Today in the Kitchen, The Romance of Herbs – Roast Chicken over Charcoal

Aug 14, 2011 | Uncategorized | 9 comments

It’s August and the herbs are bountiful in the Parisienne Farmhouse Potager.
Thyme spills in giant mounds out onto pea gravel paths, over stepping stones and down miniature stone steps lifting a heady fragrance into the air as we walk the garden.  
Lavender blooms it’s second round of the season constantly crying to me, “You don’t have enough, you don’t have enough.”
Sage grows in giant sprays ready to be cut for a simple dining room table arrangement that makes me heart simply flip, flop in my chest as I walk thru the room to head upstairs.
I love herbs.
In fact, as much as I love perennials I could easily grow roses, herbs and veggies and be happy.  
They delight me.
The other day I was frantic with herbal creations – one of them turned out to be a dinner that the family rejoiced over…
Roast Chicken Over Charcoal with Rosemary Grilled Sweet Potatoes

I found this recipe by googling “chicken over charcoal” I think the website I found it on said it was a Barefoot Contessa original.  I changed a smidge.

For the chicken you will need:
Roaster chicken
 2 Lemons
A large bunch of fresh thyme
One head of garlic
3 tablespoons of butter
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper

Rinse the chicken with cold water (remove giblets and stuff), and pat dry.
Salt and pepper chicken cavity thoroughly.  Cut garlic in half as photoed and insert in cavity along with your large bunch of thyme and two lemons cut in half.  (You may only be able to fit 1.5 lemons).
Melt three tablespoons of butter and pour over the chicken, sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and generous amount of sea salt.  I am addicted to sea salt.

To prepare your grill, get your charcoals hot and then scoop them to the exterior of the grill as show, create a plate with tin foil and place it in the middle.

Cook for an hour and a half.
Try not to pass out in sheer pleasure when you take a nibble of that sea salt crusted skin!
For the Sweet Potatoes:
One bag of Sweet Potatoes
Sea salt
Olive oil
Cut the sweet potatoes in slices, brush with olive oil and place over the hot coals. 
 Sprinkle with sea salt and fresh rosemary, turning after 5 minutes or so.  The should have grill marks on each side to indicated they are done.  You’ll wish you had made a ton.

Roast chicken is a favorite around here but we had never tried it on the grill like this.  In fact, we’ve gone without a grill for a years ’til my sister and her husband gave us this one a couple weeks ago.  (Merci Chelsea!)
You should have seen us eat this meal… on second thought, I am glad you didn’t.  We were like savages.  This was the juiciest, most wonderful chicken I have ever made (You’ve GOT to start with an organic bird – did I ever tell you about the time I made two, one organic and one not?  The difference was scary!).  I am not really a chicken person, I can TOTALLY take it or leave it, in any form but I was actually fighting for my fair share on this one!  With the crusty, yummy, salty, herby sweet potatoes and some Indiana sweet corn brought by my grand parents we ate like barbarian kings.  Liking our fingers and fighting over the last piece!  I promise your family will love it too!

Bon Appetit!

The next post in this series will be…
“The Romance of Herbs – Bouquet Garni”

Don’t worry Ms. Elizabeth Bennett, we have another organic chicken in the freezer.  We love you for your eggs alone – you’re not next!


  1. Sush

    I am going to fix this tomorrow, really!


  2. the cake chick

    I love tthis post! Looks so good! We have a freezer full of Cornish X Rocks that we raised and I am always looking for recipes to change things up a little.

  3. It's me

    Hahaahahah!!…i must laugh about your last words !!….enjoy a happy sunday…that food looks delicious!!….love from me…xxx…

  4. La Table De Nana

    It looks so good on the BBQ.. I love the taste coals/briquets impart to poultry.

  5. Stephanie

    That is some good looking skin! Did you grow the garlic too? I’ve never seen garlic that looks that fresh before. Thank you for the instructions!

  6. Blondie's Journal

    What a great way to make a chicken! I can just imagine how good it was!!


  7. WhiteWhispers2u

    One of my favorite meals roasted chicken and sweet potatoes.Thanks for sharing~Cheers Kim

  8. Mandy

    um, yum! i would love your expertise on when to harvest herbs, how to store etc. i have a lot this year, and use it fesh, but then am a little unsure what to do! thanks!

  9. Renata

    Love it – the chicken dinner sounds delish (sweet potato is my favourite vege). As for the garden I love my herbs as well & the roses & veges are coming along ( & as long as lavender is included as a herb, I could have just those in my garden & be completely happy too).
    Have fun


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