Grilling: Planked Chicken Quarters with Lemon and Herb


Fire up your grill and get ready for some serious smoke.


[Photographs: Joshua Bousel]

I'm on a constant mission to squeeze as much flavor into chicken as possible. It's a blank canvas of meat with a relatively light flavor; the possibilities are endless. But I often find myself trying to improve my favorite lemon and herb chicken, and I think I've reached a new level of greatness with these planked chicken quarters.

For this recipe, I took a different approach, cutting a few slashes on the leg and thigh quarters to create ravines for the lemon and herb baste to sink into. The chicken was then brined and grilled over direct heat until the skin crisped. Finally, the quarters rested on wood planks over indirect heat, and were brushed with the baste.

When finished, the chicken came out looking beautifully browned with attractive specs of herbs coating the skin. They were bursting with a bright acidic lemon flavor and an herbal freshness.