Three Meals for Two from One Chicken – Grilling the Bird

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Cooking for two is very different than cooking for a family. And the older we get, the less we eat. But we get tired of eating the leftovers as they were when they were first served. Well, one chicken makes a lot of leftovers! Here is a series of posts that makes three dishes from one chicken. Today – Grilling the Bird!

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Here’s How to Grill that Chicken:

Start by spatchcocking the chicken. What? When you spatchcock a bird, you are cutting it so that it will lay flat but remain whole. I’ve seen some people cut it down the front of the breast, but the best way to do this is to remove the backbone. Using sharp poultry or kitchen shears, cut the ribs as close to the spine on both sides.

Remove the bone and set it aside. Remove the pads of fat that are on the edges of the skin and set those aside as well.

Mix the lemon juice, one tablespoon of the lemon pepper and olive oil in a small dish.

Rub the mixture all over the chicken, gently pushing up under the skin as well. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Heat the grill to medium heat. While it’s heating, make up the basting sauce. Melt the butter and mix well with smoked paprika, garlic salt and the rest of the lemon pepper.

Place the chicken on the grill, skin side up, on indirect heat. Brush lightly with some of the butter.

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I light the burners on either end of the grill, but not the center. The chicken is place in the center between the two lit sections. Check on it frequently to prevent fire ups.

While it’s cooking, start the orzo. Put the fat in a skillet and heat on medium low, rendering the fat from the tissue.

In a saucepan, place the spine with some salt and bring it to a boil. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove the fat pieces from the skillet and add the rendered fat to the saucepan. Simmer on low for about 15 minutes, then remove the bones and fat with a wired skimmer.

After the chicken has been cooking for about 20 minutes, turn it so the skin side is down.

Baste the underside with half of the butter mixture. Cook for another 15 to 20 minutes, again watching it to keep it from flaring up.

Flip the chicken again. Baste the skin side with the remaining butter mixture and make the orzo.

Bring the water to a full boil. Cook the orzo according to the package instructions. When it is done, drain it and add a little butter and salt and pepper to taste.

By now the chicken should be done – make sure it reaches an internal temperature of 165° and the skin is crispy. Turn the grill off and let the chicken rest for 10 minutes, then bring it inside and let it rest another five. This not only allows it to continue cooking a little, but it lets the juices be pulled back into the meat. If you cut it too soon, it’s going to drain out on the plate making for dry chicken.

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Cut the breast off the bird and set it aside. Each half will make another meal. (My husband ate the wings while he was waiting.)

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Serve the hind quarter with some orzo and it’s dinner! I also added some chive flowers for a garnish.

Come back tomorrow and Friday for the leftover recipes, Chicken and Penne with Sundried Tomatoes, then Cajun Chicken Fettuccini. See you then!

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© Copyright 2021 The Lazy Gastronome

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Grilled Chicken and Orzo for Two

Easy grilled chicken - moist and tender. Save the leftovers for two more meals!

Course: Main Course, main dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken, grill, leftovers, orzo, spatchcock
Servings: 2 People
Author: HelenFern
Ingredients
  • 1 whole, medium chicken
  • 1 cup dry orzo
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter (if you use salted, use less salt)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
Instructions
  1. Start by spatchcocking the chicken. What? When you spatchcock a bird, you are cutting it so that it will lay flat but remain whole. I've seen some people cut it down the front of the breast, but the best way to do this is to remove the backbone. Using sharp poultry or kitchen shears, cut the ribs as close to the spine on both sides. Remove the bone and set it aside. Remove the pads of fat that are on the edges of the skin and set those aside as well. 

  2. Mix the lemon juice, one tablespoon of the lemon pepper and olive oil in a small dish. Rub the mixture all over the chicken, gently pushing up under the skin as well. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.

  3. Heat the grill to medium heat. While it's heating, make up the basting sauce. Melt the butter and mix well with smoked paprika, garlic salt and the rest of the lemon pepper.

  4. Place the chicken on the grill, skin side up, on indirect heat. Brush lightly with some of the butter. I light the burners on either end of the grill, but not the center. The chicken is place in the center between the two lit sections. Check on it frequently to prevent fire ups.

  5. While it's cooking, start the orzo. Put the fat in a skillet and heat on medium low, rendering the fat from the tissue. In a saucepan, place the spine with some salt and bring it to a boil. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove the fat pieces from the skillet and add the rendered fat to the saucepan. Simmer on low for about 15 minutes, then remove the bones and fat with a wired skimmer. 

  6. After the chicken has been cooking for about 20 minutes, turn it so the skin side is down.

  7. Baste the underside with some of the butter mixture. Cook for another 15 to 20 minutes, again watching it to keep it from flaring up.

  8. Flip the chicken again. Baste the skin side with more of the butter mixture (save some for the orzo) and make the orzo.

  9. Bring the water to a full boil. Cook the orzo according to the package instructions. When it is done, drain it and add the butter sauce and salt and pepper to taste.

  10. By now the chicken should be done - make sure it reaches an internal temperature of 165° and the skin is crispy. Turn the grill off and let the chicken rest for 10 minutes, then bring it inside and let it rest another five. This not only allows it to continue cooking a little, but it lets the juices be pulled back into the meat. If you cut it too soon, it's going to drain out on the plate making for dry chicken.

  11. Cut the breast off the bird and set it aside. Each half will make another meal. Serve the hind quarter with some orzo and it's dinner!

Recipe Notes

© Copyright 2021 The Lazy Gastronome

chicken

Here are some things that are perfect to use for this recipe!

Disclosure: The items below are affiliate links through Amazon.com. If you purchase any of these products through the links, I receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks for your support!


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4 Responses to Three Meals for Two from One Chicken – Grilling the Bird

  1. Pingback: Chicken, Penne, and sun-dried casserole - The Lazy GastronomeThe Lazy Gastronome

  2. Pingback: Chicken; Three Meals for Two from One Chicken - Cajun Chicken FettuciniThe Lazy Gastronome

  3. Leslie says:

    Helen, I love how you made 3 meals with this chicken! We are also a household of 2 and our appetites are not what they used to be! So interesting, I had been wondering about using chive flowers in a recipe, I have a bumper crop this year! I spotted them in your chicken dish right away.

    • HelenFern says:

      I use the chive flowers as garnish, in salads – just about anything you want a slight chive flower. I use a lot of edible flowers. You can dry them too! Thanks for joining the party!

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