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Lemon and rosemary BBQ chicken recipe

Lemon and rosemary BBQ chicken recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Poultry
  • Chicken
  • BBQ chicken
  • BBQ chicken breasts

A quick and easy marinade, but with incredible flavour! Rosemary, garlic and lemon are combined with chicken breasts and barbecued.

170 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 110g butter
  • 15g fresh rosemary, leaves picked
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 6 skinless chicken breast fillets
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:8min ›Extra time:3hr marinating › Ready in:3hr23min

  1. In a food processor, thoroughly blend together butter, rosemary, garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice. Pour 1/3 of blended mixture into a small bowl for marinade. Cover remaining mixture and set aside.
  2. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Rub chicken with marinade mixture; cover and chill for 3 hours.
  3. Preheat an outdoor BBQ for high heat and lightly oil grate.
  4. Pour half of the reserved marinade into a bowl for basting. Cover remaining mixture and set aside for topping cooked chicken.
  5. Barbecue chicken breasts, basting with marinade, until no longer pink in the centre, about 4 minutes per side. Remove chicken from barbecue and top with small scoops of remaining reserved marinade.

Recently viewed

Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(265)

Reviews in English (193)

by Jillian

Simple and delicous! Lemon and rosemary pair well together and this was no exception. Like just about everyone else, I used olive oil (about 1/4 cup) instead of butter. Not only because it's healthier, but because in terms of marinades it just tenderizes the chicken a lot better. I love fresh rosemary and fresh lemon along with the garlic and I also added just a bit of dijon mustard to the mix. I pounded the chicken down thin and poked it with a fork. I put everything into a ziploc bag and let it marinate for about 6 hours turning it a few times during marinating. Wow - what tender, juicy chicken that was full of wonderful lemony herbed flavor! This is a definite keeper.-18 Feb 2011


Instead of butter, I used extra virgin olive oil and threw everything in a plastic bag. I also pounded my chicken breasts very thin. I served platter style with some fresh rosemary and grilled lemon slices. Presentation was gorgeous.-09 Aug 2006

by Muffinmom

Delicious marinade!!! I used olive oil rather than the butter (much healthier), and then grilled this on my George Foreman and it turned out perfect, very moist and flavorful!-24 Jun 2008

Grilled Rosemary Lemon Chicken Recipe

This Grilled Rosemary Lemon Chicken recipe is easy to make for a crowd! I used drumsticks and thighs for the recipe, but breasts would work as well. This recipe can be part of a low-carb, keto, Atkins, gluten-free, grain-free, paleo, or Banting diet.

Disclaimer: Some of the links on this site are affiliate links which means we make a small commission from any sales to help keep the recipes coming! You do not pay any more. Thank you for your support!

Rosemary Lemon Spatchcocked Chicken

  • Author: Robyn
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35-40 minutess
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1 x


If the word Spatchcocking sounds odd, it really just means it is a butterfliend Chicken! Rosemary and lemon come together to form an epic seasoning paste that makes for the best grilled chicken of your life! Trust me!


  • 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 ZEST of 2 lemons- this is really what makes it very fragrant!
  • the juice of half a lemon (you don’t need much juice, mainly only the zest)
  • 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 NOT iodized – it is not the same- it will be too salty!)
  • 1 tblsp smoked fresh ground pepper (if you don’t have smoked pepper, use regular fresh ground pepper)


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 165 degrees as read by an internal read thermometer. 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. Serve with your favorite sides.

  • Category: Grilled Rosemary Lemon Chicken, Butterflied Grilled Chicken
  • Method: Grilled Spatchcocked Chicken
  • Cuisine: Outdoor cooking, Backyard bbq, grilled Chicken recipes

Keywords: How to Grill Spatchcocked Chicken, Grilled Spatchcocked Chicken Recipe, Spatchcocked Chicken on the Grill, How to Grill Spatchcocked Chicken

Fire Up the Grill

I grilled these breasts on a Weber Q1200 gas grill but you can use any grill that has the ability to cook with direct Medium/Low heat.

It is important to use Medium/Low heat. Do not be tempted to crank the grill up to High.

The presence of the bones in the split breasts creates a very unevenly shaped piece of meat. If we tried grilling the breasts at high heat the outside would be burned before the inside had time to finish cooking.

Place the chicken on the grill BONE SIDE DOWN and close the lid.

Every 4-5 minutes open the grill and move the breasts to different spots on the grill. I do this to check to make sure nothing is burning and even out the cooking in case the grill is heating unevenly.

After 15 minutes of cooking, flip the breasts over so that they are now SKIN SIDE DOWN. The bone side of the chicken should have some char at this point but should not be burnt.

Grill the chicken, skin side down, for another 15 minutes moving it around every 4-5 minutes. Be vigilant for flare ups as the skin starts to render fat.

After 15 minutes flip the chicken to SKIN SIDE UP and finish grilling until an internal temperature of 165F is reached.

