Rosemary Lemon Chicken

12/8-10/2018 – This was inspired by Ina Garten’s recipe for Tuscan Lemon Chicken in our copy of her Back to Basics book.  The recipe is online here. Used thighs rather than a whole bird and they turned out very good as they were moist with a good grilled taste and some crunchy skin. They would have been better done over charcoal. The lemon was noticeable but not the rosemary despite having added ground rosemary to Ina’s seasoning. This with warmed up pasta with tomatoes and basil was a great meal.


12 chicken thighs
Kosher salt
1/3 cup good olive oil
2+ teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1+ tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
2 t rounded of ground rosemary – She did not include this but we wanted more of a rosemary tone than the small amount of fresh rosemary would have provided. It was not noticeable so maybe use more next time.
Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Dry brined chicken thighs with kosher salt one hour before marinade applied.
  2. Combine the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, and 2 teaspoons pepper in a small measuring cup and let meld for about an hour.
  3. Place the chicken in a glass casserole dish with it all in one layer. Poured the lemon marinade over the chicken pieces getting in on all sides and spooning it under the skin. Covered the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerated for at least 4 hours or overnight. Turn the chicken 1 time during the 48-hour marinade and should have done it 2 or 3 more times.
  4. Two-days later – Grilled it on the gas grill on high turning several times and moving them so they all cooked at the same rate. They were done in about 20 minutes cooking in the dark in the barn with a flashlight on a still 50-degree evening.

Ina’s directions for grilling are below and is for a spatchcocked bird. It would be fun to try it like she does as it would be very country Italian looking when done.

  1. When ready to grill, prepare a hot charcoal fire on 1 side of a grill (or turn a gas grill on low heat). Spread 1/4 of the coals across the other side of the grill. Place the chicken on the cooler side, skin side up, and weigh it down with the dish you used for marinating. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until the underside is golden brown.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
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