Chicken on the grill is as basic as a meal gets! Your key to success here is to watch the cooking to ensure an even golden-brown, crisp skin and tender, moist chicken. If you find the grill flares up, use the wine/cider marinade to douse the flames.Photo by Michael Olson. Adapted from ‘Anna & Michael Olson Cook at Home’ (Whitecap Books), 2005.
Rinse the chicken under cold water and dry with paper towels. Remove the backbone carefully using a boning knife and split each chicken in half lengthwise through the breastbone. You can also simply flatten the chicken by pressing down on the breastbone from the skin-side until it “cracks”, and cook it whole.
Stir the bay leaves, whole thyme and rosemary sprigs with the garlic, wine, vinegar, cumin and coriander together and marinate the chicken for 30 minutes, or up to 12 hours, refrigerated.
Preheat the grill to medium and make sure the surface is scrubbed clean with a grill brush. Remove the bay, thyme and rosemary from the marinade, and place them on the grill, then season the chicken with salt and pepper and place over the herbs. Cover of the grill and allow this to cook 8 to10 minutes (the herbs will smoke vigourously). Baste the chicken with half of the remaining marinade and cook 5 minutes, then turn over and brush with the last of the marinade. Finish cooking, about 20 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. The juices of the chicken should run clear and the meat should have lost its “pink” look around the bone (check near the thigh bone). Serve hot from the grill and encourage your guests to use their fingers!