Saturday, July 13, 2013

Grilled Naked Chicken and Flourless Chocolate Cake

June 23, 2013

Grilled Whole Chicken with Lemon
Steamed Local Sweet Corn
Boiled Potatoes
Beringer 2011 White Merlot
Flourless Chocolate Cake

Grilled Whole Chicken with Lemon from Cook's Illustrated
Fourless Chocolate Cake from Cook's Illustrated

The title of the Cook's Illustrated article got my attention, "Grilled Naked Chicken". I am no poultry voyeur, but I had to wonder what it meant for a dead fowl that probably never wore a stitch of clothing in its short life to be naked. In this case, it means that the skin is removed from a whole chicken before it is grilled which prevents flair-ups in the grill. To add injury to insult, the backbone of the chicken is also removed and the bird is flattened so that it will cook evenly; this is also called a spatchcock or butterflied chicken.

The original recipe was for a 3½–4 pound chicken, but the smallest I found at the supermarket was almost 5 pounds.  It was a "young chicken" from Foster Farms which I don't really understand as all factory-farm chickens are slaughtered young. While we noticed that the dark meat wasn't particularly dark, both the dark and light meat tasted good, juicy and well seasoned with good lemon flavor. It took longer to cook than the recipe said and I hurried it along by igniting a burner on the cold side of the grill towards the end of the cooking time. I originally wanted to grill the potatoes and corn, too, but the chicken used the whole grill.

I don't recall every having white Merlot before and we found it to be a nice, light, refreshing wine which went down very well on a warm summer evening. It was a good accompaniment to the grilled entreƩ.

For dessert we had flourless chocolate cake. Like bread, which requires only 4 ingredients (flour, water, yeast, and salt), this cake is made with just 4 ingredients: chocolate, butter, eggs and, optionally, brewed coffee or liqueur. As you might expect given the number of ingredients, the cake was pretty easy to make. The springform pan I used was 9" in diameter yet the cake took 24 minutes to bake, showing once again that you need to take the times given in recipes with a grain of salt. I checked the internal temperature at 18 and 21 minutes and the cake wasn't done, yet at 24 minutes it was perhaps a little over done, the temperature in the middle was over 150°. We didn't let the cake "mellow" in the refrigerator overnight as recommended, we couldn't wait to try it after only 3 hours of mellowing. It was very good, but even better the following evening when it was smoother with better blending of flavors and less coffee flavor.

Diane heated the leftover chicken in a 200° oven for an hour, covered with foil with the roasted lemons. This resulted in chicken that was still moist and tender with a strong lemon flavor. For our second meal of leftover chicken we had it in salad.

Kitchen Tip
This comes from my sister, Deb. If you have fruit flies in your kitchen, and you want to get rid of them, put out a small glass of cider vinegar to which you add a few drops of dish washing liquid. 


  1. What was the cooking time on the chicken?

    Did the fruit fly "catcher" work for you?

  2. The chicken cooks 8-10 minutes a side, the times are given in the recipe along with all the ingredients and instructions.

    The fruit fly catcher works great!