Rosemary Lemon Spatchcocked Chicken

February 5, 2013

For those days when plain old chicken just won’t do, try GrillGrrrl’s flavorful version, featuring preserved Meyer lemons.

rosemary chicken recipe

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 or even online.

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 supreme 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? I’d love to hear about it so be sure to leave a comment below.


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!

For the chicken marinade: 

2 tbsps. extra virgin olive oil

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 tbsp. smoked sea salt (if you don’t have smoked sea salt, use regular sea salt)

1 tbsp. 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 tbsps.

rosemary chicken recipe

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 tbsp. 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 the juices. Served with your favorite sides.




Related Topics: Barbecue Chicken Recipes | Barbeque Chicken Recipes | Bbq Chicken Recipes | Chicken | Chicken Marinade | Editor's Picks | Grilled Chicken Recipes | Grillgrrrl | Lemon | Lemon Chicken | Main Dish | Rosemary | Spatchcock Chicken

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