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    Whole Grilled Chicken with Citrus Butter

    Published June 9, 2015. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    It seems like years pass by the time we actually get to summer here in Chicago, because the winters are just so darn long. Now that we are right on the brink, you can absolutely bet my grill has already started to fire up. In fact, I try to grill all year-round just to twist my mind into thinking it’s actually nice outside and that summer is close by. Well, now that it’s officially here, my propane tanks are full and the only way to cook from here on out for the next five months is outside.

    The grill is so versatile and can literally cook everything. Whether you want to roast veggies, make a pizza, that’s right I said pizza, or even just to sear some chicken, it’s the perfect cooking tool for the most delicious flavor possible. It’s also a time where mom gets a bit of a break and hands over the apron and reigns to dad so he can chip in and help with the cooking, because every dad I know loves to grill. Obviously, in my house it’s a bit different because I’m always the one responsible for cooking, as it should be 🙂

    whole-bbq-chicken-3     whole-bbq-chicken-4

    Speaking of cooking everything, I decided to cook a whole chicken right on the grill. There are a few ways to do this actually. First, you can do it beer can style, sitting straight up on a can, or you can cook it directly over the open flame, or simply in a cast iron skillet allowing it to brown from all sides from the direct flames and in direct heat of the grill. I actually did a few of these steps.

    whole-bbq-chicken-1     bbq-chicken-2

    After making a really nice rub for the chicken, I realized that I had to baste it several times since it will cook for just over an hour and it’s going to need some love throughout the way. Because I love flavor, the choice was easy to make a butter baste with a little citrus. I softened up some delicious unsalted Land O’ Lakes® butter and whisked in some lemon zest, lime zest and citrus. After seasoning with a little salt and pepper, it was perfect. I basted every 10 to 15 minutes until it was gone. Not only does the butter add flavor and color, it’s so easy to make and really helps add that bit of extra love to a recipe.


    Now you know I didn’t stop there, I always have to change things up a bit, after all my site is called Simple Creations, Chef Inspired right? Because our entire family loves to dip stuff in sauce, I wanted to make something a little lighter, but with tons of flavor— so I made a delicious Avocado Dipping Sauce. Now normally I would do sour cream, but as much as dipping that was about to take place I didn’t want to push it, so I added a nice light touch without sacrificing any flavor by using Dannon® plain yogurt and it was phenomenal! In fact, I think this would go pretty dang good on some tacos! Okay, enough with the blabbering, you’ve got to try this recipe! It was awesome and so loaded with flavor that your family will beg you to make it again! Get this recipe below and to see more great recipes and tips, visit

    Before you dive into the recipe, here are my top tips for making the chicken and sauce even more amazing!

    1. To make sure the chicken is very flavorful be sure to heavily season the inside of the chicken cavity with the leftover spice blend, truss the chicken, and be sure to add the citrus butter baste into it as well.
    1. For a very smooth avocado yogurt sauce try adding all of the ingredients to a food processor and process until all of the chunks are gone.
    1. If you want to continue to cook right over the flame, be sure to move the chicken to a place where there is no direct heat below or on a grill rack higher up.


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    Let's Cook - Chef Billy Parisi

    Whole Grilled Chicken with Citrus Butter

    Get outside and start up the fire to make this Whole Grilled Chicken with Citrus Butter and Avocado Sauce!
    Servings: 6
    Prep Time: 30 minutes
    Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
    Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes


    For the Chicken:

    • 1 whole roasting chicken
    • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon of cumin
    • 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon of oregano
    • ½ teaspoon of black pepper
    • 3 tablespoon of olive oil

    For the Citrus Butter:

    • 1 ½ sticks of softened Land O’ Lakes® unsalted butter
    • zest and juice of 1 lemon
    • zest and juice of 1 lime

    For the Avocado Yogurt:

    • ¾ cup of Dannon® plain yogurt
    • 1 avocado, seed and peel removed
    • juice of 1 lime
    • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro
    • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste


    • Preheat the grill to medium-high (375° to 425°).
    • Chicken: in a small bowl mix together the chili powder, cumin, salt, oregano and pepper, and take 2 tablespoons of the spice blend and set the rest aside.
    • Add the whole chicken to a large bowl and drizzle on 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the spice blend all over the chicken. Note: Trussing the chicken is optional.
    • Place the chicken breast side down on the grill and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on all sides until the chicken is covered in grill marks.
    • Next transfer the chicken to a cast iron skillet and continue to cook it on the grill with the lid closed and cook for 1 hour.
    • Butter: In a separate medium sized bowl mix together the softened butter and citrus until combined. Baste the chicken on all sides with the butter baste every 10 to 15 minutes or until it’s gone.
    • Avocado Yogurt: In another separate large bowl mash together the yogurt and avocado until smooth and mix in the lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper and keep cool.
    • To Plate: Once the chicken is done cooking, remove it from the grill and let it rest for 4 to 5 minutes before serving. Baste one last time if there is still some butter left and serve it along side the avocado yogurt sauce.


    Calories: 411kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 24gFat: 33gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 114mgSodium: 498mgPotassium: 472mgFiber: 3gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 1260IUVitamin C: 6.5mgCalcium: 62mgIron: 2.4mg
    Course: dinner, lunch, Main, Main Course
    Cuisine: American