill a lot. Most of the time we are grilling steaks and sausage with our neighbor but last night I pulled out an old standby that my dad and I have been making for years, Caveman Chicken. Or is it CavePERSON Chicken?
For those of you who might have a queasy stomach, I apologize in advance. To make this meal, you're going to have to get friendly with a whole chicken.
I try to find a bird that is about five pounds but if your grill won't accommodate one that big, go smaller. Heck, you can even do this with a game hen though you will end up with less leftover at the end.
Start out by getting the fire going. If you have a gas grill, heat it up on medium heat. If you are using charcoal like I do, close the air intake vents on the bottom about halfway, once your coals are red hot and covered in a nice layer of gray ash.
I begin my prep of the chicken by taking it out of the bag and pulling out the innards. For those that don't know, a whole chicken usually comes with most of it's organs still inside and wholes at the bottom and the neck. I reach in and get it over so that by the time I realize what I am doing, the chicken is clean on the inside. I recommend doing this activity at the sink so that blood and water can drain out. Also, hold on to the bag that the chicken came in as it's a great way to gather up all those internal organs that you don't make a mess getting them to the garbage.
After gutting your chicken, turn on the cold water and rinse off both the outside, and the inside. If you feel it necessary, you can also dry off your chicken though that part is not crucial. Lay out your chicken on your cutting board breast down and take out your sharpest and sturdiest knife and cut the chicken open along it's back. Next, open up your chicken and season up the inside with any combination of spices you so desire. On this latest chicken I used a combination of pepper, salt, garlic salt, chili powder, and tumeric. Like I said though, spices are up to you.
Once your done with the inside, flip over the chicken on to its back, rub some olive oil over it, and begin to season the breast side. I also recommend at this time putting in some slits between the skin and the meat to stuff in chunks of garlic and using more seasoning then you believe is necessary because some of it will burn off while you are cooking.
With the chicken all prepped and the grill nice and hot, you are ready to begin the cooking portion. Start by holding open the chicken and placing it backside down and open to the heat source. With the chicken on the grill, go ahead and close up the lid and leave it alone for about twenty minutes. You will notice that the chicken will smoke a lot but don't let that worry you.
After twenty minutes, it's time to flip the bird. If you lift it up and see the underside is a little charred, don't sweat it, most of the underside you won't even be eating and let's face it, no one wants salmonella. Give it a flip and leave the chicken alone again for another twenty to thirty minutes. Once you start to see the juices on it run clear, the chicken should be about done. If you are concerned about internal temperature you can check it with a meat thermometer (I think chicken needs to be about 170 degrees). Another good sign that the chicken is done is that the thighs will fall off or be close to falling off of the main part of the chicken. This is also helpful in the eating as you can just pick it up and use your hands. It also adds to the name since I am sure that cavemen didn't have too many utensils to assist their eating.
Overall, this method of cooking a chicken is easy and versatile. You can doctor up the chicken anyway you want and know that as long as you give it the proper attention, you won't be disappointed.