Traditional recipes

Grilled Whole Chicken with Lemon Potatoes

Grilled Whole Chicken with Lemon Potatoes

Debone the chicken to marinade. In a large Pyrex dish, combine the 4 quartered lemons, white wine, ¼ cup olive oil, salt, 1 teaspoon of oregano, rosemary, pinch of pepper, bay leaves, and crushed garlic cloves. Add the chicken and toss well so that it is completely covered in the marinade. Let marinate overnight.

Bring chicken to room temperature. Put potatoes in a small pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Simmer until crisp-tender, about 3-4 minutes. Drain and slice.

Preheat the grill. Remove the chicken from the marinade, allowing excess marinade to drip off. Put the chicken on the grill, skin side down. Put 2 foil-covered bricks directly on top of the chicken and allow to cook undisturbed until the skin is golden brown and crispy, about 15 minutes. Flip the chicken on the grill and finish cooking until the internal temperature registered 165 degrees, about 10 more minutes.

Slice the whole lemon thinly. In a sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the extra-virgin olive oil. Add the sliced potatoes, lemon slices, and the last teaspoon of oregano and continue to sauté until golden brown.

Cut the chicken into 4 equal pieces. Transfer to a dish with the potatoes and drizzle with lemon juice and dill.

The Kitchen's Best-Ever Chicken Recipes

Fried, roasted, seared and grilled — there's no shortage of ways to prepare the humble chicken.

Related To:

Photo By: Chris Amaral ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Emile Wamsteker ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Emile Wamsteker ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©David Lang

Photo By: Jason DeCrow ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: David Lang ©David Lang

Photo By: Jeffrey Neira ©2014 Watershed Visual Media. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Emile Wamsteker ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jason DeCrow ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Spicy Pecan Crusted Chicken Thighs

When setting up her dredging station, Katie adds hot sauce and Dijon mustard to the egg mixture, then seasons the crushed pecans with salt and pepper to ensure the chicken packs plenty of bold flavors all the way through.

Grilled Chicken Parmesan

Katie&rsquos quick, no-fuss version of this classic Italian dish ditches the breading and uses the grill to add smoky flavors.

Sunny’s Citrus Can Chicken

Sunny cooks the chicken over a can of lemon-lime malt beer to infuse the citrusy flavors into the meat.

Creamy Corn Skillet Chicken

This all-in-one dinner is made in a cast-iron skillet, which means cleanup is a breeze.

Honey Bourbon Chicken Pops

Cut off both ends of the drumstick to help make these meaty bites stand up easily. Jeff uses a dry rub to give the chicken smoky, spicy flavors and a sweet Bourbon glaze to add sweetness.

Smoked Whole Chicken with Honey BBQ Sauce

The secret to this smoky, flavorful chicken is in the butter rub. Bold seasonings like smoked paprika, ground mustard and cayenne add rich flavors to the chicken, while the butter itself helps retain moisture in the meat.

Midnight Chicken Salad

Use your chicken dinner leftovers to make Alex&rsquos tangy salad. Enjoy this simple dish on top of salad greens, on toast or with crunchy, salty crackers.

Sunny's Easy 1-2-3 Spice-Rubbed Chicken with Citrus-Honey Glaze

From bold, rich spices to a sweet and tangy citrus glaze, this dish has it all. Make extra portions of Sunny&rsquos 1-2-3 Spice Rub and store in an airtight container to use as seasoning for other meats.

Sunny's Big Easy Chicken and Andouille File Gumbo

The secret here is file powder, which is made from sassafras leaves and lends big, earthy flavors to Sunny&rsquos gumbo. Serve over rice for a complete meal.

Roasted Chicken with Croutons

Katie roasts her bird atop thick slices of bread, which absorb the savory juices from the meat as it cooks. Afterwards, the bread is at once toasted and moist, full of the rich flavors of the chicken.

Easy Juicy Chicken Breast

Say goodbye to plain dry chicken breast. The key here is cooking the meat in chicken stock so that it stays nice and moist!

