A delicious and juicy recipe for summer grilled chicken

Summer time is grilling time and we’ve got a great recipe for the grill. It comes from Ben Slayton, who owns Farmers’ Gate Market in Wales, Maine. In addition to the recipe, Ben also tells us why we should buy local, pasture-raised chicken and he gives us some chicken grilling tips.

Summer Grilled Chicken 

Summer grilled chicken

Source: Farmers’ Gate Market


  • 3 to 4 lb spatchcocked* chicken (*Watch the short video below the recipe to see how to spatchcock a chicken)
  • a handful of garden herbs
  • couple cloves of garlic
  • some olive oil
  • lemon
  • salt and pepper


  1. Rub up the bird in oil and garlic, then apply salt, pepper, herbs, and lemon juice.
  2. Let sit for half an hour to 2 hours.
  3. Grill breast side down on medium-high grill for about 10-15 minutes. Don’t let the skin get too burnt.
  4. Flip so back is down on the grill for about 20 minutes, possibly turning the heat down a little (if you think it is cooking too quickly)
  5. Cook till thick part of the thigh or breast is 165.
  6. Let cool.

Chicken will be easy to quarter. Serve with new potatoes (grilled?) and a big mess of green beans or whatever your garden is producing at the moment.

How to spatchcock a chicken

(Where on earth did the word spatchcock come from?)

Choosing the Right Chicken

A little internet research (just type “truth about chicken”) and you will learn quickly that paying a little more for a local, pasture-raised chicken is the right thing to do. Industrial chicken is gross. Plain and simple. But instead of focusing on the negative, let’s look at the truly positive reasons why you should buy local, pasture-raised chicken.

  • Fewer food miles
  • Fresher product
  • Keeps your money in the local economy
  • You probably know a farmer in your area (it’s good to know your farmer)
  • Supporting local farms keeps our land resources productive and beautiful (better than house lots, strip malls, and condos)
  • Once you taste a local, pasture-raised chicken, you’ll never look back

Grilling the bird

The ultimate goal is juicy chicken and crispy skin. Removing the backbone allows for quicker, more even cooking. You can start off with pretty high heat for the first 15 minutes. It’s good to have a hot side and a cool side of the grill. Start hot and then move the chicken toward the indirect side as you see fit. You are looking for the 165 degree mark and you want to do that without charring the skin too badly.

A big yum and thank you to Ben and the rest of the crew at Farmers’ Gate Market!

Diane Atwood

About Diane Atwood

For more than 20 years, Diane was the health reporter on WCSH 6. Before that, a radiation therapist at Maine Medical Center and after, Manager of Marketing/PR at Mercy Hospital. She now hosts and produces the Catching Health podcast and writes the award-winning blog Catching Health with Diane Atwood.