Grilled Chicken with Herbs and Lemon

I have decided to break my own, self-imposed rule about using instructional photos.

There is the old adage: ‘A picture is worth ten thousand words’.

I will, however, not post my few how-to photos before the recipe.

The reason I get so irritated with bloggers who post step-by-step-by-step photos on every recipe is that they post them before the recipe.

If I look at the recipe and decide I need something clarified I can continue on, but I don’t need to see a photo of a spoon stirring frying onions beforehand.

I digress….

This is one of the fussier chicken recipes I do in the summer, but the work is done earlier in the day, whenever I have the time, so it’s still easy.

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Grilled Chicken with Herbs and Lemon

If you want cold chicken leftovers or are cooking for 4, do a whole chicken, otherwise just do your favorite pieces. I did 5 leg-thigh pieces, which we prefer.
The herb mixture is enough for a whole chicken.

  • Author: Katie Zeller
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Grilling


  • 1 chicken, cut-up, skin on or your favorite pieces 
  • 4 tbs snipped fresh chives
  • 4 tbs finely chopped fresh parsley 
  • 2 tbs finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tbs finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 tbs finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tbs finely chopped fresh basil
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper 
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/41/2 cup olive oil


  • Early in the day or the night before snip, chop and mince herbs, garlic – you’re making a paste so they should be fairly fine. 
  • Put all into a small bowl and add the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix well. 
  • Add enough olive oil to make a thin paste.
  • Loosen the skin on the chicken by slowly working your fingers between the flesh and the skin. Try not to puncture the skin. 
  • With your fingers take a bit of the herb mixture and put it under the skin, smoothing it over the flesh.
  • Stretch the skin to cover and put in a baking dish of some sort, just large enough to hold all of the pieces. You will want to put about half of the mixture under the skin of the pieces. 
  • When finished, add a bit more oil to the remaining herb mixture and rub/pour over the the top of the pieces. 
  • Cover with film and refrigerate until ready to cook. 
  • Cook on barbecue grill for 30 – 45 minutes. Chicken is done at 170F (76C) or when juices run clear – poke with a skewer or knife. Thighs and legs take a bit longer than breasts. Try not to overcook.
  • Start it over direct heat, but watch carefully – the oil will cause flair-ups. Once it gets some nice color/flavor move it to indirect heat, close cover and let finish cooking.


If you need to use dried herbs, use 1/4 the amount of fresh.
This needs at least several hours marinating time so do it earlier in the day or the night before.

Grilled Chicken with Herbs & Lemon

You can, of course chop the herbs with a knife or even use a scissors, but for this many herbs I like a mezzaluna.


When putting the herbs under the skin be gentle so you don’t split it. But skin is surprisingly elastic.Stretch it back to fit.

chicken and herbs

Pour the rest of the mix over and let it marinate for a few (or more) hours – in the fridge, of course.

Lemon Chicken

There…. That wasn’t so bad, was it?

I promise not to do it again – or, at least, not often

4 thoughts on “Grilled Chicken with Herbs and Lemon”

  1. We don’t do much chicken on the grill more because it’s usually dry by the time it’s cooked. This looks yummy and I’m wondering if I could give it some color on the grill, then move it to the oven and do my potato packets and green beans/bacon/onion packets on the grill while the chicken cooks…I might have to try that.

    I get pretty irritated with all the pictures on the food blogger sites as well. The only one I’ve ever been ‘grateful’ to for doing a video was Natasha’s Kitchen when I tried macarons for the first time. But that’s the thing. If I need to see something done, and that’s so very rare, I’ll go looking for a video or pictures. I don’t need them to grill a steak. I’ve been cooking longer than most of these food bloggers have been alive for beef’s sake!

    • And I don’t need a photo of an onion before it’s cut. I know what an onion looks like. I blame it all on the pioneer woman (whom I avoid at all costs. She once did a post on making toast.,… in a toasted, a dozen photos.

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