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Grilled Chicken in Lemon-Herb Marinade

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Even though Chicago just got about 10 inches of snow yesterday, I was in a summery mood when I decided to make Grilled Chicken.  I couldn’t venture outside and physically put the meat on a grill like I would have liked, but getting grill marks on the chicken thanks to my handy grill pan really made me forget about the cold and snowy weather.

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The other summery part about this dish is the marinade that you soak the chicken in.

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This marinade was filled with tons of lemon juice which flavored the chicken and gave it a lightly and fresh flavor.

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I used drumsticks and thighs on this particular night, but I love bone in, skin on breast as well.  Use whatever you like/have on hand.  If you are strapped for time, I would suggest using boneless pieces because they require a lot less cooking time.  If not, go with the bone-in because I think it makes the chicken a lot more flavorful.

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If it really were the middle of the summer, I likely would have served these guys with corn on the cob and green beans.  But because its’ still winter, I went with kale chips and The Pioneer Woman’s crash hot potatoes.  Whatever you serve these chicken pieces with, I would suggest making some extra.  The leftovers were delicious atop a bed of baby spinach and some lemon vinaigrette.

Grilled Chicken with Lemon-Herb Marinade – Serves 4 (inspired by a recipe in Nordstrom Family Table Cookbook)

Ingredients:

  • 4 1/2 lbs bone-in chicken pieces
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (juices from about 3 juicy lemons)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (like pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc)
  • 1/2 cup EVOO, plus more for cooking
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 TB dried oregano
  • 2 TB fresh rosemary, minced (or 1/2 TB dried)
  • 2 TB kosher salt
  • 2 tsp freshly ground pepper

Directions:

To make the lemon-herb marinade, place the lemon juice, wine, EVOO, garlic cloves, oregano, fresh rosemary and salt and pepper into a large non-reactive bowl (i.e. not stainless steel).  Whisk all the ingredients together and place chicken inside the marinade.

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Cover with plastic wrap and allow to marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours, turning occasionally to ensure all the chicken is being marinated.

If you are grilling in doors on a grill pan*, add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to the grill pan and spread around with a paper towel so that you have the oil evenly distributed.  Once the oil is hot, remove the chicken, in batches, from the marinade and add to the grill pan.  Allow each side to cook on grill for 2-3 minutes until there the chicken is browned all over and there are visible grill marks.  Repeat with remaining chicken pieces.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  While the oven is coming to temperature, place the marinade in a sauce pan and bring to a roaring boil for at least 5 minutes.  After the chicken has been grilled, place them on a baking sheet (with edges) and brush with the cooked marinade.

Cook chicken in the oven for another 20-30 minutes (if bone in) or until the thickest part of the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.  While the chicken is cooking in the oven, I also like to baste it with more of the marinade to impart more flavor. 

Before serving the chicken, allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes so that the juices can redistribute.

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*Note – if using an outdoor grill: Prepare a hot indirect fire in a charcoal or gas grill.  For both grills, put an empty aluminum foil pan on the empty (turned-off) areas of the fuel bed and half fill the pan with water.   Lightly oil the grill grate and place the chicken, skin side down, on the cool side of the grill. Close the lid and grill, turning occasionally, until an instant read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the chicken reads 165 degrees, or after approximately 45 minutes of cooking.  Remove the chicken from the grill and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

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