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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
  • 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
  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

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