This lemon chicken is such a fantastic and easy recipe to have on hand. In no time you have an absolutely tremendous grilled chicken on the table. The chicken is marinated in everything that makes a piece of chicken so tasty.
The main ingredient of the marinade is of course, lemon. And we use the whole lemon. For the marinade, we use only the zest of the lemon. Cut the peel from 2 lemons with a sharp knife. Leave the white part. That is bitter. Don’t throw away the rest of the lemons. You will use the juice of one lemon to make a sauce and serve the other in wedges with the grilled chicken.
You put all ingredients for the marinade in a ziplock bag. You can marinate very efficiently with such a bag. When you add the chicken, you push as much air out of the bag as possible before closing it. This way the marinade has contact with the chicken all over and you, therefore, need much less marinade.
We are going to butterfly the chicken. This significantly shortens the preparation time. You also have much more control over grilling. The chicken is flatter and has more contact with the grates.
You cut the backbone from the chicken and remove the wingtips and loose pieces of skin and fat from the head and butt. You can draw a good stock from these bits.
Then turn the chicken over and flatten it. If it won’t lay flat, you can cut through the collarbone with a sturdy knife. The butterflied chicken goes into the ziplock bag, and you let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Or overnight.
The chicken is cooked indirectly in the grill at a temperature of 160°C (320F). That’s the perfect temperature for a whole chicken. This way you get delicious juicy chicken with a crispy skin. After half an hour, you will see that the skin becomes drier and starts to tighten. The smell is great too. This is the moment when your neighbour starts asking if you are grilling.
Of course, he knows better. He just wonders if there is something in the grill for him. That’s why it’s better to sometimes grill two chickens.
When the chicken has a core temperature of about 70°C (158F), we grill it over direct heat on both sides. Be careful not to damage the skin too much. Because it has become so dry, you can quickly tear it. That does not detract from the taste. It just looks a little less good.
When the chicken is cooking, you can make an effortless sauce from the lemon juice, garlic and honey. You use this to brush the chicken before, during and after grilling.
You worked really hard to cook this chicken. So ask if the rest of the family is preparing the other part of the meal. This way, you can all sit at the table at the same time.
- 1 whole chicken
- 1 tbsp coarse mustard
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
For the sauce
- zest of 2 lemons
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Peel the lemon and put the zest together with the rest of the ingredients in a ziplock bag.
- Butterfly the chicken and put it in the zip lock bag too. Push as much air out of the bag as possible and close it. Push the marinade around the chicken and put the bag in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
- Prepare a grill with an indirect temperature of 160°C (320F). Place the chicken on the cooler side of the grill and close the lid.
- In the meantime, we are going to make the lemon sauce. Squeeze a clove of garlic and put it with the olive oil in a pan. Let the garlic soften and then add the lemon juice and honey. Stir well and then remove the pan from the heat.
- Cook the chicken indirect to a core temperature of 70°C (158F) and then grill it over direct heat.
- Coat the chicken with the sauce and grill on both sides to a core temperature of 75°C (167F). Coat the chicken a few more times during and after grilling.