Baked BBQ Chicken

The secret to making this barbecue chicken is quickly grilling it before letting it bake with the barbecue sauce. This ensures you get the charred flavor you crave without the risk of the sauce burning. Katie says that you can use your favorite store-bought BBQ sauce or make your own.

Sunny's Herbed Lemon Pepper Chicken Glaze

Sunny&rsquos zesty lemon pepper glaze is made with fresh herbs, lemon curd, Worcestershire sauce and chicken stock. Use part of the mixture to glaze the chicken as it&rsquos grilling, then use the rest to drizzle over the chicken when serving.

Greek Lemon Chicken and Orzo Casserole

This is a two-for-onedeal &mdash two recipes in one dish. Jeff first gives a recipe for orzo casserole, and then one for Greek lemon chicken to top it off. The key here is baking the chicken right on top of the orzo, so all of the flavors come together in the end.

Sticky Honey-Chili Garlic Grilled Chicken with Cucumber Salad

Katie&rsquos cool cucumber salad brings a fresh balance to the sticky-sweet flavors of honey, and chili garlic sauce.

Sunny's Quick Sizzlin Chicken Fajitas

Sunny uses frozen mixed veggies here for an easy fajita. Serve the warm tortilla, chicken and veggies with all the fixings you like. Sunny recommends avocado, salsa and cheese.

Popcorn-Coated Popcorn Chicken

Using salty popcorn mixed with panko and paprika for the breading gives traditional chicken tenders an unexpected crunch and a boost of flavor.

Mediterranean Grilled Chicken Thighs and Eggplant

Katie adds sumac, which boasts a subtle lemony flavor, to the spicy blend in her bold marinade. This chicken and eggplant recipe comes with grilled naan bread and a refreshing yogurt-tahini dipping sauce for a complete Mediterranean dinner.

Chicken "Stir-Fry" Cheat Sheet

This isn&rsquot your typical chicken stir-fry. Instead of a stovetop pan, this recipe is made right on a baking sheet, which means prep and cleanup are a breeze.

Pretzel-Crusted Chicken Skewers

Elevate your chicken game with a common pantry snack &mdash pretzels! Here they become the crunchy coating to these simple chicken skewers.

Sweet and Sour Pulled Chicken

Put a homemade spin on store-bought rotisserie chicken by dressing up the meat with Jeff Mauro's tangy barbecue sauce. It takes just a few minutes for the bold flavors of the hoisin, chili and soy sauces to combine with peppery fresh ginger to create flavor-packed results.

Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs

A sweet-savory combination of honey, soy sauce and cider vinegar serves two purposes in this quick-fix chicken recipe: It's both a marinade for the meat and a basting sauce. If you don't want to grill the chicken thighs, try searing them on a cast-iron pan then finishing them in the oven.

Caprese Chicken with Pomegranate Glaze

Inspired by the classic salad you know and love, this hearty dinner features layers of tender sliced chicken breasts, juicy tomatoes and creamy mozzarella. For an added boost of flavor, Jeff drizzles the platter with syrupy pomegranate juice for a sweet-tart finish.

Chicken and Waffle Cones

While these cones may look like a sweet treat, they're surely not a dessert. A scoop of silky mashed potatoes fills in for the usual vanilla ice cream, while spicy popcorn shrimp adorn the potatoes as "toppings."

Pan-Seared Chicken with Olives

After cooking the chicken, use the same skillet to make a simple pan sauce. Here GZ combines briny olives, sweet shallots and a splash of vinegar to form the base of his sauce, which he rounds out with garlicky tomatoes to complement the chicken.

Fried Chicken

The secret to Katie Lee's top-rated fried chicken is the buttermilk-hot sauce marinade in which she bathes the bird for a few hours before frying. Not only does it infuse the meat with flavor, but it also guarantees moist results.

Chile-Rubbed Chicken Breast with Kale, Quinoa and Brussels Sprouts

Who said you have to cook Brussels sprouts? Here they're combined with leafy kale and nutty quinoa to form a hearty salad, which rounds out Marcela Valladolid's chipotle-laced chicken.

