Thyme, bay leaf, and garlic add aromatic flourish to this simple yet elegant grilled chicken recipe, which was adapted from Craig Claiborne and Pierre Franey, from “The Essential New York Times Grilling Cookbook” (Sterling Epicure, 2014).
What makes this chicken special is an abundance of lemon juice as it mingles with the bristling taste of ginger to tenderize the chicken, while a final drizzle of butter adds golden richness.
PREP TIME: 10 minutes, plus 2-4 hours marinating (or Overnight)
COOKING TIME: 1 Hour and 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 Hour and 45 Minutes, plus marinating
1 (2½–3-lbs.) chicken, halved, backbone removed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf, crumbled
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (1″) piece ginger, peeled and minced
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Stir lemon juice, oil, thyme, bay leaf, garlic, and ginger in a bowl; add chicken and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and chill 2 to 4 hours, or overnight for the best flavor.
2. Heat a charcoal grill or set a gas grill to high. (Alternatively, heat a cast-iron grill pan over medium-high.)Grill chicken, turning as needed, until slightly charred and cooked through, about 35 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of a thigh reads 165°F.
3. If grilling is not an option, the chicken can be roasted in the oven. Pre-heat the oven to 425°F. Place the chicken in a cast iron skillet bone side down. Cover with aluminum foil. Roast the chicken for 30 minutes, baste with melted butter, periodically. Reduce the heat to 325°F, remove the foil and baste with melted butter. Continue to roast the chicken for another 25 minutes, until skin is golden brown and crisp.
4. To serve,transfer the chicken to a serving platter and drizzle with melted butter.