This is a delicious recipe from Bon Appetit that uses one of my favourite ways to grill chicken — butterflying the bird. Removing the backbone and flattening the chicken allows it to cook more quickly and evenly. Another good technique in this recipe is chilling the chicken, uncovered, for at least eight hours. This dries out the skin so it becomes crispy on the grill. Coat air-chilled chicken in a garlic, pepper and rosemary mixture, grill and then drizzle with olives, lemon juice and herbs.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check the pepper to make sure it doesn’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. I used President’s Choice green olives stuffed with garlic. Be sure to use freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Air chill the chicken for at least eight hours or overnight

Rub pepper, garlic and rosemary mixture all over chicken

Grill until chicken is cooked through

Let the chicken rest before carving


1 3½ to 4-pound (1.6 to 1.8 kg) chicken, backbone removed

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

3 garlic cloves, finely grated

2 tbsp (30 ml) Aleppo-style pepper

2 tbsp (30 ml) finely chopped rosemary

¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil, divided

½ cup (125 ml) Castelvetrano or other green olives, pitted, torn

2 tbsp (30 ml) fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp (30 ml) chopped oregano

¼ cup (60 ml) chopped parsley, plus leaves for serving


The night before you plan to grill the chicken, place it on a work surface, breast side up, and open it up against the surface as much as possible. Using your palms, press firmly on breastbone to flatten breast. You may hear a crack. This means you’re doing it right. Set chicken, breast side up, on a large rimmed baking sheet. Season generously on both sides with salt and black pepper. Chill, uncovered, at least 8 hours and up to 2 days.

Remove chicken from refrigerator and set out on your counter. Combine garlic, Aleppo-style pepper, rosemary, and 2 tbsp oil in a small bowl. Rub chicken all over with mixture and let sit until room temperature, 1–2 hours.

Prepare a grill for medium-high, indirect heat (for a charcoal grill, bank coals on one side of grill; for a gas grill, leave one or two burners off). Set chicken, skin side down, on grate over indirect heat. Cover grill, placing cover vent (if your grill has one) over chicken so it draws heat up and over them. Grill, rotating chicken as needed so that it colours evenly, until skins are lightly browned, 15–20 minutes.

Turn chicken and continue to cook, covered, until skin is deep golden brown and crisp and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of breast registers 160 F, (71 C) 20–25 minutes. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest at least 10 minutes before carving.

Mix olives, lemon juice, oregano, chopped parsley, remaining 2 tbsp oil, and any accumulated juices from chicken on the cutting board in a medium bowl. Season with salt.

To serve, arrange carved chicken on a platter and top with olive mixture and parsley leaves. Serves 4.

From Bon Appetit