Updated: Aug 30, 2021
Grilled chicken can either be supremely boring or extremely delicious- a bland and dry salad topper or a succulent, flavorful show stopper... which would you pick? Oh good! Me too! If you’re craving juicy, delicious grilled chicken (and who isn’t?), this Brick Grilled Lemon Herb Chicken is the recipe for you! Three things set this bird apart from others. First, it’s flattened (or spatchcocked) to ensure even, quick cooking. This is my favorite way to grill a whole chicken- it stays so moist on the bone and doesn’t take hours to cook. It’s easy to do this yourself by cutting the backbone (not the breastbone) out of the chicken then flipping it over breast side up and pressing down to flatten it (check out the demo in my Instagram stories for a visual). OR- have your butcher do this for you! Easy! Second, the chicken is salted the minute you get it home, and then it hangs out in an herb-loaded citrus marinade for a good while before getting tossed on the grill. The longer it marinates, the better the flavor will be. Lastly, I’ve taken cues from Tuscan cooks and weighted my already flat chicken down with bricks to achieve super bronze and crisp skin. Don’t have bricks on hand? No worries! Just use the heavy marinade dish instead. It will do the same trick as the brick! This is delicious carved into pieces and served simply with the grilled lemon halves squeezed over the top, or try it drizzled with my Italian Style Salsa Verde for another layer of fresh flavor. Enjoy!
prep time: ~4 hrs (includes marinating) cook time: ~45 min. serves: 3-4
1-3.5 or 4 lb chicken, spatchcocked (backbone removed and flattened)
1 tbsp lemon zest of (from 2-3 lemons)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for oiling grill grate
2 whole lemons, halved (for grilling)
special equipment: heavy bricks wrapped in foil (or use the oven safe baking dish used for marinading the chicken)
Make the marinade by combining the lemon zest, lemon juice, rosemary, thyme, oregano, pepper flakes, garlic, 3 tsp kosher salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, and the olive oil in a small food processor or blender. Pulse to combine. Alternately, you can mince the herbs and garlic finely and mix everything in a small bowl. Pour the marinade over the chicken set in a baking dish, rubbing it into the skin and all over the front and back of the bird. Cover the dish with plastic and place the chicken back in the fridge to marinate at least 4 hours and up to 48 hours. Flip the chicken a few times In the dish to evenly marinate.
When you’re ready to grill, remove the chicken from the fridge to come to room temp while you prep the coals. Heat the grill to medium (350°-375°) and set up for indirect cooking, with the hot coals moved to one side on a charcoal grill, or a set of burners turned off on a gas grill. Oil the grate well with nonstick spray. When the grill is at temperature, place the chicken skin side down on the cooler side of the grate so that it lays flat and weight the top with your foil wrapped bricks or the baking dish used to marinate the bird in. Let the chicken cook undisturbed 15-20 minutes, until nicely browned on the skin side, and then remove the bricks and flip (still on the cooler side). Replace the bricks on top of the chicken and grill another 15-20 minutes, or until the thick part of the breast reads 165° on a meat thermometer. Meanwhile, add the lemon halves to the grill flesh side down to cook until soft and slightly charred around the edges. Remove the chicken and lemon pieces to a carving board to rest at least 10 minutes. Carve the chicken into pieces and serve on a platter with the lemons alongside for squeezing over the top.