Lemon-Rosemary Grilled Chicken

These wonderful Lemony Chicken Breasts come to us via Christina over at It’s A Keeper. She got the recipe from Cook’s Country Magazine. No doubt, Christina is a woman after my own heart, scoring cookbooks, clipping, and Food-Oriented magazines for new and exciting recipes to try and share with the rest of the world. After all, isn’t that why we write about foods and why we read what others have written?

We’ve made this a few times now. The grilled lemon adds so much depth and flavor, it’s unbelievable. Be sure, especially when grilling skinless breasts, to start with a clean grill grate that has been oiled. This will prevent the chicken from sticking since it has no fat to protect it from the fire. Another trick to grilling a nice breast is to build your coals for a two-stage grilling process. That is to spread the hot coals on one side of the grill. Should the chicken brown before the meat is fully cooked, simple move the breasts to the cooler side of the grill. Chicken breasts do best when cooked at a grilling temperature of about 375-450 degrees. This will give the breasts that nice golden-brown exterior without drying out the meat.

Lemon-Rosemary Grilled Chicken
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon salt, for dry brine
1 lemon, halved
1 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup olive oil

Start with chicken breasts that have been made even. Place breasts in a zip-lock bag and flatten meat to an even thickness using either a heavy skilled (such as a cast-iron) or a meat mallet. Once the chicken is flattened (about 3/4 inch thick all the way around), remove from bag and pat dry. Salt breasts and let rest on the counter on a rack placed over a baking sheet. This will allow the air to circulate around the breasts and the salt to do its thing, breaking down some of the proteins to ensure a tender, moist grilled piece of meat. The breast should rest for about 30-minutes. (This is about the same amount of time it will take to build your fire – how convenient!)

Once your coals are ready, grill lemons, cut side down, over the hot fire until deep brown and caramelized, about 5-8 minutes.

Squeeze 3 tablespoons juice from grilled lemons into medium bowl.  Stir in mustard, rosemary, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper.  Slowly whisk in oil until emulsified; reserve 1/3 cup.

Pat chicken dry with paper towels.  Brush chicken with remaining dressing and grill over coals until well browned and cooked through. (Be sure to get those beautiful grill marks for an extra special presentation). The breast should take about 6 minutes per side. If the chicken is browning too fast, move breasts to the cooler side of the grill to continue cooking without drying them out.

Remove chicken from grill, plate with grilled lemons and a few sprigs of Rosemary for a nice presentation.

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