Smoky, spicy, and with a hint of sweetness, this paprika and garlic grilled chicken is the perfect addition to your summer cookout menu. This post was created in partnership with Farmer Focus chicken.
The recipe is at its best when the spice rub has time to fully penetrate the meat. If possible, work ahead so the rub can sit on the chicken overnight. Recipe can easily be doubled for 2 whole chickens.
A mix of smoked and spicy paprika makes for chicken with a little bit of heat. If you like things spicy, feel free to use more spicy paprika or add 1/2 teaspoon ground caynenne pepper.
Working 12 - 24 hours ahead, prep the chicken. Lay the whole chicken on a cutting board breast-side down and remove the backbone by cutting along both sides of it with a sharp knife or poultry shears. Flip it over and cut chicken into halves by cutting down the center of the breast, applying a little extra effort to get through the breastbone.
In a small bowl, combine the garlic, lemon zest, 2 teaspoons sea salt, smoked and spicy paprika, and black pepper. If you have one, use a mortar and pestle to grind the mixture into a paste.
Set chicken on a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Blot chicken with paper towels to dry the skin. Sprinkle the cut side of the chicken with remaining 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Flip chicken, brush the skin with olive oil, and rub the spice mixture all over. Set chicken uncovered in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
When you're ready to make the chicken, prepare a hot grill.
To make the honey butter, melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in the honey, paprika, and sea salt. Set aside to cool while the grill heats up.
Bank the coals to one side. Brush the grate lightly with oil. Set chicken, skin side down, over the hottest part of the grill, for 1 - 2 minutes. Flip and cook 1 - 2 minutes longer. Move chicken over indirect heat, skin side up. Brush generously with butter mixture. Cover grill and cook 20 - 30 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer reads 165 degrees F. Every 10 minutes, brush chicken with butter mixture. At the 15 minute mark, start checking chicken every 5 minutes and pull when it's up to temperature.