In this grilled whole chicken recipe, the backbone is removed and the chicken is flattened then grilled under the weight of 2 bricks--which enables it to cook quickly and evenly. Season with salt, pepper and olive oil or use your favorite rub.
Place 2 foil-wrapped bricks on the grill rack. Preheat a gas grill to medium-high or build a two-zone fire (coals on one side of the grill) in a charcoal grill and let it burn down to medium-high heat (about 450 degrees F).
Remove giblets from chicken and trim any excess skin and fat. Using kitchen shears, cut the chicken down one side of the backbone, through the ribs. Make an identical cut on the opposite side to remove the backbone completely; discard. Place the chicken cut-side down and flatten with the heel of your hand. Gently loosen the skin over the breast and thigh meat. Rub oil, salt and pepper under the skin, a little on the skin and on the underside of the chicken.
If using a gas grill, turn off one burner (leaving 1 to 2 burners lit, depending on your grill). Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Wearing oven mitts, remove the hot bricks and set the chicken on the rack, skin-side down over the unlit portion of the grill. Place one brick on each half of the chicken, close the lid and grill until the skin is well marked and golden around the edges, 28 to 30 minutes. (If using a charcoal grill, add 10 coals after the first 30 minutes to maintain the heat.)
Wearing oven mitts, carefully remove the bricks. Using a large spatula, carefully turn the chicken over. Replace the bricks, close the lid and grill until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of the thigh registers 165 degrees F, 28 to 30 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before removing the skin and carving.
Equipment: 2 bricks
Once the grill is heated, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the hot rack right before placing the chicken on the grill.