This is one of my most basic, quick and tasty procedures for roasting or grilling chicken, one so fast and easy that a cooking pal, Bruce Douglas of Oregon, calls "Magic Chicken." I take a frying hen and butterflied it by cutting out the backbone with sturdy kitchen scissors and flattening the bird on a plate.

Smash a couple of garlic cloves flat and shove them under the breast skin, then rub a small amount of olive oil all over the carcass and sprinkle it with black pepper.

Fire up the barbecue grill and, when the coals are going well, shove them into a pile on one side of the kettle. Place the flattened bird directly over the coals just long enough to sear on both sides (about 3 minutes per side), then move it over to the side away from the coals, put on the lid, and adjusted the bottom and top vents so as to have the lower vents open on the coal side, and the upper vent open over the chicken, so the airflow will suck heat from the coals past the chicken without exposing the chicken to direct heat. Let it grill for a total of about 45 minutes, turning occasionally, and pull it off when it was done. That's really all there is to it, and a loaf of crusty bread and a salad makes it a meal with very little additional work. (When it's too cold or rainy to grill, simply follow the above instructions but roast the bird in the oven at 450F for 45 minutes, turning once or twice and basting occasionally with the pan juices. You may need to turn off the smoke detector!