A riff on Alice Waters’ delectable roast chicken recipe from The Simple Art of Food, my grilled version is lightly salted inside and out, stuffed under the skin with sprigs of fresh tarragon and thick rounds of sliced garlic, and left to stand in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for twenty-four hours. Not basting it while it roasts over indirect heat results in an aromatic and tender bird draped in a burnished, crispy-thin skin that your guests will fight over. Note: As a longtime fan of not trussing my birds, I make it a point to do so when I’m grill-roasting; it helps the bird retain its moisture while cooking over dry heat.
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 3-1/2 pound chicken
2 medium cloves garlic, peeled and sliced into thick rounds
small handful of fresh tarragon leaves
Combine the salt and ground pepper in a small bowl, and massage the chicken top and bottom, inside and out with the mixture. Using your hand, carefully loosen the breast skin and stuff the bird between the flesh and the skin evenly with the rounds of garlic and the sprigs of tarragon. Stuff any leftover tarragon leaves and garlic into the cavity. Set on a small platter, loosely drape with foil, and refrigerator for twenty-four hours.
Two hours before cooking, remove the chicken from the refrigerator, remove the foil, and let it come to room temperature. Using cotton kitchen twine, truss the bird, tying the legs together, and the wing tips tight to the body.
Preheat gas grill to 425 degrees F. Place the chicken over indirect heat and roast for one hour and fifteen minutes -- without basting it -- or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thigh reads 165 degrees F and the skin is golden brown. Remove the bird to a platter, loosely drape, and let rest for twenty minutes before carving.
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