Grilled Chicken Paillard with Arugula and Shaved Pecorino

Just 10 minutes and only a handful of ingredients? Yes, believe it or not, that's all it takes to turn out Katie's fuss-free dinner.

Sunny's Ham-and-Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Breasts (Chicken Cordon Bleu)

Stuffing is the name of the game in Sunny's speedy breaded chicken. To make room for the filling, slice a pocket into the side of the chicken breast — but take care that you don't cut right through the other end of the meat.

Roasted Chicken with Bibb Lettuce and Roasted Chicken Vinaigrette

GZ's succulent roasted chicken does double duty in his dinner: The meat serves as the star of the plate, of course, and the drippings from the roast lend a savory bite to his Dijon-laced salad vinaigrette.

Chicken and Broccoli Twice-Baked Spaghetti Squash

For the ultimate all-in-one meal, start with pre-cooked chicken and combine it with a creamy cheese sauce before baking it in a halved spaghetti squash.

Nashville-Style Hot Chicken Sandwich

To impart just enough heat to his take on the Nashville classic, Jeff opts for a two-tiered approach to spice: first a cayenne spice rub right on the chicken, then a dunk in a mixture of buttermilk and hot sauce before frying.

Chicken Salad

Ever suffer a kitchen mishap and end up with less-than-perfect chicken? Follow Jeff Mauro's lead and repurpose it in this easy chicken salad. "This is the perfect opportunity to make use of dry or overcooked chicken breasts," he explains.

Jerk Chicken

It's all about the sweet, savory spice rub that coats the chicken in Jeff's classic recipe. The key ingredients? Dark brown sugar, a pinch of cinnamon and a bold habanero.

Italian Chicken Pasta Salad

Save time in the kitchen by taking advantage of store-bought rotisserie chicken when prepping Geoffrey Zakarian's simply dressed pasta salad.

Katie Lee's Chicken Pot Pie

Katie keeps it traditional in her 5-star recipe, with tender chunks of chicken, a creamy vegetable sauce and a blanket of golden pastry on top.

Sunny's Root Beer BBQ Wings

Not just for drinking, your favorite root beer soda serves as the base of Sunny Anderson's tangy, spicy barbecue sauce, which she heats up with the spice from a single ghost pepper.

Chicken Ramen Stir-Fry

A bold sauce featuring grated ginger and a squeeze of honey marries the ramen noodles, sliced veggies and juicy chicken in Katie's quick-fix stir-fry.

Quick Chicken Tortellini Soup

A duo of lemon zest and fresh lemon juice brightens up Jeff's fuss-free soup.

Sweet Glazed Butterflied Grilled Chicken

It's best to wait until the last few minutes of cooking to add the buttery brown sugar-mustard glaze to the chicken. If you do it any earlier, the sugars could burn.

Smoked Honey-Mustard Chicken Wings

You've had honey mustard before, right? Jeff upgrades that timeless flavor with a splash of apple cider vinegar for welcome brightness, and he uses the mixture to transform crispy chicken wings.

Grilled Chicken Burgers with Pasilla Aioli

Marcela guarantees bold flavor in her finished chicken burgers by mixing the ground meat with chopped onions and garlic, and serving the patties with classic and creative toppings: creamy pepper Jack cheese, pasilla-laced mayonnaise and crispy fried Poblano Rings.

Sunny's Easy Chicken Parmesan

To keep her ingredient checklist as trim as possible, Sunny opts for prepared pizza sauce, not tomato sauce, to dress up her breaded chicken breasts, as pizza sauce often comes already seasoned with flavorful herbs.

Want More of The Kitchen?

Check out Food Network's The Kitchen headquarters for more recipe ideas, plus go-to ingredient hacks and behind-the-scenes photos.

Lemon Chicken and Potatoes in Foil

Yield: 4 servings

prep time: 10 minutes

cook time: 30 minutes

total time: 40 minutes

The most amazingly moist and tender chicken breasts cooked in foil packets – so easy and packed with tons of flavor!


