Sweet and Smokey Chile Paste:
1. Cut or tear the stem off of the tops of the dried chiles, and tap the cut ends into the
sink or a bowl to loosen and remove the seeds. Removing the seeds will keep the
sauce from getting too spicy, while still retaining a nice smokey flavor.
2. Heat a dry pan or griddle to medium high and toast the dried chiles on both sides
until just toasted and pliable. Do not let them scorch! Place the toasted chiles in a
bowl with 1/5 cup of hot water and cover for five to ten minutes, until softened.
3. Once the chiles have softened remove them from the water with tongs and place
the chiles, garlic, oregano, honey, cilantro, and oil in a blender. Pulse to create a thick,
spreadable paste. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can loosen this up with some of
the reserve water from softening the chiles if necessary. Set the paste aside in a bowl
and prepare your chicken.
1. Spatchcock your chicken: Place your chicken, breast side down, on your work
surface to display the backbone. Using poultry shears or a butchers knife and
beginning with the tail cut along each side of the backbone, taking care to preserve as
much of the thigh meat as possible. Make sure to set aside or freeze the backbone for
making chicken stock later! Clean off any congealed blood, and salt and pepper the
underside of the bird. Turn your chicken breast side up and press down with the heel
of your hands into the middle of the breastbone until you hear a crack and the chicken
2. Using your hands, create pockets under the skin of the chicken breast by pulling the
skin up around the neck and sliding your fingers between the skin and the meat.
Create similar pockets between the thigh meat and skin. Take two fingers of paste and
slide it into the pockets you have creates, massaging the paste into the meat
underneath the skin. This is going to really help the flavor sink into the meat while you
grill! Use the remaining paste and rub it all over the skin of the chicken. Allow the
chicken to marinate at room temperature while you prepare your grill, or place it on a
plate or in a resealable bag and then on a baking tray. You can marinate and
refrigerate it up to a day in advance. Just make sure to bring your chicken up to room
temperature before cook, so take it out of your refrigerator about an hour before
3. Preheat your gas grill to medium-high (400 to 450 F) on one side, and leave the
other side off. If you have a charcoal grill you will want to place all of your coals on one
side of the grill. The aim is to create a direct heat zone, and an indirect heat zone on
either side of the grill.
4. Place your chicken skin side up in an oiled cast iron skillet. Place the skillet on the
grill over the direct heat, close the lid of the grill and cook for 10 minutes, making sure
the temperature stays in the medium high zone. After 10 minutes open the grill and
move the skillet to the indirect heat, with the breast facing towards the direct heat,
since this usually takes the longest to cook. Close the grill and continue cooking for 30
to 23 minutes, or until the juices run clear and a thermometer placed in the thigh
registers 160 F.