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Dad's Lemony Grilled Chicken Recipe

Dad's Lemony Grilled Chicken Recipe

Lemon juice, onions and garlic add tangy flavor to chicken when firing up the grill. — Mike Schulz, Tawas City, Michigan
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + marinating Grill: 30 min. YIELD:8 servings


  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 8 chicken drumsticks (2 pounds)
  • 8 bone-in chicken thighs (2 pounds)


  • 1. In a small bowl, whisk the first five ingredients until blended; stir in onions. Pour 1-1/2 cups marinade into a large resealable plastic bag. Add chicken; seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate overnight. Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade.
  • 2. Prepare grill for indirect heat. Drain chicken, discarding marinade in bag. Place chicken on grill rack, skin side up. Grill, covered, over indirect medium heat 15 minutes. Turn; grill 15-20 minutes longer or until a thermometer reads 170°-175°, basting occasionally with reserved marinade. Yield: 8 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 chicken drumstick and thigh equals 528 calories, 39 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 129 mg cholesterol, 318 mg sodium, 6 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 38 g protein.

Reviews for Dad's Lemony Grilled Chicken

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Reviewed Jun. 24, 2015

"We used a cut up chicken for this recipe. I only added one onion (Vidalia) because it looked like enough and I think it was. Prepare one day and grill the next. This would be an easy recipe for a workday meal. This is a nice summer recipe."

Reviewed Aug. 18, 2014

"I really enjoyed this. I added 1Tab. of Italian seasoning and marinated it overnight. It added a little extra omph! Will use this many times."

Reviewed May. 22, 2014

"We had this for dinner tonight on the grill. Delish. I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts and would definitely make again. I threw everything into a plastic bag and marinated over night. No basting required and still moist and delish. We did use the direct method and only for 7 minutes on each side."

Reviewed May. 21, 2014

"This recipe is better than the version we have used forever. Thanks! 95% of our grilling, we do a ton of it, is over indirect coals. Place the thighs and legs away from the coals, skin side up, cover with lid with the vents wide open. In 50-55 min you have great juicy chicken. Do not turn, peek or baste during the cooking time. Marinating overnight is a plus. With this amount of oil your chicken skin will look and taste almost like fried chicken. Reheat marinade and baste at the table for a wonderful finishing touch."

Reviewed May. 21, 2014

"I use this same recipe for Cornish hens, it's excellent."

Reviewed Aug. 13, 2013

"Very tasty! I used boneless skinless chicken breasts and marinated overnight."

Reviewed Jul. 18, 2013

"This came out moist and pleasant. I'm not sure that the marinade added as much flavor as I would have liked, but it was good."

Reviewed Jul. 14, 2013

"This recipe was a hit in our house! I am so glad we tried it. I had my sister pick something for us to make for dinner and was kind of leery of the lemon chicken because normally I'm not a lemon fan but this surprised me and I loved it! We started it on the grill and had to finish it in the oven due to flare ups but it still turned out great! When we put it in the oven we dumped the remaining marinade on top and it was awesome! I made the recipe as listed except I didn't have quite the 2/3 cup of lemon juice. I used the juice of 4 fresh squeezed lemons. A great recipe that will make your family wanting more! We didn't have a piece leftover!"

Reviewed Jul. 14, 2013

"This is a variation of one of my own recipes, so I was already prepared to really enjoy it. Had to cut it down for two, very easy to do, and I did ours in the oven. Excellent."

Reviewed Jul. 9, 2013


Reviewed Jun. 30, 2013

"Very tasty. I doubled the recipe for extras during the week."

Reviewed Jun. 18, 2013

"I loved this. Used boneless skinless chicken at the time but it is really a good seasoning."

Reviewed Jun. 16, 2013

"Easy to prepare; extra marinade to baste not really necessary. Indirect grilling kept the chicken moist. Very flavorful and tender."

Reviewed Jun. 11, 2013

"Made this recipe tonight with boneless skinless chicken thighs. Grilled for about 6 minutes on medium heat. The flavor was mild enough for picky eaters and complex enough for foodies. Will definitely make several times this summer!"

Reviewed Jun. 6, 2013

"VERY good! Marinated for 2 days and grilled chicken with some of the onions from the marinade on top. Garlic and lemon flavors came through fabulously. Will definitely make again."

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Wine Pairings

Light-Bodied White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a light-bodied white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.