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Rosemary Lemon Spatchcocked Chicken

rosemary lemon, grilled rosemary lemon chicken, spatchcocked chicken, how to grill a whole chicken

Rosemary and Lemon- my new favorite flavor combo for 2013! Even if you don’t make a spatchcocked chicken, this marinade will be good on any chicken you make!

I’ve gotten great mileage out of the preserved lemons I made a month or so ago. And I’ve also discovered that Rosemary paired with lemon is one of my favorite flavor combinations. If you don’t have preserved meyer lemons on hand, you can buy them at a specialty grocery store like Fresh Market or even online on Amazon (I’m an Amazon junkie so that’s a no brainer for me).

I made this dish for the first time when our good friends Steve and Dolleen came into town from San Francisco. They gave it rave reviews and Scott said it is the BEST chicken I have ever made. I’ve made a LOT of chicken dishes so I will take that as a surpreme compliment. I think you can’t go wrong with this recipe if you follow the directions and use FRESH lemon juice, NOT the bottled stuff. I made this a second time and didn’t have enough lemon juice on hand and substituted the bottled stuff and it was not as good. I paired this with my side staples: grilled romaine, herbed grilled veggies and basil butter texas toast. Can’t go wrong with those! Got a lemon rosemary combination recipe I should try? Leave me a comment- I’d love to hear about it.


  • 1 medium sized whole chicken, that has been split at the backbone so it will lay flat for grilling (insides removed obviously, rinsed, etc). Make it easy on yourself and have the butcher split the backbone for you!
  • 2 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
  • The juice of 1 Meyer Lemon (or regular lemon if you don’t have a meyer lemon)
  • 3 large sprigs rosemary (when adding to the food processor, remove the leaves from the woody stem)
  • 1 tblsp smoked sea salt (if you don’t have smoked sea salt, use regular sea salt)
  • 1 tblsp smoked fresh ground pepper (if you don’t have smoked pepper, use regular fresh ground pepper)
  • 1 whole preserved lemon. This should equal about 3 tblsps (or so) of preserved lemon.
My preserved Meyer Lemons in front of my Meyer Lemon tree. Dogs in the background not included! :)

My preserved Meyer Lemons in front of my Meyer Lemon tree. Dogs in the background not included! :)

Marinade Directions:

Combine all ingredients (except chicken) in a food processor until a fine seasoning paste/marinade is formed and it is a uniform consistency. Next, go ahead and take your hand (this is the un-fun part but it must be done) and separate the skin from the meat on the chicken so you can get the marinade underneath skin on all parts. Next, rub the marinade in under the chicken skin so you get marinade directly on the meat, reserving a small portion (about 2 tblsp worth) to rub on the outside of the chicken.

Prepare your grill:

Prepare your grill for direct and indirect cooking with the temperature at 350 degrees. Oil your grill grates with canola oil so the meat will not stick. Cook the chicken on indirect for about 20 minutes, flipping once in the process. Finish the final 10 minutes on direct heat (flipping once to get both sides) or until the internal temperature on the breast meat has reached 170 degrees. Use a brick covered in foil to the help the chicken lay flat and get it extra crispy on the outside (you can still grill without a brick but this will help to cook more evenly).

After pulling the chicken off the grill, tent for 10 minutes so it has time to reabsorb its’ juices. Served with your favorite sides.

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9 Responses to Rosemary Lemon Spatchcocked Chicken

  1. Lawrence January 9, 2013 at 11:02 pm #

    I will give the Meyer Lemons a try. And, I love your collection of grills.

    I don’t not had the patio space to keep my old friends of metal but I have gone through a similar rotation from table top sears special to gas to Oklahoma Joe to Green Egg.

    I do still have my first table top grill. Some things you just can’t part with.

  2. Chris January 12, 2013 at 10:21 am #

    An awesome flavor combination, no doubt. I have to figure something out about the rosemary in our front yard. It is more stiff than the “fresh” purchased from the store and sometimes that resin-like flavor is more pronounced.

    Chicken sounds great, Robyn!

  3. Robyn January 14, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

    Chris- your rosemary sounds like the kind that might be great for skewers!!

  4. Greg January 14, 2013 at 4:18 pm #

    That sounds great. I wonder how it would be with regular lemons. Meyer lemons can be tough to find in Canada.

  5. Robyn January 20, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

    Greg I am not sure. What is going into these is the peel of a preserved lemon so that is what gives it serious lemon flavor. You can easily make preserved lemons if you plan a week or so in advance :)

  6. Joanne June 3, 2014 at 9:17 pm #

    Hello would love to try this on our new big green egg which we are still learning to use, please can you explain ‘set up for direct and Indirect’ I have done both separately but not together thank you

  7. Robyn June 8, 2014 at 8:15 am #

    Hi Joanne,

    For the BGE, I believe what I would do for this would be to use the plate setter for indirect and then put the chicken on the grates for direct. Make sure not to touch the plate setter when you remove it to put the chicken directly on the grates :). Best of luck!


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