Lemon Rosemary Grilled Chicken

Lemon Rosemary Grilled Chicken

Maybe everyone else in the whole world knew this, but I just recently discovered this great way of insuring crispy skinned chicken: a little butter under the skin!

A little fat under the skin of chicken creates a barrier between the skin and the flesh so that the skin literally “fries” while the rest of the chicken roasts. Wow. This is a great trick and so much less mess than frying chicken!

Adding flavored butter under the skin for taste and skin texture

I added rosemary, some lemon zest and salt to a little butter and then lifted up the skin carefully with my fingers and spread the mixture underneath the skin of a whole butterflied chicken. I cooked it on the grill with a heavy cast iron skillet on top to keep it flat during cooking. Delish!!!

Cast iron skillet flattens chicken during grilling

I caramelized the leftover lemon slices in a skillet with a little oil while the chicken was cooking – they look so pretty on the serving platter!

Lemon slice caramelized in oil


4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon minced rosemary
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 whole chicken, butterflied open

Mix together the butter, rosemary, lemon zest and salt. Lay the chicken breast-side up on a large sheet pan. Carefully separate the skin from the flesh of the chicken with your hand held flat between the skin and the flesh. Spread the butter mixture between the skin and the flesh, making sure not to displace the skin so that the skin covers the whole chicken. Pat skin dry with paper towels.

Heat grill until very hot (400 degrees if you have a thermometer on your grill.) Place chicken flat on grill, buttered side down. Place a large heavy skillet (cast iron works great) on top of the chicken. Close grill cover and cook 8 to 10 minutes, watching closely so as not to burn chicken skin.

Turn grill off and turn chicken over. Place skillet again on top of chicken. Close cover and let cook 25 to 30 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

NOTE: If grill cools down too much, turn on flames again occasionally. You want to maintain a temperature of about 350 degrees in the grill.

NOTE: If you are cooking with briquettes, move the briquettes to both sides of the grill and place the chicken in the center so that the second cooking time is with indirect heat.

— posted by Donna


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