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 16 ounces baby red potatoes, halved
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, mustards, thyme, rosemary and lemon zest season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
  3. Cut four sheets of foil, about 12-inches long. Divide potatoes into 4 equal portions and add to the center of each foil in a single layer.
  4. Fold up all 4 sides of each foil packet. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste gently toss to combine.
  5. Top each packet with the chicken. Using your fingers or a brush, work the mustard mixture onto both sides of the chicken. Top with lemon slices.
  6. Fold the sides of the foil over the chicken, covering completely and sealing the packets closed. Place foil packets in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place into oven and bake until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are tender, about 25-30 minutes.*
  7. OPTIONAL: Preheat oven to broil. Open the packets and broil for 2-3 minutes, or until caramelized and slightly charred.
  8. Served immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.


*Cooking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of the chicken and/or potatoes.

Did you Make This Recipe?

Tag @damn_delicious on Instagram and hashtag it #damndelicious.


Fantastic dish for entertaining. Much of the work involved can be done long before guests arrive. Everything goes on the grill so the kitchen stays clean. Presents beautifully, and tastes phenomenal. Suggested artichokes, eggplant and lemons grilled make the dish. Served with some fresh bread and salad it's always a hit.

My husband said this was not only the best chicken I had ever made but one of the best heɽ ever eaten. Very easy to make and perfect for our 100 degree day.

So juicy and tasty. This instantly became a family favorite!

Fabulous! Quick and easy but lots of flavor. Served with a tomato-corn salsa and rice for a great dinner on the patio.

The BEST! I will always make this. awesome flaver.

Juicy, flavorful, easy to make. I keep going back to this one.

We all loved this dish! I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts, so was concerned that they might dry out. but they were moist and flavorful! On the gas grill, I put two burners on high and the middle one off. After a brief stint over the high burner to give grill marks, I moved the chicken to the "off" area so it would finish cooking with indirect heat (kept lid closed, and adjusted the burners occasionally to keep heat between 350-400). I used an instant-read thermometer and cooked till the thickest part of each piece was 160 degrees. Once a piece hit 160, I took it off the grill and covered it with foil. For serving, I drizzled the "drizzle" lightly over the chicken on the platter. About halfway through eating my chicken, I gave it another drizzle because the oil was so good - I could have easily drizzled it on my potato and green beans, too! I will definitely make this again!!

I've made this twice in the last month. It is awesome! A lot of flavor, even as a cold left over. Very moist. I roasts to a beautiful deep brown.

Variated and used this recipe for grilled breasts.So few ingredients to make chicken breasts taste special. My go-to grilled chicken recipe now!

An easy dish to grill on a hot summer night. I followed the recipe pretty much to the letter, and served with Grilled Lemons, Baby Artichokes and Eggplant as suggested. The grilled chicken and veggies made for a very satisfying meal-and best of all, I didn't heat up my kitchen on a 100+ degree day!

The chicken recipe was easy, fast, and delicious. I used cilantro instead of parsley and it tasted great. I followed the cooking instructions to a tee and it turned out perfectly I put the lemons on the grill after I took the chicken off. They were charred after 2 minutes. I served with saffron tumeric rice and roasted broccoli so that plate was colorful.

I used the marinade as written with boneless breasts and it was wonderful! Even my son loved this and he seldom says anything about recipes I try!

So easy and sooo tasty. Would recommend the recipe to anyone wanting a quick delicious chicken recipe. The drizzle would go great with fish and veal.

This was delicious. I think that I ate all of the skin off the chicken myself. I don't generally like lemon, but in this case, the lemon was not overwhelming. I had read about indirect grilling before, but for some reason hadn't tried it. Oh wow! I will be using it more frequently from now on. The meat was tender and juicy, and I didn't even brine the chicken (the marinade will not act as a tenderizer)! Next time I'll flip it over earlier, though, because whatever part is on top is the part that browns, and I would have preferred that the breasts be more browned. Also, the whole chicken took about 30 minutes less than what the recipe calls for. I'm sure it depends largely on your grill and how much water is in your chicken. Try this!! It's a great way to get a cheap, tasty chicken meal without heating up your kitchen. One more thing: I would definitely suggest not just tying the legs together but trussing the whole chicken. Check out Thomas Keller's chicken recipe on this site.

