Grilling! Quick and Easy Lemon Garlic Chicken

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Ah, it’s grilling season. Nothing tastes quite as good as something cooked outdoors and infused with the flavor of wood smoke. Yes, I mean real grilling—with charcoal and wood. No dangerous-looking propane tanks for me…and certainly, no lighter fluid!

We’ve had a lot of grills over the years. My husband prefers a cheap Weber, but I lean toward the more unusual. Last year for Christmas he finally broke down and got me the grill I’d been longing for—the Big Green Egg. Not only does it have a great reputation among the real smoking-and-grilling-enthusiasts set, it’s also pretty! It matches my yard!

We always use natural wood charcoal, which we get at local high-end grocery stores, augmented by some real wood from our yard—doesn’t really matter what kind. And we always use a chimney starter to get the grill going. It works every time. (Unless the charcoal is wet.)

This chicken recipe is so quick and perfect for a night when you don’t want to fuss too much. And it tastes great cold the next day. To gussy it up, you can add all sorts of sauces or add it to salad—but this recipe is the most basic and delicious grilled chicken you can get.

Lemon-Garlic Chicken on the Grill


  • 4–6 skinless, boneless, organic chicken breasts
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Salt to taste


1. Take the chicken breast pieces and cut off any gross-looking bits. Pound them with a pounder between two pieces of parchment until they are evenly flat (about an inch or so thick). This ensures the chicken cooks evenly and quickly. If you don’t have a pounder, you can use a small cast-iron pan—or a shoe (just kidding!).

2. Put the breasts in a bowl with olive oil, the juice and skin from the lemon, and chopped garlic and salt. Marinate for as long as it takes you to get the grill ready; there’s no need to let it marinate for a long time. The olive oil makes the chicken nice and slippery and moist on the grill.

3. Grill for about five minutes on each side—or however long it takes to make sure it’s done but not overdone (or it will be dry).

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11 Responses to Grilling! Quick and Easy Lemon Garlic Chicken

  1. Cyndie May 7, 2010 at 9:12 am #


    You have such a cute sense of humor..I love it!

    Happy grilling!

  2. Joyce May 7, 2010 at 10:01 am #

    I your fun spirit and easy recipe…So how DO I know the chicken is done?! Iam never quite sure so, out of caution, I end up with dry chicken.

  3. Kathianne May 7, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    Do you have a recipe box???? Or is the only way to save a recipe is to print it and tash it in a drawer with a bunch of others. I was trying to eliminate this and keep most of my favorite ones in recipe boxex on line. Please answer to my e-mail. Thank you.

  4. Anne May 7, 2010 at 4:21 pm #

    You are so sweet and talented! This is coming to you from a 75 year old grandma who still loves to cook for my grandchildren. Your recipes are great..

    Have a lovely Mothers Day with wonderful memories.
    God Bless..

  5. Terry May 7, 2010 at 4:39 pm #

    You remind me of your mom who was my mentor.
    Just as lovable, witty and down-to-earth.

    Wish you a grand Mother’s Day with all the family you love
    around you.

  6. Rog.popaspepprsnatur;ly May 7, 2010 at 10:35 pm #

    Maria,your husb- would like the roasting pepper, Marconi’, I have not been able to find them here seems to be a shortage of varieties.. but the Marconi has a nice roasted wood taste, for no heat AND A LARGE LONG PEPPER .. THAT IS RED…..but__. for a little more heat( about 500K heat units or less ) for a roasted taste try a HABANERO, just cutting the end off is milder, just below the seeds. Or if u like citrus.. try the Carrabean(sp) Red…,,,, Joyce u could use a meat thermometer , and turn your heat down a little…NEBR

  7. michael May 8, 2010 at 6:12 am #

    Instead of the chicken breast I use skinless,boneless chicken thighs. So much more flavor than the breast and less chance of drying them out.
    I also marinate them in mango or guava nectar. I’m going to try your lemon recipe today. Happy Mothers day.

  8. maria (farm country kitchen) May 8, 2010 at 7:31 am #

    Thank you all so much for your mother’s day wishes! I’m going to spend the day totally lounging around!

    And Kathianne, you can find MOST of my recipes at the rodale recipe finder on — type in maria’s farm country kitchen into the search bar and a lot of my recipes will show up. And you can print them out in different shapes, or make a virtual recipe box AND find out just how much fat, salt, nutrients are in each serving!

    Happy mother’s day to you all!

  9. Rog.popaspepprsnatur;ly May 9, 2010 at 6:36 pm #


  10. Dave July 9, 2010 at 10:55 am #

    Give this a try with boneless chicken thighs. No pounding required. Even quicker and perhaps even tastier.


    Chef Dave

  11. Capatin June 22, 2011 at 9:56 am #

    Do you have more great atricels like this one?

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