GRILLED LEMON CHICKEN

GRILLED LEMON CHICKEN (for four)

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1 chicken (3-1/2 pounds), cut into eight serving pieces

For the lemon marinade:

1 tablespoon finely grated fresh lemon zest

½ cup fresh lemon juice

½ cup vegetable oil

1 large egg

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

¼ teaspoon white pepper

For the lemon vinaigrette:

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

1 minced large garlic clove

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 cup olive oil

4 lemons, halved crosswise

fresh rosemary sprigs for garnish


1. Marinate the chicken. Combine the marinade ingredients in a blender and blend until emulsified.

2. Put the chicken pieces into a non-reactive bowl or dish or in a large, heavy-duty, re-sealable plastic bag. Add the marinade and turn the chicken once or twice to coat. Marinate, covered and chilled, at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours. Bring chicken to room temperature 30 minutes before grilling.

3. Make the vinaigrette. In a large nonreactive bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, red pepper flakes and salt, then add olive oil in a slow stream, whisking.

4. Grill the chicken. Light 20 to 25 briquettes and when fire is medium hot (you can hold your hand 5 inches above the grill rack directly over the coals for 3 to 4 seconds), build a 2 level fire by pushing the coals onto half of the grill, piling them about 3 briquettes high. Oil the rack and heat it for 5 minutes. If you are using a gas grill, preheat all burners to high, then reduce to medium-high.

5. Remove the chicken from the marinade, discard the marinade, then pat chicken dry. Grill chicken, skin side up, 3 minutes on the hotter side of the grill. Flip it over and grill 3 minutes on the other side. Move to the cooler side of the grill, skin side up, cover and grill 15 minutes longer, until an instant read thermometer registers 160* (do not touch the bone). Transfer chicken as cooked to the bowl with the vinaigrette and turn to coat, then transfer to a serving platter and let stand, tented with foil, 10 minutes before serving.

6. When chicken is almost done, grill lemon halves, cut sides down, uncovered, over coals until grill marks appear, about 3 minutes, then transfer to platter with chicken. Serve lemons and chicken, garnished with rosemary sprigs, with remaining vinaigrette on the side.

adapted from Gourmet Magazine, June, 2003 and 2005

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