While I love Autumn, I’m not ready to surrender to it just yet. And this summery dish is my silent protest to the cold weather that has come upon us pretty quickly here. Cold weather won’t keep us from the grill. Of course, easy for me to say – my husband is the one standing over the grill. But he will gladly do it for this fabulous grilled lemon chicken recipe we discovered recently. It’s the perfect blend of lemon, garlic, and rosemary, and it’s so simple.
This recipe comes from one of my favorite sources, Cuisine at Home. Cuisine at Home sends out weekly recipes via e-mail and offers a magazine subscription filled with kitchen tips and techniques. I have yet to go wrong with a single one of their recipes. I’ve simplified this recipe a little bit – pairing it down for one chicken and cutting out a few steps, marinading for example.
The recipe calls itself a marinade, but honestly we have yet to actually marinate the chicken for any significant length of time. Once we’ve made the dressing, we baste the chicken and it might sit for 10-15 minutes while the grill heats up, but that is all it takes. So many other versions of lemon chicken that we’ve tried left us with very little flavor, but this lemon chicken has a wonderfully light and refreshing lemon flavor without the need to sit around for hours. The key to that refreshing flavor is fresh ingredients – fresh herbs and fresh lemons.
This dish is fantastic with grilled vegetables for a meal reminiscent of summer or roasted vegetables or potatoes for a meal more conducive to the fall weather. And if the weather isn’t amenable to grilling, just turn the oven to 425F and roast the chicken instead.
Grilled Lemon Chicken with Garlic & Herbs
1 whole chicken, cut into parts, rinsed and patted dry*
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
5 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
*Or whatever part of the chicken suits your taste buds.
Preheat one side of the grill to medium-high, leaving the other side unlit.
Toss everything in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine.
Kitchen tip: To get the most juice out of a lemon, microwave it for 15-20 seconds, and then roll it on the counter under the palm of your hand before slicing and squeezing.
Using your hands, rub the herb mixture all over the chicken parts, and let stand in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to an hour.
Sear the chicken pieces over high heat and once you have nice grill marks, move the chicken to indirect heat and grill, covered until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the breast registers 165° and thighs 175°, though we typically pull them a little before as they will continue to cook while resting.
Whole leg and thigh parts should take about 16 to 20 minutes more to cook, or 12 to 16 minutes if separated. Breasts should take about 10 minutes and then should be turned and grilled about 5 minutes more. The timing really depends on the size of the meat, so just watch the temperature. When ready, remove the chicken from the grill, cover with foil, and let rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Alternatively, preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the chicken in a single layer in a glass baking dish, skin side up, and bake until the skin is browned and the chicken is cooked through (see temps above).
Make ahead tip: Prepare the marinade and chicken parts, and place in a freezer-safe bag or dish in the freezer. Remove the chicken and marinade to the refrigerator in the morning to thaw for dinner that evening.
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