Polio alla Griglia

Grilled Chicken

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • 4–6


Appears in

Alastair Little's Italian Kitchen

Alastair Little's Italian Kitchen

By Alastair Little

Published 1996

  • About


  • 1 × 1.25–1.5 kg free-range chicken

For the marinade:

  • 100 ml good olive oil
  • 100 g Dijon style mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 handful parsley leaves
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • coarse black pepper
  • sea salt


If you haven’t got a spit rôtisserie attachment on your barbecue, ask your butcher to split and flatten the chicken into two, then proceed as below.

Put all the marinade ingredients into a food processor and whirl to a paste. Paint over the chicken and leave to sit for 2–3 hours. Skewer and roast the chicken for 50 minutes, taking care that the skin does not char too much. Check for doneness by puncturing a thigh: if the juices run clearly and copiously, then the bird is ready for its pre-carving siesta. Move the carcass to a cooler place for 10 minutes’ rest. If the juices run pink, roast for 10 minutes more.

If grilling the halved chicken, you will need a fairly slow fire. Give 15 minutes with the skin side down, then 10 minutes on the other. Pull the breasts away from the legs and set aside on a much cooler part of the fire. The legs will require longer, a further 10 minutes at least.