Tart lemon and juicy chicken belong together. Sure it's sour, but when exposed to heat and mixed with poultry flavor and char, the taste mellows and give grilled chicken pieces the right amount of lemon tang.
I used fresh lemon from a local tree, but it's okay to use those plastic lemon-shaped juice vessels. You can also use lime juice. I get my plastic lemon from the 99c only Stores.
Chicken is the cheapest protein and I use it a lot. I get mine from my local Latin market. Whole leg quarters come on sale in 10 pound packages for 49 cents per pound; even half breast with skin and bone can be found there for 99 cents per pound. But my favorite deal is skinless and boneless leg quarters for 99 cents per pound!
To keep it cheap use leg quarters that include thigh and leg meat combined. It's easy enough to pull off the skin and slice out the bone. It doesn't have to be a perfect fillet, as long as the meat will not slip through the grill grating when barbecuing.
White meat is the easiest to fillet. The breast meat practically slides off, when you cut along the bone. In both cases you do want to use a fairly sharp knife blade. I have a cheap sharpener and always give my main knife blade a few drags through it when it comes to deboning chicken
Remember, it's easy to debone breast meat, but takes a bit more blade maneuvering for dark meat leg quarters - but with some practice, you will get better at it.
Of course it's okay to just leave the chicken skin on and bones in - it's all good!
So next time you fire up the grill, get out the lemons for BBQ Lemon Marinated Chicken.
- 4 pieces of chicken - I used 2 skinless and boneless leg quarters (leg plus thigh). Okay to use chicken with bones and skin.
- 1/4 cup lemon juice - about 2-4 lemons, depending on juiciness. Okay to use store-bought lemon or lime juice.
- Salt and pepper - to taste.
Slice lemon in half and microwave for 15 seconds or so, to get the most juice. Squeeze lemon juice over the chicken pieces.
Salt and pepper pieces of chicken to taste. Mix well. Let chicken marinate in refrigerator for at least half an hour. You can let it go longer, up to a couple of hours.
Simply grill chicken over medium heat. It took my gas grill about 20 minutes total to cook chicken all the way. Depending on the fire-heat it can be quicker or slower to cook. Chicken with skin and bone will take longer - about 10 minutes more.
If you are cooking chicken skin-on, make sure to have a spray bottle with water handy for fire flareups that can blacken grilling chicken too much.
To check for doneness, just slice into thickest part of chicken . Chicken color should be white or light brown - there should be no pink juices or color. Final check is internal temperature at 165 degrees.