Friday, December 12, 2008

Tuscan Lemon Chicken

I love bright, clean flavors, and I love Ina Garten. Therefore, if bright, clean flavors = A and Ina Garten = B, A+B = I had to try this recipe.

And that's the last time you'll see Algebra from me. I do NOT have a girl crush on Algebra.
I also love chicken and lemon, together and individually. So Ina using lemon juice and chicken? ::swoon!:: Lemon and chicken together is a beautiful combo.

I chose this recipe in part because my grandmother was from just north of Tuscany. I think of her everytime I step into the kitchen, and I love making meals from recipes she either passed on to me or meals that will honor my heritage (as hodgepodge as that heritage is).

This is some of the best grilled chicken I've ever had. Normally when I grill chicken indoors I've got to watch it carefully, because if I take my eyes off my grill pan for a minute, our apartment will be filled with smoke and we'll be ordering Chinese takeout (not a bad option). Grilled chicken can also be really dry if not done well. This was moist and flavorful and exactly what a grilled chicken should be!

I made some modifications, but this is Ina's recipe. See my notes for mods.

Tuscan Lemon Chicken

1 (3 1/2-pound) chicken, flattened
Kosher salt
1/3 cup good olive oil
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, halved

Sprinkle the chicken with 1 teaspoon salt on each side. Combine the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, and 2 teaspoons pepper in a small measuring cup. Place the chicken in a ceramic or glass dish just large enough to hold it flat. Pour the lemon marinade over the chicken, turning it in the dish. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Turn the chicken 2 or 3 times while marinating.

When ready to grill, prepare a hot charcoal fire on 1 side of a grill (or turn a gas grill on low heat). Spread most of the coals across half of the grill. Place the chicken, skin side up, on the opposite side of the grill and place the dish you used for marinating on top of the chicken to weight it. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until the underside is golden brown. Turn the chicken skin side down, weight again with the dish, and cook for another 12 to 15 minutes, until the skin is golden brown and the chicken is cooked through.

Place the lemon halves on the cool side of the grill, cut side down for the last 10 minutes of cooking. Remove the chicken to a plate or cutting board, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Cut in quarters, sprinkle with salt, and serve with the grilled lemon halves.


  • I love this marinade. It's a little heavy on the olive oil, but I really love the brightness from the lemons.
  • I used chicken breasts since there wasn't any real point in prepping a whole chicken for the two of us. I flattened them with a meat tenderizer, salted them, and let them marinate 2 hours.
  • As far as grilling goes, I just plopped them right on the grill pan and let them grill for about 7 minutes per side. No need to weight them down because they were already flat.


  1. that sounds good.If you want more recipes or if you want to take a look at the collection of tips I have for grilling you can visit

  2. You got some great grill skills girl! :)

  3. This looks so tasty. I have decided that I have a bit of a girl crush on Ina G. based on all her amazing recipes.


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