Sunday Supper: Grilled Ginger-Lemongrass Chicken Recipe

Each Saturday evening we bring you a Sunday Supper recipe. Why on Saturday? So you have time to shop and prepare for tomorrow.

In case you hadn't noticed, it's Memorial Day weekend here in the U.S. of A., and like all red-blooded hoot-hollerin' Americans, I plan to do my share of grilling this weekend.

This is one of my favorite grilled chicken recipes. It's got the flavors of Southeast Asia built right in, flavors that seem to do very well over the flame.

I typically halve this recipe when making it for myself. But for the weekend, I'm sure you're having people over or hanging out in a crowd, so following it as-is, with two chickens, should do it for you.

Butterflying a Chicken

One other thing. This recipe calls for you to butterfly a chicken. Up until a few years ago, I had never done this or even realized the usefulness of this technique. I know our more advanced cooks and grillers out there are probably laughing right now, but for anyone who hasn't got a clue how to butterfly a bird, well, here's a video. Butterflying allows the chicken to cook more evenly, and it's pretty damn easy to do. Check it:

Link: How to Butterfly a Chicken [YouTube]

Recipe Facts

Total: 0 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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  • 1/2 cup peanut oil
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 chopped scallions, white and green parts (7 or 8 scallions)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
  • 4 or 5 stalks lemongrass, chopped
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 chickens (2 1/2- to 3-pounds each), butterfiled


  1. Combine the oil, lemon juice, cilantro, scallions, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and lemon zest in a bowl.

  2. Using a small knife, loose the chicken skin. Put the chickens in a shallow glass or ceramic dish; pour marinade over. Push some cilantro, scallions, garlic, ginger, and lemongrass under the loose skin. Turn chicken to coat in marinade. Cover and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours. Before grilling, let chicken come to room temp.

  3. Prep a grill, lightly spraying the grate with vegetable oil cooking spray. Light the coals or gas burner and let them come to moderately hot heat.

  4. Grill chicken, skin side up to start, for 30 to 40 minutes, turning several times. Cook until the juices run clear when thigh is poked with a fork or sharp knife or until an instant-read themometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh (but not touching bone) registers 180°F. Serve.