Lemony Garlic and Thyme Grilled Chicken
There are so many things i love about summertime. Mostly though, love my grill and a really well marinated chicken. There’s really nothing like it.
I’ve always had my qualms with grilled chicken. I’ve always felt like it was overcooked, dry or just not seasoned to my liking, so i always opted for something else when we had bbq’s. While i love chicken, i just couldn’t get behind any of the ones i had had before. Until i began experimenting with my own grill, i didn’t truly understand the art of the marinade and grill temperature when cooking a chicken. You see, chicken does not have a flat surface the way a steak does. Especially not a whole chicken. So what happens is that one side always cooks quicker than the other leaving you with dry, overcooked chicken by the time you pull it off of the grill. Also, oil based marinades burn super quickly when they’re put over a high flame on the grill. So it’s essential that you’re careful with the way you heat your grill. Low temperatures are best for chicken. Low and slow.
This particular recipe is a take on chicken tawook. A Lebanese favorite. Skewers of garlicky, lemony chicken are cooked over a flame and dipped in more garlic sauce. Here i’ve created a recipe that is made with a whole chicken that’s been flattened by removing the backbone of the chicken, cracking the ribs slightly and marinating it well before placing it over a low flame grill and setting a heavy press or oven dish over it to keep it flat on the grill. Also, i highly recommend investing in a meat thermometer. I used to think i was too good of a cook to need a meat thermometer but i’ve been proven wrong. It’s so essential for perfectly cooked meat and chicken. For this recipe, a reading of 150 degrees Fahrenheit while it’s still on the grill is perfect. Remove the chicken once you see that 150 temperature and let it rest for 3-5 minutes under some aluminum foil. It will finish cooking and remain super, duper juicy.
One more thing about the chicken before i leave you with the recipe, flattening a chicken is ridiculously easy and honestly, i prefer doing it myself to having it done by a butcher because i get to keep the spine to use for a chicken broth later on. Just 3 simple steps to flattening a chicken.
find the spine and insert your knife along one side of the spine.
cut all the way down to the end of the chicken. Find the other side of the spine and cut all the way down as well. This will leave you with a spine that is no longer in the chicken.
create a slit right between the breasts, where the ribs are and crack to flatten the chicken.
Give this recipe a try! Share your comments and some love. If you make this recipe and share it on social media, tag it with the hashtag #hungrilyhomemaderecipe
Total Time: 1 hour marinade time, 32 minute cook time
Yield: 4 adult servings
1. 1 whole chicken, de-spined and flattened
2. 2 tbsp salt
3. 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
4. 3 lemons, juiced
5. 1/4 cup fresh thyme
6. 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1. Lay your flattened chicken on a cutting board and generously season it on both sides with salt. Ensure it’s well coated. The salt will keep the skin crispy and the meat juicy.
2. In a large enough container to hold the chicken, whisk together your garlic, lemon juice, thyme and olive oil.
3. Remove half of the marinade and and set aside. Lay the flattened chicken in the container with half of the marinade on the bottom and pour the remaining marinade that you set aside all over the top. Ensure that the whole chicken has had a chance to touch the marinade.
4. Set the marinading chicken in the fridge for 1 hour. Once it has completed marinading, remove from the fridge and heat your grill to a low temperature. You do not want the grill to be too hot.
5. Place your chicken over the grill, flat, with the bone side on the bottom first. Place a heavy baking dish, or oven dish over the top of it to add some weight and ensure that it lays flat and evenly cooks. Cook this first side for 16 minutes.
6. Flip the chicken at the 16 minute mark and lay the baking dish over the top once again. Cook for another 16 minutes. Remove from the grill once the temperature of the chicken is at 150 degrees Fahrenheit on a meat thermometer. Cover the chicken with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 3-5 minutes. Letting the chicken rest ensures the juices lock in place! Enjoy the chicken with a squeeze of lemon juice over top and some Lebanese garlic sauce to dip in.