While Beer Can Chicken is a true BBQ classic, I don't consider it the best way to cook a whole chicken on the BBQ. My preference is a spatchcocked chicken, also known as roadkill chicken. The name 'Roadkill Chicken' comes from the flat shape, as if run over by a truck. By cooking the chicken flat, you achieve more even cooking, and the skin becomes crispier than with Beer Can Chicken. This doesn't take away from the fact that chicken on a can is also very tasty, but I find Roadkill Chicken just a bit more delicious.
- 1 Whole Chicken (around 1 kg)
- 4 tablespoons BBQ Rub (choose your favorite for chicken)
- 6 tablespoons Butter (at room temperature)
- 2 tablespoons BBQ Sauce
- 2 tablespoons Sweet Chili Sauce
- 2 tablespoons Water
- BBQ with Lid
- Meat Thermometer
- Basting Brush
- Poultry or Kitchen Shears
- Smoking Wood (optional)
- Fire up the BBQ, aiming for indirect heat and a temperature of about 160 degrees Celsius (320 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Spatchcock the chicken by laying it breast-side down on a cutting board and then cutting along both sides of the backbone with poultry shears. Trim away any loose pieces, organs, and excess fat.
- Now, you have two options. You can choose to slightly open up the chicken, flip it onto its back, and press it down forcefully to flatten it. This will break the breastbone.
- Alternatively, you can remove the breastbone. Leave the chicken lying on its breast, open it slightly, and inside the chicken, you'll see a white point shaped like a triangle. Cut through this with a knife and then push the breastbone upward from the chest side. Once the breastbone protrudes slightly, you can slip your fingers underneath and easily remove it. The chicken is now easy to flatten.
- Once you've spatchcocked the chicken, it's time to season it. Take the butter and mix it with half of the BBQ rub. Apply the butter under the chicken's skin by carefully creating space with your fingers without tearing the skin. Then, coat the outside of the chicken with the remaining BBQ rub.
- Is the BBQ at the right temperature? Then optionally add smoking wood. I didn't use it, but if you love a smoky flavor, feel free to add it. Just don't overdo it, as too much smoke can be overpowering.
- Place the chicken on the indirect part of the BBQ. If you have a meat thermometer with a probe on a wire (or even a wireless one) to continuously monitor the temperature, insert it into the chicken's breast and then close the BBQ lid. If you don't have such a meat thermometer, you'll need to measure the temperature occasionally to check progress. Try to keep the BBQ closed as much as possible. Cook the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 68 degrees Celsius (154 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Meanwhile, mix the BBQ sauce with the chili sauce and water. Once the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 68 degrees Celsius, brush it with the sauce and close the BBQ lid. Continue cooking until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 75 degrees Celsius (167 degrees Fahrenheit), then remove it from the BBQ.
- Brush the chicken with the sauce once more, and serve it at the table, where you can carve it. Enjoy your meal!