One thing I love about my family is that it is never the wrong time of year to grill. Not only do we grill burgers in the summer, but we grill in the winter, too. I’m pretty sure that two years ago when it snowed on Christmas day my dad was out there grilling our traditional Christmas duck. He has grilled in freezing weather and pouring rain. And we’re carrying on that tradition at our home. A couple of months ago we had a big family dinner and wanted to grill burgers, but because of the rain Gerrit and my dad ended up grilling halfway in the garage with the rain blowing in.
I’ve been eyeing meyer lemons in the grocery store for a couple of weeks now, but I couldn’t decide what to do with them. I have a couple of dessert recipes waiting to be made that call for meyer lemons. But I really wanted something a bit more savory. And this recipe from Anne Burrell, of chicken marinated in lemon and dijon mustard and herbs, is what stood out to me. Only I skipped past it a few times, thinking to myself that we weren’t going to fire up the grill in January, only to come back and remind myself that that is just silly. It is never the wrong time to fire up the grill.
I made this for my parents when they came over for dinner and a game and for my mom to see the new kitchen hardware that they gave us for Christmas. It can go in the repertoire of things-I-can-make-for-my-mom now that she has to be on a lower fat diet (none of those short ribs I had in my freezer or the mushroom lasagna I was craving). This chicken though, well, we didn’t miss anything with it being lower fat. The marinade was tangy and bright (perfect for the coming (but not soon enough) months of Spring).
The meyer lemon gave it a nice sweetness, although if you only have regular lemons available that is absolutely no excuse not to make this. Other unacceptable excuses include that it’s not the right time of year to grill. But if you really really want to, I think this would work fine baked in the oven as well. Just keep this recipe in your back pocket though, because grilled or baked, this is one of the best chicken marinades I’ve had.
Meyer Lemon and Dijon Grilled Chicken
adapted from Anne Burrell
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Wait Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
2 Meyer lemons, zested and juiced
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 bone-in, skin-on pieces chicken
1. Whisk together Meyer lemon zest, juice, Dijon mustard, rosemary, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a medium sized bowl (or plastic zip top bag). Add the chicken, and work the marinade into the chicken to make sure all the pieces get coated.
2. Let marinate in refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight. Remove from fridge 30 minutes before you want to grill it.
3. To grill, heat the charcoal for a charcoal grill in a chimney. When the charcoal is hot enough, spread it out in the bottom of one side of the grill, leaving half the grill without charcoal.*
4. Place the chicken, skin side up, on the side of the grill without direct heat. Cover the grill and let the chicken cook for about 40 to 55 minutes, until a meat thermometer reads about 165 when inserted into the thickest part of the chicken.
5. Transfer the chicken, skin side down, to the hot side of the grill. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the skin is crisp and brown. Remove chicken from the grill and let it rest for about 5 minutes before serving. Serve warm.**
*Charcoal is the kind of grill I am most familiar with, however this can be adapted for a gas grill by only lighting half the grill to medium heat.
** Yes, these are the exact same instructions as my favorite buttermilk brined chicken. To the best of my knowledge, I don’t think you can beat this way of grilling chicken.