Weeknight Dinners: Grilled Lemon(y) Chicken

I so, so badly wanted to make a Lemony Snicket joke, but I couldn’t think of a way to mesh the words “Snicket” and “chicken” seamlessly enough.  So many regrets.

Know what I don’t have any regrets over, though?  This chicken.  This delicious, very pro-spring chicken.

(See, that’s sort of a half pun.  I’ll take it.)

One of these days, the winning prettiest plate will actually be mine.

One of these days, the winning prettiest plate will actually be mine.

Technically, not a weeknight dinner: it was Saturday’s.  But it’s easy enough to be a weeknight dinner, so I’m cheating and using it as one.

You won’t tell the Blog Police, will you?

We decided on a grilled roaster, which I seasoned with coriander, lemon zest, and pepper.  Butter, quartered lemon slices, and fresh cilantro were all stuffed under the skin– and let me tell you, those lemon pieces were the best idea ever.

Baawk baaawk, says the tasty bird.

Baawk baaawk, says the tasty bird.

I taught my mom what “spatchcocked” means this weekend.  And then I kept saying it, because I like the word.

Spatchcocked.

Spatchcocked.

I’ll stop now.

Vegetables: how do I love thee, let me count the ways...

Vegetables: how do I love thee, let me count the ways…

Sides were standard issue; oven-roasted asparagus and lemon brown rice.

Which got suuuper lemony.  Note to Self: do not put the lemon in quite so early next time.

Crispy skin!  Lemony finish!  Nothing not to love.

Crispy skin! Lemony finish! Nothing not to love.

When the chicken came off the grill, it got a second spice with more fresh cilantro, lemon juice, and olive oil.  Perfection.

Grilled Lemon Chicken

Ingredients

  • whole roaster, backbone removed
  • 1 lemon, zested and halved
  • 4 tablespoons fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Cooking Directions

  1. First, prepare your chicken: cut the butter into small pats and tuck under the skin. Follow with half of the chopped cilantro. Finish by tucking in quartered lemon slices (cut from one of your lemon halves). Starting with the cut-side, rub the bird with the coriander, black pepper, and lemon zest.
  2. Next, grill: cook the chicken about 20 minutes each side. Keep an eye out for flames licking at the bird.
  3. Then, put together your marinade: whisk together the juice from the second lemon half, the remaining cilantro, and a pinch of kosher salt. While whisking, drizzle in the olive oil. Brush over the chicken right off the grill and let rest 2-5 minutes before serving.

What’s your preferred way to prep a bird– or do you have a cooking technique that you just love talking about?  

(Spatchcock.  Really, I’ll stop.)

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