Grill This: Ricotta Chicken

Sometimes the best recipes come from the most unexpected places. Take this amazing grilled ricotta chicken. Years ago when my dad bought a new gas grill, it came with a small recipe booklet. I selected this one and it quickly became one of our favorite dishes of all time! A mixture of ricotta, parsley, and spices is stuffed under the skin of a flattened chicken. The whole thing is grilled until the skin is crispy and the meat is juicy and delicious. To make it extra scrumptious, I recommend using homemade ricotta! Ready for the easy recipe? Read on.

Ricotta Chicken

Ricotta Chicken


  1. 1 whole chicken, 4 to 5 pounds
  2. 12 ounces ricotta cheese
  3. 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  4. 1 egg
  5. 1 1/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves, divided
  6. 3/4 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves, divided
  7. 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
  8. Olive oil
  9. Paprika, salt, and freshly ground pepper


  1. Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. With poultry shears or a sharp knife, cut along both sides of the backbone the entire length of the chicken. Removed whole backbone and tail.
  2. Press neck skin to back, twist wing tips under back. Place chicken, skin side up, on a cutting board and press down on chicken with palms of hands to pop bones so that chicken will lie flat. Loosen skin over top of chicken and drumsticks using sharp pairing knife and fingers, starting at neck edge. Be careful not to tear or cut the skin.
  3. Mix ricotta and parmesan cheese, egg, 1 teaspoon of the basil, 1/2 teaspoon of the tarragon, parsley and garlic. Carefully spoon cheese mixture under skin of chicken, pressing with fingers to distribute evenly over the chicken and drumsticks. Brush chicken lightly with oil, sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon basil, 1/4 teaspoon tarragon, paprika, salt, and pepper.
  4. Place chicken, skin side up, on cooking grate, grill until the chicken legs move easily and skin is well browned, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Transfer chicken to cutting board; let stand 10 minutes. Cut quarters, cutting lengthwise and crosswise. Reassemble chicken on serving platter.

Serves 6.

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