Grilled up three chickens for 10 people. Stuffed half a lemon and some fresh rosemary sprigs into the cavity. This was easy and everyone raved. The leftovers are good as well.

wow! just made this chicken and it was fabulous! I have never written a review and i don't even especially like chicken, so this one was so good that i thought I should write something. I didn't put the drizzle on but had it on the side for people to dip - yum. I was quite surprised that even the breast meat was quite moist - after squeezing the lemons for their juice, i put them in the cavity overnight to marinate but took them out when I went to BBQ b/c I thought it might make the chicken cook longer.

Perfect grilled chicken, don't change a thing. Whole or in pieces, works both ways.

The best ever grilled chicken, do not change a thing. Whole or pieces works both ways!

This was really tasty. I followed it to the letter. As I had a pretty big crowd, I also ended up doubling the marinade and drizzle. using one batch on the chicken and the second batch on skirt steak. It was terrific on both!

I made this for my husband and son, but I used chicken pieces instead of while chickens. My husband is not a huge chicken fan but he raved about this meal! I loved the Mediterranean drizzle, just the right lemony flavor. This will be a regular on my grille this summer!

This was such an easy recipe and the flavor was amazing!! The hardest part of this recipe was letting it sit after cooking but it was very worth it because it melted in our mouths.

I made this for my book club this past summer and it was fantastic. I swore I wouldn't roast a whole chicken in the oven again. Now it is too cold to cook outside so I marinated the chicken as noted in the recipe and cooked it in the oven. It was still good, but nothing like cooking it on a charcoal grill. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

this is okay, just nothing special

very tasty indeed. LOVED getting roasted chicken without heating the kitchen. Would have liked the skin crispier though - will need to work on that next time. The "drizzle" was superfluous - didn't add much, will skip that next time.

This was pretty good. My wife likes fairly plain food. nothing with too much zip. This really hit the spot. The flavor is subtle but good. Most real Italian food is much different then "American" Italian food. This recipe really lets the ingredients speak for themselves. I cooked this over charcoal, along with some zucchini and eggplant rubbed with olive oil and fresh ground sea salt and ground pepper. All in all it was a very good dinner

Recipe Summary

  • 2 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced and divided
  • 1 (3 1/2-pound) whole chicken
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 ½ pounds red potatoes, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves

Grate rind from lemons to measure 2 tablespoons. Reserve lemons. Combine 5 teaspoons rind, 3/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, and 2 minced garlic cloves in a small bowl.

Remove and discard chicken giblets and neck. Loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers and gently pushing between skin and meat. Rub rind mixture under loosened skin over flesh. Tuck wing tips under chicken. Place chicken in a shallow dish refrigerate, uncovered, 4 hours or overnight.

Quarter reserved lemons. Place lemon quarters and 6 crushed garlic cloves into chicken cavity tie ends of legs together with cord. Place chicken, breast side up, in a roasting pan. Bake at 425° for 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375° (do not remove chicken from oven). Bake 40 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into meaty portion of thigh registers 165°. Remove from oven let stand 15 minutes.

Place potatoes in a saucepan cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes or until tender drain. Combine potatoes, 1 teaspoon rind, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 minced garlic cloves, butter, and thyme. Discard chicken skin carve.

