This recipe from Anna and Michael Olson Cook From Home is a great way to grill a whole chicken. Because the chicken is flattened, it cooks quickly and evenly. The marinade makes the chicken tender and juice and the herbs add great flavour both before and during grilling. Place the chicken away from direct heat to avoid flareups.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for a red wine with sulphite level lower than 10 parts per million and a red wine vinegar that does not contain sulphites. I used a red wine from  Frogpond Farm and Eden Organic vinegar. Make sure the spices do not contain colour or anti-caking agents.

Remove the backbone and flatten the chicken

The marinade uses fresh herbs

Remove the herbs from the marinade and place on the grill

Place the chicken on top of the herbs

The chicken takes about 30 minutes to cook through

Grilled chicken with scorched herbs


1 2 lb. (1 kg) whole chicken

2 bay leaves

½ bunch fresh thyme

½ bunch fresh rosemary

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/3 cup (75 ml) red wine

1/3 cup (75 ml) red wine vinegar

1 tsp (5 ml) ground cumin

1 tsp (5 ml) ground coriander

Coarse salt and ground black pepper


Rinse the chicken under cold water and dry with paper towels. Remove the backbone carefully using a boning knife and split each chicken in half lengthwise through the breastbone. You can also simply flatten the chicken by pressing down on the breastbone from the skin-side until it “cracks”, and cook it whole.

Stir the bay leaves, whole thyme and rosemary sprigs with the garlic, wine, vinegar, cumin and coriander together and marinate the chicken for 30 minutes, or up to 12 hours, refrigerated.

Preheat the grill to medium and make sure the surface is scrubbed clean with a grill brush. Remove the bay, thyme and rosemary from the marinade, and place them on the grill, then season the chicken with salt and pepper and place over the herbs. Cover of the grill and allow this to cook 8 to10 minutes (the herbs will smoke vigourously). Baste the chicken with half of the remaining marinade and cook 5 minutes, then turn over and brush with the last of the marinade. Finish cooking, about 20 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. The juices of the chicken should run clear and the meat should have lost its “pink” look around the bone (check near the thigh bone). Serve hot from the grill. Serves 4

From Anna and Michael Olson Cook From Home