Tuscan Lemon Chicken

Hey, Friends!!

It’s time to start cooking through Ina’s Back to Basics Cook Book! {{Clap Clap Clap!}}

Back to Basics was the first Barefoot Contessa cook book I purchased – followed by days later purchasing the older ones. Ina is hands-down-my-favorite chef. We both love to entertain, and we both love simple, yet elegant foods.

Tuscan Lemon Chicken was the first recipe I made from her cookbook, so it’s only fitting that it be the first one I share with you!

This chicken is super yummy. If you love lemon and rosemary, you will LOVE this. 

Tuscan Lemon Chicken

  • 1 (3 1/2-pound) chicken, flattened
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup good olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon, halved


Sprinkle the chicken with 1 teaspoon salt on each side. Combine the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, and 2 teaspoons pepper in a small measuring cup. Place the chicken in a ceramic or glass dish just large enough to hold it flat. Pour the lemon marinade over the chicken, turning it in the dish. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Turn the chicken 2 or 3 times while marinating.

When ready to grill, prepare a hot charcoal fire on 1 side of a grill (or turn a gas grill on low heat). Spread 1/4 of the coals across the other side of the grill. Place the chicken on the cooler side, skin side up, and weigh it down with the dish you used for marinating. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until the underside is golden brown. Turn the chicken skin side down, weight again with the dish, and cook for another 12 to 15 minutes, until the skin is golden brown and the chicken is cooked through. Place the lemon halves on the cool side of the grill, cut side down for the last 10 minutes of cooking. Remove the chicken to a plate or cutting board, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Cut in quarters, sprinkle with salt, and serve with the grilled lemon halves.

Make this chicken this week. It’s easy and quick! Besides waiting for the bird to marinate, you have most of your dinner ready in half an hour. Add a side of roasted broccoli and you have a great meal. If you have any leftover chicken, cutting it up and making chicken salad with it is phenomenal. Just saying.

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