Butterflied Grilled Garlic Lemon Chicken

I love grilled chicken. It’s the perfect way to cook chicken on a hot summer day not only because grilled food tastes delicious, but the heat from cooking stays out of the house.

An even more delicious way to eat chicken is a whole chicken, spatchcocked. You can spatchcock, or butterfly, different kinds of meats like pork chops. I often spatchcock a whole chicken and grill it so that it cooks a more evenly and it doesn’t take as long to cook. I’ve even brined and spatchcocked a turkey for Christmas one year. Try it one day. You’ll fall in love with the technique like I did.

We went to our local Costco last weekend and bought a bag of raw whole chicken because it was on sale. I know it’s cheaper and less labour intense to buy the precooked rotisserie chicken, but I enjoy cooking and adding my own flavour and spin to food.

To butterfly the whole chicken, I took my kitchen shear, cut off the twine then cut out the backbone. I saved the backbone to use in an Instant Pot chicken stock later in the week. After cutting out the backbone, I opened the chicken up and pressed on the breast to flatten it. I took twine that I previously cut off and tied the chicken legs together so they weren’t flopping around on the grill.

I put it in a marinade of freshly squeezed lemon juice, lemon pepper seasoning, garlic, salt, and olive oil. I let it sit in the marinade for about 30 minutes, but ideally you should marinate for longer (for 1-2 hours or overnight).

Hubby preheated the grill to about 400F. When the grill was ready, I placed the chicken on the grill bones down/skin up. Bonus if you kept the lemon rinds from the marinade. I usually add those to the grill for extra “smoking” while the chicken cooks.

The chicken cooks for about 30 minutes on one side, then flip and cook on the other side for another 30 minutes. The internal temperature when fully cooked should be 165F.

After removing the chicken from the grill, we let it rest for about 10 minutes. Then we sliced into four pieces: two breast pieces and two leg pieces. For this meal, we served with steamed rice and salad.


Print Recipe
Butterflied Grilled Garlic Lemon Chicken
A whole chicken spatchcocked, marinated in lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil, then grilled to perfection.
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Passive Time 10 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Passive Time 10 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Butterfly the chicken. Using kitchen shears or a sharp knife, cut the backbone off. Reserve for future use or discard. Tie leg ends together.
  2. In a large Ziplock bag, squeeze juice of two lemons. Add lemon rinds. Add lemon pepper seasoning, garlic, olive oil, and salt. Place chicken in bag and close. Rub marinade around chicken and let rest for at least 30 minutes up up to 8 hours.
  3. Preheat grill to 400F. When heated, add chicken to grill bone side down/skin up. Grill for 30 minutes, then flip and grill for another 30 minutes or until the internal temperature using a meat thermometer reads 165F.
  4. Remove chicken from grill and using tongs squeeze grilled lemon juice on chicken. Let rest for about 10 minutes. Cut and serve.

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