This herb paste used to flavor the chicken can be slathered on just before popping it onto the grill. Otherwise, try gently loosening the bird’s skin with your fingers, then rubbing the paste directly onto the meat under the skin. This combination of seasonings is called charmoula—sort of a North African pesto.


  1. Heat grill to medium-high heat.

  2. Place all of the herb paste ingredients in a mini-chopper or grinder; process until smooth.

  3. Butterfly the chicken by laying it on a cutting board breast-side down. Using poultry shears, cut through the flesh and bone along both sides of the backbone. Cut from the tail end to the head end, completely removing the backbone.

  4. Turn the chicken over and open it so it will lie flat; press down firmly on the breast with the palm of your hand to further flatten it.

  5. Spread half of herb paste over the chicken, reserving the rest for serving alongside the cooked chicken.

  6. Place chicken on grill, breast-side up. Cover grill; cook for 20 minutes. Turn bird and place lime wedges on the grill; cover and cook 10 to 15 minutes longer or until meat is no longer pink and juices run clear. Cook to internal temp of 165°F.

  7. Serve chicken with limes and reserved herb paste.


Red onion wedges may be substituted for lime.

Nutritional values may change if you choose to substitute another chicken product or any other ingredients. If substituting frozen chicken for this recipe, thaw before cooking.


The secret to speedy meat, especially something like a whole chicken, is to cut it so more of the meat is exposed to direct heat at the same time—opening the bird up by butterflying it. Then heat gets through it faster, cutting cooking time in half.