Dolich also insists that people underseason their poultry. In most cases, that puddle of barbecue sauce on your plate is just there to cover up the fact that the chicken drowning underneath it never had a shot at stimulating your taste buds in the first place.
Dolich’s solution to these miscalculations is to soak the chicken (either whole or in parts) in a simple brine for up to two days before cooking it. The salt-and-sugar solution helps keep the meat tender and moist while it’s cooking, and the addition of herbs and spices infuses the bird with more complicated flavors. After the poultry has been properly pickled, so to speak, lump your hot coals to one side of the barbecue, place the bird on water-soaked cedar planks over the cooler side of the grill and close the cover. By cooking the bird on the planks, you’ll prevent direct flames or high heat from searing your supper, and in no more than an hour or so your bird will be golden and crisp on the outside and juicy and tender inside, with a sweet, salty and smoky finish that lasts to the bone. And while Dolich’s appetizer of grilled mussels and clams and his side dish of bread and tomato salad are welcome accompaniments, you’ll find that this particular grilled bird—as opposed to the usual scorched variety—actually can stand alone.