Wine note: With all the bright lemon woven through this comfort dish, you need a wine with a great squeeze of citrus at its core. Look no further than Columbia Crest's 2009 Two Vine Pinot Grigio (Washington, $8). Lemon expands to pink grapefruit and peach, with a refreshing, zesty finish--all of which make the citrus and thyme on the chicken and potatoes pop. --Sara Schneider

How to Make Grilled Lemon Chicken

Hey friends! If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I’ve been grilling a lot lately! Since posting several BBQ recipes, I’ve had a lot of yall ( and family members) request that I share some low carb, non saucy grilling recipes. Well baby, I have you covered. The other day I made my infamous Grilled Lemon Pepper Chicken… Now before you get to rolling your eyes ( I know I’ve been promising to upload it for a few summers now!! ), I made sure that I recorded it this time. This chicken is very low carb friendly! I don’t use any sauce, flour, or anything that will make you jump of your low carb wagon. I use very few ingredients, and best of all- unlike many of my other grilling recipes, it’s not very time consuming( 45-50 minutes…. I tried yall).

In the video I will be using my Napoleon Prestige 500 aka Big Daddy! If you don’t have a gas grill, no worries, you can certainly use a charcoal grill. Just be sure to heat your grill to 350 F.

Roasted Chicken & Lemon Thyme Jus.

This stunning flavourful and glossy jus is rich in chicken flavour with a subtle hint of lemon and thyme, it pairs perfectly with your Sunday Roast, on its own with Roasties, with my Garlic, Lemon and Thyme Roast Chicken or as a side sauce with a simply grilled chicken breast and some baby new potatoes. Forget Bisto! This Jus recipe is the way forward. Don't be put off by the multiple ingredients, this is something I've been taste testing for months to get it absolutely perfect.

Full recipe below and #YouTube video out soon!


Small / Med / Large Good Quality Whole Chicken.

1 x Fresh Bunch Lemon Thyme / Thyme

1 - 2 Chicken stock pot/cube

I would recommend using my Garlic, Lemon and Thyme Roast Chicken recipe. What you want to do here is to peel and halve lengthways the carrots and parsnips, halve and deseed the apple, halve the lemon and red onion, crush the garlic cloves. Take a deep roasting tin and drizzle with a little olive oil, chuck in all the veg, season well with salt and pepper. Sit your chicken on top, with a good drizzle of olive oil a few knobs of butter and a good seasoning of salt and pepper. Stuff a bunch of Lemon Thyme, a few crushed garlic cloves, 1 lemon halved and a few knobs of butter into the cavity of the chicken.

Follow your instructions for cooking your chicken, ensuring you baste every 20-30 mins, as the chicken is cooking the butter, olive oil and chicken fat will mix with the lemon, garlic and thyme to create the most amazing flavours. Once the chicken has finished cooking, remove it from the roasting tray and allow it to rest for 30 minutes and it's time to finish the jus.

Take your roasting tray, slice down all the roasted veg, skim off a little of the Chicken fat (great for roasties!) and mash everything together. At this point place your tray over a hob on medium heat and add 1 chicken stock pot/cube and a few tbsp's of cornflour a splash of soy sauce and Worcestershire Sauce, whisk together into a thick paste. Slowly add boiling water and keep whisking until the Jus thins out a little. Take the lemon out of the chicken, squeeze into the jus, add the chicken roasting juices, chuck in a few more springs of lemon thyme and season. Turn your heat down and slowly simmer, adding a little more water and either half or all of the 2nd chicken pot/cube to taste. Now slowly reduce until you reach your desired thickness, add more water if you like a thinner consistency or simmer longer if you prefer a thicker consistency.

Once you reach your desired consistency, sieve well into a saucepan and make sure you get all the flavours out before you discard the veg/trivet. a masher works well for this. Warm the jus through in the saucepan and serve immediately with the roast chicken, and ideally my Sunday Roastie recipe as well :)

Whole Grilled Chicken

Special Equipment: 1 cup apple or pecan wood chips (optional)

Ingredients US Metric

  • 6 cups cold water
  • 1/2 cup Diamond brand kosher salt
  • One (4- to 4 1/2-pound) chicken
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Whisk together the water and salt in an 8-quart or larger container. Add the chicken, cover, and refrigerate for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.

Soak the wood chips, if using, in water for 30 minutes.

If using a charcoal grill, about 1 hour before grilling the chicken, set up your grill for indirect grilling (which basically means putting the pile of coals on one side and nothing on the other side).

