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grilled chicken half on a silber platter.

Grilled Chicken Halves

Grilled chicken halves with juicy meat and crispy skin. A two-ingredient, super easy BBQ recipe perfect for the season.
Course Poultry
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 -6
Calories 489kcal
Author Adina


  • 1 Large cutting board
  • 1 Sharp small knife
  • 1 Large chef's knife
  • Kitchen shears
  • Grill charcoal


  • 2 chicken halves medium, Notes 2 and 3
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Seasoning 1:

  • 2 ¼ teaspoons fine sea salt or Kosher
  • 1 ½ tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 ½ tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper more to taste

Seasoning 2:

  • 3-4 tablespoons of chicken seasoning of choice


Halve the chicken

  • Remove the backbone: Place the chicken breast-side down and the neck end closest to you. Cut on both sides of the backbone all the way down with the shears.
  • Remove cartilage: Turn the cutting board; the legs should be closest to you. Open up the bird. Remove the white cartilage that joins the bones by cutting on either side of it. When you can get a hold of it, lift it with your hand and cut around it until it is released.
  • Flatten: Flip the chicken skin-side up and press it down with your hands to flatten it.
  • Cut in half with a large chef's knife. Start at the neck and cut all the way down.


  • If using Seasoning 1, mix all the ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Dry the chicken with kitchen towels. Rub it with vegetable oil. Sprinkle with the seasoning and rub generously on both sides and under the wings.
  • Marinate (optional but recommendable). Place the meat in a large non-metallic container, cover it with plastic wrap and marinate it in the fridge for 1-2 hours and up to 24 hours.
  • Remove from the fridge about 30 minutes before grilling to allow the meat to come to room temperature.


  • Prepare the charcoal grill for direct cooking over medium heat (180-220 degrees Celsius/ 350- 430 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Grill skin-side: Place the meat, skin side down, over direct medium heat. Close with the lid and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until the skin releases easily from the grates and is golden. Watch for flare-ups.
  • Flip the chicken using tongs and a large spoon or spatula.
  • Cook the chicken halves with the lid on for about 25-35 minutes or until cooked through (Note 5). Check the internal temperature of the chicken with a kitchen thermometer; it should be 74 C/ 165°F.
  • Rest for 10 minutes before carving.


  1. I use a Weber coal grill for cooking the chicken halves. However, you can also use the recipe for similar types of grill.
  2. Buy two chicken halves or cut one whole chicken in two. I had one medium weighing about 1.8-2 kg/4-4 ½ lbs.
  3. Use the spine, the raw leftover parts, and the roasted bones of the chicken to make chicken stock.
  4. The cooking time depends on the size of the halves. Start checking sooner if the bird was small and allow a longer cooking time if the chicken was larger. Use a digital meat thermometer; the internal temperature should be 74°C/165°F (Amazon affiliate link).


Serving: 1g | Calories: 489kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 1466mg | Potassium: 481mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1607IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 4mg