Buffalo Chicken

I make a version of this chicken and veggie recipe about once a week while we’re getting nice, fresh veggies out of the garden. Once you get it set up on the grill, the components of this dish all work together really well – the chicken juices flavor the veggies while the veggie pan protects the chicken from direct heat.

To make this dish even more conevenient for the summer, I like to do 2 birds at a time. It’s not really much more work, and you end up with plenty of leftovers for no-cook lunches. This time I also bumped up the spice by saucing the birds with Suck Creek’s Original Hot Wing Sauce at the end of the cook.

The Veggies
6 small Yukon gold potatoes, quartered
1 small yellow squash, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh ground back pepper to taste

Lightly oil a 9×13 baking pan. Add the veggies, drizzle with olive oil, season with the salt and a couple of grinds of pepper.

The Birds

2 3-5 pound roasting chickens
4  tablespoons olive oil
2 to 4  tablespoons of your favorite barbecue rub (I used John Henry’s Pecan Rub)
1/2 cup Suck Creek’s Original Hot Wing Sauce

Spatchcocking is easier than it sounds – place the bird in front of you, breast side down. Butterfly the bird by cutting up through the backbone with either a pair of kitchen shears or a sharp chef’s knife. You can repeat this to remove the entire backbone, but I generally don’t.

Spread the bird open like a book and locate the keel bone that sits between the breasts. Nick it with a knife to get it to open up, but don’t cut all the way through. Flip the bird over and press down on the center of the bird until it lies flat.

Clean and rinse the chicken, then pat it dry. Rub both sides of the bird with olive oil and season with the rub, making sure to work some under the skin.

The Cook

Set your grill up for an indirect cook over medium heat (350°F). On the Big Green Egg I use the plate setter to diffuse the heat and set the pan of veggies on top of that. Then put the grill grate on top of the pan and put the chickens, skin side up, on the grate.

Close the lid and cook the chicken and veggies for 30 minutes. Give the veggies a stir and flip the birds over.  Cook for another 30 minutes, then start checking to see if everything is done. The veggies are done when they are tender. The chicken is done when the juices run clear and the the temperature has reached 160°F in the breast and 180°F in the thigh.

The veggies will most likely be done before the birds. Pull them if they finish first and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm. When the chicken is just about done, baste both sides with the sauce. Cook 15 more minutes, and baste again. Cook until the birds are done (about 1 1/2 hours total cooking time) and baste one last time before removing from the grill.

Remove the birds to a cutting board and let them rest for about 10 minutes. Quarter the birds for serving.

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