If using a gas grill, about 20 minutes before grilling the chicken, heat your grill to 250°F to 300°F (121°C to 149°C), or medium-low.

Combine the lemon slices, rosemary, garlic, oil, and pepper in a food processor or mortar or molcajete or a heavy bowl and use a pestle or back of a wooden spoon to slowly but firmly mash the ingredients together until pulpy and mushy.

Remove the chicken from the brine, rinse under cold water, and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the lemon mixture onto the skin and let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Place the chicken on the grill directly over the heat. Grill 7 minutes or until grill marks and some charring appear. Turn the chicken over and grill for 7 more minutes.

Using tongs, move the chicken to the cool side of the grill. If using wood chips, sprinkle them over the hot coals or fashion them into a packet made of aluminum foil and pierce the packet several times. Grill, covered with grill lid, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 165°F (74°C). (A meat thermometer is essential when cooking a whole bird. The best place to check the chicken’s internal temperature is where the thigh meets the body of the bird. Insert the thermometer deep into the meat, close to the bone.)

Remove the chicken from the grill and let it stand 10 minutes before carving and serving. Originally published June 7, 2015.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

This whole grilled chicken was fantastic! Brining the chicken kept it really moist and the flavor of the lemon and rosemary was really lovely.

I brined the bird for 16 hours, drained it, patted it dry, and let it sit in the fridge for 4 more hours before continuing with the recipe. I used a gas grill, and instead of sprinkling the apple chips around the grill, I soaked them in water for 30 minutes, wrapped them in a foil pouch, and poked several holes in the pouch. I put it on the grill next to the chicken for the whole cooking time. The flavor from the smoke was subtle, but it did impart a lovely coloring to the meat of the chicken.

I had been perfectly content grilling cuts of meat, including beef, chicken, and pork, until now. But I am utterly impressed with the juiciness of this whole grilled chicken. I can't wait to try my classic tandoori chicken recipe with this cooking method.

I smashed the garlic, rosemary, and lemon to a mashed guacamole consistency. (Did I mention I adore lemon and rosemary?) The Indian in me can't resist brining or marinating anything for less than 24 hours. So 24 hours it was. Since our gas grill doesn't have a temperature gauge, we kept it to "smoke" indicator. Took us closer to 1 hour and 45 minutes to cook it to 165°F. Either way, it was worth the wait.

Ultra moist and flavorful—truly a weekend winner. The flavoring is classic. Looking forward to grilling chicken using this method with my own spice mixture soon.


#LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

No-Fail Roast Chicken with Lemon and Garlic

This roast chicken recipe is proof that there’s really nothing simpler, more delicious, or more comforting than a beautifully browned roast bird surrounded by a puddle of buttery, garlicky pan juices. While cooking a whole anything can feel intimidating, this recipe is dubbed foolproof for a reason—it’s converted many an intimidated meat-cooker by eliminating the uncertainty of knowing whether the chicken is done. We’ve made that point easier to identify with lots of visual cues that anyone can follow, and if you do have an instant-read thermometer, you can feel free to use that, too: Just remove the chicken from the oven when the thickest part of the thigh hits 160°.

And it’s not just easy—it’s also delicious. We take it to the next level with lots of lemon and garlic and a “healthy” pour of melted butter to crisp up the skin while keeping the meat moist and tender. Consider this roast chicken, a hunk of good baguette, and a simple green salad your Sunday dinner from now on.

Editor’s note: This recipe was originally published November 9, 2018.

All products featured on Bon Appétit are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through the retail links below, we earn an affiliate commission.

Buying the whole chicken vs buying it already butchered

if you’re interested in butchering the chicken yourself and haven’t done it before here’s a video that will help. It may feel intimidating but it’s surprisingly easy to do. Plus buying an entire chicken is such a money saver! I can buy a whole chicken for $6 to $8. That’s enough to feed 6 people!

If you do purchase your chicken already butchered you’ll likely find that you get 8 pieces. That means they’ve given you two breasts. Simply cut the breasts in half and then you’ll have ten total pieces.