Rosemary-Lemon Grilled Chicken

August 08, 2011

The chickens have been the center of attention lately. No, not on the table, in spite of the picture, but with all the out-of-town guests we’ve been hosting.  The chickens are invariably number one on the list of things people want to see when they come to visit.

This weekend they had a visit from their fan club from St. Louis, three of the cutest kids you’ve ever seen. They came for breakfast, a cuddle with the chickens and a chicken chase. All three of the kids are fast on their feet and one is even competing at the national level in bike racing, but my girls outran them every step of the way! The kids also were certain the girls would lay them an egg or two for breakfast while they watched, just like last year, but as I’ve learned myself chickens are anything but predictable.

The girls also were visited this week by another too-cute-for-words 14 month old, who tore through wet grass and light drizzle trying to catch the chicks. He loved the game even though he never caught a feather.

Chicken Chase

The chickens also are making two public appearances this week: First, they’ll make their yearly visit to the Community Design Center to introduce high school garden and environmental interns to backyard chicken keeping and egg cookery. The girls get passed around like beach balls and overeat a diet of treats, but they really seem to like all of the attention.

They’ll also be appearing at the Slow Foods Event Snail in the Park in Minneapolis this Sunday, August 14th from 4 to 7 pm. I’m hoping you can join us. I’ll be giving a talk on backyard hens, bringing a couple of my girls to hold and sharing tastings of recipes from the book. It’s a potluck picnic so there will be lots of good food and fun people. Hope to see you there.

GIVEAWAY: If you raise chickens (or even if you don’t) and would like a copy of the current August/September Backyard Poultry Magazine, write a comment below. I’ll randomly choose two winners and send you each a magazine. I write a cooking column and share recipes in Backyard Poultry. My current article covers double-yolk eggs and includes my recipe for Double-Yolk Sour Lemon Bars.

With all of the visiting we’ve been doing, time in the kitchen has been short. Therefore I thought I’d share one of my favorite summer grilling recipes that keeps you out of the kitchen and into the fresh air. (I developed this recipe originally for Backyard Poultry magazine and it was included in their J/J issue.)

Print this Recipe

This chicken is marinated in a heady mixture of fresh rosemary, garlic, lemon and spices then grilled over direct heat for crispy golden brown skin. The deep cuts in the chicken help the marinade penetrate into the meat. A garnish of grilled fresh rosemary adds extra-flavor when chopped or sprinkled over the crispy chicken.

1 (3 1/2 to 4 lb.) cut-up chicken
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary plus 4 to 8 rosemary sprigs for grilling
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Greek
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

With a sharp knife, make 3 to 4 slashes (about 3/4-inch deep) across each chicken piece. Place the chicken in a large resealable plastic bag.

Combine all of the remaining ingredients, except the rosemary sprigs, in a small bowl. Pour the marinade over the chicken; seal the bag and press to coat the chicken with the marinade. Refrigerate 4 to 8 hours.

Heat a gas grill or coals to medium heat. Remove chicken from marinade, discarding any excess marinade. Grill, covered, over medium heat or coals 25 to 30 minutes or until no longer pink in the center, turning every 5 minutes. Place the rosemary springs on the grill during the last 3 minutes of grilling. Grill 1 to 3 minutes or until slightly charred, turning once. Serve chicken garnished with the grilled rosemary sprigs.

4 servings

8 Responses to “Rosemary-Lemon Grilled Chicken”

  1. August 10, 2011 at 5:38 pm, Lisa Riley said:

    I bought your book ‘Chicken and Egg’ and I Love it! Thank you! I will be trying some of the recipes soon. We got our first four chickens on May 24 of this year and they lived in our guest bathroom until we got their home built. I love my four Red Star girls; Gerti, Ethel, Lucy & Queenie, and can hardly wait for them to give us their first eggs, hopefully by October. They are such fun! Thank you for your inspiration!


    • August 11, 2011 at 8:28 am, admin said:

      Congratulations on your new girls, how exciting! I’ve heard Red Star (also known as red sex-link because they can be sexed as chicks based on color) are excellent layers so you should get many eggs. Let me know how it goes and when you have a chance to try the recipes send a note as to how they turned out.


  2. August 14, 2011 at 7:55 pm, Diana said:

    Janice, what a hoot this posting is. I know every kid that comes here wants to go out and get eggs, then visit the ladies, then touch the ladies, then…..well you know how that all evolves.

    Yesterday we had company, some of our Montana neighbors, and she wanted to see the coop. I never struck me that someone who knew cattle inside and out, and loved my fresh eggs would know so little about eggs, chickens and how it all happens.

    Lots of opportunities to teach about the chicken and the egg.


  3. August 15, 2011 at 9:55 am, admin said:

    That’s so interesting Diana! It is amazing how much there is to teach people. Yesterday I had a couple of my girls with me at Minnehaha park during a class on backyard chicken keeping for a Slow food event. We had a couple of kids from a nearby picnic group come visit with their plastic swords and we had to quickly swoop in to keep the plastic swords from decapitating the chickens! The kids were just playing but the chickens didn’t know that and of course were quite upset!!


  4. August 16, 2011 at 8:08 pm, Karen said:

    Hello! I keep backyard chickens in STP, 4 months old and not yet laying – a Wyandotte, RIR and Barred Rock! Just got your book from the library (missed your talk at Merriam Park) and enjoyed it very much!


    • August 17, 2011 at 7:00 am, admin said:

      Great to hear from you Karen! Good luck on your girls, I hope they start laying soon – how exciting!


  5. August 17, 2011 at 7:05 am, admin said:

    By the way, great blog Karen! Check it out everyone.


    • August 19, 2011 at 11:00 pm, Karen said:

      Thank you very much! : )


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