The Memorial weekend marks the official start of summer. And, what better way to celebrate than pulling out the grill and preparing this delectable Simple Lemon Grilled Chicken recipe?
Grilled chicken is always a crowd pleaser and one of my favorite dishes and, I have to tell you, this grilled chicken recipe is my new all-time favorite. I predict after just one taste of this juicy, tender Simple Lemon Grilled Chicken with hints of zesty garlic and earthy rosemary, you will be smitten too!
My husband is the master griller in our house, and I like nothing better than sitting back and letting him work his magic. There is a little preparation involved in getting the chicken ready to grill, but once that’s done, you can settle back and let the grill do all the heavy lifting.
What goes well with grilled chicken?
My favorite side dish to pair with this grilled chicken is Southern Potato Salad, but my latest recipe for Pearl Couscous with Preserved Lemon would also be great, and Easy Southern Corn Salad or Easy Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes would also be good choices. Need more ideas, check out all of my side dish recipes here.
How do you cook grilled chicken?
I prefer a charcoal grill for this recipe because I love the smokey taste that you can only get with charcoal. However, you can use a gas grill too, set on low. If you are using a charcoal fire, it’s best to make the fire on one side of the grill and then cook the chicken on the other side. It takes about 30 minutes for the chicken to cook, and by cooking it slowly, it ensures that it is cooked all the way through without burning on the outside.
What seasoning should I use?
This is a simple grilled chicken recipe and I only used kosher salt and lemon pepper to season the chicken. Then the chicken is placed in the marinade.
How long do you marinate the chicken?
The secret to this unbelievably delicious chicken is an easy grilled chicken marinade made with olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice. The chicken does need to marinate for at least four hours but can go for up to 24 hours, so you can take care of this step ahead and not have to fuss with it when it comes time to grill. I confess that several times I have only marinated the chicken for 30 minutes and it still was delicious. However, for the maximum flavor, I recommend a minimum of four hours!
How do you butterfly a chicken?
Butterflying or spatchcocking a chicken helps it to cook quickly, evenly, and keeps it juicy. To butterfly a chicken, remove any giblets. Place the whole chicken breast side down on a cutting board. Take a pair of kitchen or poultry shears and starting at the neck cavity, cut down each side of the backbone to cut it out.
Discard the backbone or save it to make chicken stock or chicken soup.
Turn the chicken over and press down hard to flatten the chicken. That’s it! Of course, you can also ask your butcher to do this for you!
Still, have questions about how to butterfly a chicken? Check out this video from Bon Appétit
How to prepare Simple Lemon Grilled Chicken.
Season the butterflied chicken with kosher salt and lemon pepper on both sides.
Add the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, and rosemary to a small bowl or mason jar and mix well to make the marinade.
Place the chicken in a gallon size plastic storage bag and pour in the marinade. Squeeze out as much air as possible, seal and squish around to make sure the marinade covers the entire chicken. Place the bag in the refrigerator and marinate for a minimum of 4 hours up to 24 hours, turning the bag occasionally.
When ready to grill, prepare the grill by cleaning the grates with a wire brush and oiling the grill racks. Place charcoal on one side of the grill and prepare a medium-hot fire, 350 degrees F. Most of the coals should be glowing orange-red and covered with a faint layer of ash. If using a gas grill, turn the heat to low.
When the grill is ready, place the chicken on the cooler side, skin side up and weigh it down with a heavy dish or cast iron pan. You can even use a brick wrapped in aluminum foil. Cook for 12-15 minutes, or until the underside is golden brown.
Using long tongs, turn the chicken over, skin side down and place the weight on it again. Place the lemon halves on the grill, cut side down. Cook the chicken for another 12-15 minutes, until the skin is golden brown and a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees F. when inserted in the thickest part of the thigh but not touching the bone.
Remove the chicken from the grill and place on a cutting board, cover with foil or a plate and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes.
Cut the chicken into quarters and squeeze a little lemon juice over each piece from the grilled lemon halves.
If you make this recipe, please be sure to rate it and leave a comment below. I love hearing from you!
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