Grilled Lemon Chicken

People always say that chicken on the grill is hard, tough, and dry. Well, they never tried butterflying a chicken, marinating it for a day, and grilling it with a brick weighing it down!

So remember when I told you that I successfully butterflied a chicken? It’s because I wanted to grill a whole chicken! Now that summer’s here, it’s actually too hot to turn on the oven, and I’m trying to use the grill as much as possible. Hamburgers and steaks get boring, so I’m giving some different types of dinners a try, including Ina’s Tuscan Lemon Chicken. Not only was it an impressive dish, it was actually quite easy. After marinating for 24 hours (yup, I prepped the dinner the night before, while cooking that night’s dinner), I just put the chicken on the grill and waited, flipped, and waited some more. The result? A VERY juicy chicken dinner.

Another great thing about this recipe is that rosemary lasts a long time in the fridge, and I bought some to roast potatoes with recently. I already had everything I needed to make it. No shopping needed. The ingredient list is pretty short, so if you do need to buy things, it’s probably just lemons, rosemary, and the chicken, of course. I hope you have salt, pepper, oil, and garlic in your kitchen already!


  • A 3 1/2 pound chicken, butterflied*
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 rosemary sprig, leaves removed and minced
  • Freshly ground black pepper


1. Sprinkle the chicken with about a teaspoon of salt on each side

2. Combine olive oil, lemon zest and juice, garlic, rosemary, and pepper (I cracked mine in a mortar and pestle)

3. Put chicken in glass baking dish (I used a 9×13 Pyrex)

4. Pour the marinade on top.

5. Flip the chicken over 2-3 times while marinating. Marinate for at least 4 hours. It’s better if you do it overnight. It’s even better if it marinates for a whole day.

6. Turn your gas grill on low. Put chicken on the grill, weighing it down with a brick. Grill for 15 minutes, then flip over, weigh down, and grill for another 15 minutes.

7. Turn grill on high and brown each side quickly.

8. Let rest for 10 minutes, then quarter, or serve however you wish.

* Here’s how the Food Network website describes Alton’s butterflying method: Place chicken on a plastic cutting board breast-side down. Using kitchen shears, cut ribs down one side of back bone and then the other and remove. Open chicken like a book and remove the keel bone separating the breast halves by slicing through the thin membrane covering it, then by placing two fingers underneath the bone and levering it out. Turn chicken breast-side up and spread out like a butterfly by pressing down on the breast and pulling the legs towards you.