The grilled lemon and aromatic rosemary combine to make this juicy chicken extraordinarily delicious!

If you are looking for other ideas to try then here is our recipe for Smoked Bone In Chicken Breasts.

Lemon Garlic Rosemary Roast Chicken

Keyword Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken

Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 3.5 - 4 LB whole chicken
  • 4 lemons juiced = to about 1 cup for marinade
  • 8 cloves garlic puréed or minced = to 2 tbsp
  • 1 tbsp rosemary fresh or dried
  • 1 tbsp italian seasoning
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive or veggie oil
  • 2 tbsp butter melted
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp roasted garlic and herb seasoning I use Mc Cormick brand
  • 2 lemons wedged used to stuff the chicken
  • 1 tsp rosemary fresh or dried
  • 1 whole garlic halved


Grilled Cornish Hens with Lemon and Rosemary Recipe

Pat hens dry with paper towels and place breast-side-down on a large cutting board. Using sharp kitchen shears, remove the backbone by cutting along either side of it. Turn chicken over and lay out flat. Press firmly on breast to flatten the chicken. For added stability, run a metal or wooden skewer horizontally, entering through one thigh, going through both breast halves, and exiting through the other thigh. Tuck wing tips behind back of breasts. Repeat with remaining hens.

Combine salt, pepper, rosemary, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, and olive oil in a small bowl and stir with fingers until homogenous. Rub mixture evenly over all surfaces of hens.

Light one half chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over half of coal grate. Alternatively, set half the burners of a gas grill to high heat. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate.

Place hens skin-side-up directly over the coals. Cover and cook until lightly charred on bottom, about 5 minutes. Carefully flip birds skin-side-down. Cover and continue to cook until golden brown, crisp, charred in spots, and center of breasts registers 145 to 150°F on an instant read thermometer, about 15 minutes longer. If birds threaten to burn before temperature is achieved, carefully slide to cooler side of grill, cover, and cook until done. Remove from grill, let rest 5 minutes, and serve.

Whole Roasted BBQ Rosemary Garlic Lemon Chicken

Place garlic, rosemary and sea salt on a cutting board. Chop until fine. Place the mixture in a small bowl, squeeze the juice out of lemon slices over the top and add olive oil. Mix to combine.

Put the chicken in a roasting pan or another large dish. Rub half the garlic mixture over the underside of the chicken and then flip chicken over and rub the remaining mixture over and under the skin of the chicken. Place juiced lemon slices over the top of the chicken. At this point chicken can be placed into the refrigerator for up to 12 hours.

To cook chicken place hot coals on one side of the grill and cook the chicken on the opposite side of the grill over indirect heat. Close the lid and cook it. Check chicken every 20 minutes basting as needed with a bit of olive oil or melted butter. Chicken takes about an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes. Cook until no longer pink and thigh bone easily pulls away from the carcass. The last 8 minutes of cooking add any desired vegetables to the grill to complete the meal. When done remove chicken from the grill onto a serving tray and allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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Next, make the marinade

I just mix it right in the bag I'm going to use. No need to dirty another bowl, right? I do put the bag into a bowl so it's easier to contain while measuring in the ingredients. Just toss in the rosemary, olive oil, juice and rinds of the lemons, salt, and pepper.

Lemon-rosemary Chicken Recipe

Delicious summer BBQ'd chicken. Perfect with a salad and/or rice. A favorite of mine.

  • sweet
  • lemony
  • chicken
  • rosemary
  • summer
  • honey
  • bbq
  • lemon
  • garlic
  • marinade
  • sweet
  • lemony
  • chicken
  • rosemary
  • summer
  • honey
  • bbq
  • lemon
  • garlic
  • marinade

Schedule your weekly meals and get auto-generated shopping lists.

  • 4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/3 c. lemon juice
  • ¼ c. olive oil
  • 2 T. dried rosemary (I like fresh rosemary)
  • 1 lg. clove garlic, minced
  • 2 T. liquid honey
  • 2 T. Dijon mustard


  • 4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts shopping list
  • 1/3 c. lemon juiceshopping list
  • ¼ c. olive oilshopping list
  • 2 T. dried rosemary (I like fresh rosemary) shopping list
  • 1 lg. clove garlic, minced shopping list
  • 2 T. liquid honeyshopping list
  • 2 T. Dijon mustardshopping list

How to make it

  • Marinade chicken in first 4 ingredients for approximately 3 hours, turning often. BBQ as per usual using the last 2 ingredients as a baste. (Discard the marinade)
People Who Like This Dish 3
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  • Show up here?Review or Bookmark it! ✔

The Cook

The Rating

I am a sucker for anything with lemon. This recipe sounds easy and delicious. Thanks for sharing. Jim

Oh,does this sound good. I will have to try it out asap.I just submitted a roasted lemon-rosemary chicken recipe.I guess great minds think alike,huh?
Carrie :)

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