A marked improvement over previous attempts at lemon and herb chicken, these planked quarters burst with an incredible bright and acidic lemon flavor paired with a herbal freshness.
About the author: Joshua Bousel brings you new, tasty condiment each Wednesday and a recipe for weekend grilling every Friday. He also writes about grilling and barbecue on his blog The Meatwave whenever he can be pulled away from his grill.
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- Yield:serves 4
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:1 hour 45 minutes
- For the Brine
- 2 quarts cold water
- 1/3 cup Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 4 whole chicken leg and thigh quarters
- For the Baste
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium cloves garlic, mashed with a pinch of salt into a paste
- 1/2 cup lemon juice from about 4 lemons
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 wood grilling planks, soaked for 1 hour prior to use
- Type of fire: two-zone indirect
- Grill heat: medium-high
To make the brine: Whisk together water, salt, and sugar in a large container until salt and sugar are dissolved. Cut 3-4 slashes down to the bone on skin side of chicken. Submerge chicken quarters in brine. Place container in refrigerator and brine for 1 hour.
While chicken is brining, place olive oil and garlic paste in a small nonreactive saucepan over medium heat. When oil starts to bubble around garlic, remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Whisk in lemon juice, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and red pepper. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Remove chicken from brine, pat dry with paper towels. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place chicken over hot side of grill, skin side down. Cook until skin is browned and slightly crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to tray.
Place planks over hot side of the grill until they start to char and smoke. Flip planks over and move to cool side of grill and arrange chicken quarters on top of planks skin side up. Brush chicken liberally with baste. Cover grill and cook until chicken registers 165°F when an instant read thermometer is inserted into the thickest part of thigh, 20 to 30 minutes more.
Transfer chicken to serving platter and brush with baste again. Let rest for 5 minutes, then serve.