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Barbecue Chicken with Salsa Verde

Barbecue Chicken with Salsa Verde
What's Gaby Cooking: Everyday California Food
Cook Time:
1 hr 15 mins
Prep Time:
10 mins

Chef notes

This is my favorite recipe my dad used to make when I was a kid. It was so special whenever he'd make a BBQ chicken and we'd fight each other over who got the legs. I've changed things up these days with the spice mixture and I always serve it with the salsa verde.

Technique tip: For extra crispy skin, pat chicken dry inside and out, then leave it in the fridge uncovered overnight. For even more flavor, shove a few cloves of garlic inside the bird before roasting.

Swap option: If you want to give I the chicken more of a Mediterranean flavor, use more dried green spices like dill, parsley and oregano.


  • tablespoons paprika
  • tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 whole chickens, cleaned and giblets removed
  • Vegetable oil, for the grill
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Salsa Verde (makes 1 cup)
  • 1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves only
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, leaves only
  • 20 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2-3/4 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the chicken:

Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to high heat for indirect grilling.

In a small bowl, stir together the paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and season the chickens inside and out with the mixture. Let stand while the grill heats.

For the baste:

Combine all the ingredients baste in a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.

For the salsa verde:

In a food processor, combine the parsley, cilantro, basil, garlic, vinegar, and capers and pulse until coarsely chopped, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a small bowl, stir in the oil, and season with salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

To cook and serve:


Lightly oil the grill rack. Place the chickens directly on the grill over indirect heat, breast side up to start, and cover the grill. Grill for 30 minutes, then flip the chicken over and grill for 15 minutes more.


Using a basting brush, baste the chicken with the BBQ chicken baste and grill for another 15 minutes. Flip the chicken again, baste, and continue grilling for 15 minutes more (1 hour and 15 minutes total), or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh, away from the bone, registers 170°F.


Transfer the chickens to a carving board and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Carve the chickens and serve immediately with the salsa verde.

Recipe excerpted from "What's Gaby Cooking: Everyday California Food" by Gaby Dalkin. Published by Abrams Books © 2018.

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