Boardwalk Chicken


  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for the grill
  • 1 dried guajillo or New Mexico chili or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest, finely grated
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 (4-pound) chicken, halved, backbone removed
  • lime wedges, optional, for serving


  1. Preheat the grill for medium indirect heat.

  2. Brush the grill rack with olive oil.

  3. If using a whole chili, toast it in a dry skillet over medium heat until slightly puffed and darkened, about 4 minutes.

  4. Discard the stem and seeds of the chili.

  5. Finely chop the chili and transfer it to a small bowl.

  6. Add the cilantro, oregano, lime zest, and 1/4 cup of olive oil to the chili, stirring to combine.

  7. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.

  8. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

  9. Place the chicken skin-side down on the grill.

  10. Grill the chicken, flipping occasionally until the skin is crisp and brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees F, about 10-15 minutes per side. About 5 minutes before the chicken is done, baste it with about 1/2 of the dressing.

  11. Pour the remaining dressing on a carving board or a platter.

  12. Place the chicken, skin side up, on top of the dressing on the carving board.

  13. Let the chicken sit for at least 10 minutes to rest and absorb the flavors.

  14. Carve the chicken and serve it with lime wedges.

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