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Dad’s Lemony Grilled Chicken

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.
  • Makes
    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)


  • 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.
  • 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.
Nutrition Facts
1 chicken drumstick and thigh: 528 calories, 39 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 129 mg cholesterol, 318 mg sodium, 6 g carbohydrate (3 g sugars, 1 g fiber), 38 g protein.

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  • Kelandry
    Jul 26, 2020

    We only used legs. I do think the onion is a bit much, especially if you don't really like onions. And fresh squeezed lemons works better than bottled lemon juice if you really want the lemon flavor. I still wish it was a bit more lemony though.

  • modestcook
    Dec 10, 2019

    Good recipe. Just two of us so I used two chicken thighs. Cut the marinade in half and marinated in fridge 24 hours. I crushed the garlic instead of mincing I think that brings out more flavor if you are a garlic fan like we are.

  • fensternat
    Aug 4, 2016

    Very good! Next time I'll try with breasts instead, as my family prefers them.

  • GigiMarieMeme
    Jun 20, 2016

    I followed the recipe exactly and it was only okay. I marinated the chicken in the refrigerator for two days, so I expected it to be very flavorful but it wasn't nearly salty or lemony enough.

  • KALS
    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.

  • tsuop
    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.

  • swinny
    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.

  • rebelwithoutaclue
    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.

  • mysticgardener
    May 21, 2014

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

  • pschube
    Aug 13, 2013

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