Timothy Woods
Published by Timothy Woods
Last Updated On: March 11, 2023

This grilled lemon and rosemary recipe is a must-try for summer dinner.

The garlic and rosemary marinade, combined with sweet lemon, makes for a fresh, bright, herby, and flavorful flattened chicken.

This simple recipe contains only eight ingredients (including salt and pepper) and can be made in less than an hour.

Since this recipe is a favorite in my household when it isn’t grilling season, we tend to bake the chicken in the oven; it’s just as delicious.

Recipe Overview

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes 
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes 
  • Number of Servings: 6


  • 3 lemons sliced in half
  • Zest of 2 more lemons (lemon juice works fine too)
  • 5 springs of chopped rosemary
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
  • 65g of olive oil (½ cup)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 whole chicken, backbone cut out, and breast bone pressed (ButcherBox provides premium chicken meat and is my go-to meat delivery service)


Flattening a whole raw chicken
  1. Place the chicken on a cutting board breast-side down, cutting along the backbone on both sides. Flip the chicken over and flatten it with the palm of your hand.
  2. Mix the lemon zest, garlic, rosemary, olive oil, salt, and pepper, stirring to combine inside a large ceramic or glass dish. Put the flattened chicken into the container, rubbing with the lemon, rosemary, and olive oil mixture on both sides. Marinate for at least 30 minutes, 4 - 6 hours being ideal. 
  3. Preheat your grill over medium-high heat and add oil to the grill grates.
  4. Put the chicken on the grill skin side down, with an aluminum foil brick or baking dish. Grill chicken for 20 minutes, then flip the chicken skin side up. Place the same baking dish back on the chicken and continue cooking for 20-40 minutes. Your chicken will be ready when it reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF. The chicken skin should be golden brown and crispy.  
  5. During the last 10 minutes of your cook, place the lemons on the grill.
  6. Remove the chicken from the grill, allowing it to rest for 10 minutes. Carve and serve with grilled lemon halves. Squeeze some lemon zest or lemon juice only on the chicken and serve.

Recipe Notes

Chopped chicken leftovers
  • If you have leftover chicken or grilled lemons, you can store them inside the fridge for up to 5 days. 
  • To make this grilled lemon and rosemary flattened chicken ahead, allow the chicken to marinate in a ziplock bag or plastic wrap overnight. 
  • You can cook the chicken on a gas grill or over a hot charcoal fire for a more extraordinary flavor.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 478
  • Total Carbs: 2.4g
  • Protein: 52.6g
  • Fat: 28.1g
  • Fiber: 0.8g
  • Net Carbs: 1g

Cooking Flattened Whole Chicken

Placing an object to flatten the chicken on the grill

Once the chicken's backbone has been removed, you should flatten the body using your hands.

When you cook the chicken, use aluminum foil bricks or a small bowl on top of the bird to ensure it stays flat.

Making sure your chicken stays flat will make for the evenest cook, resulting in juicy, tender, and moist meat.

Brushing a light layer of olive oil on the skin side is the key to getting crispy and golden brown skin on a whole chicken.

Related Articles:

Best Side Dishes for Garlic Rosemary Chicken

Flattened chicken close up image and top view

There are many options when it comes to picking side dishes for your chicken; some of them include:

  • Salad: Caesar salad or kale salad pairs wonderfully with grilled chicken. Adding some lemon juice to the leafy greens ties everything together beautifully.
  • Rice: Any rice - plain, brown rice, and similar work very well.
  • Potatoes: You can serve your potatoes roasted, mashed, or smashed.
  • Vegetable sides: Serving your chicken with a side of grilled vegetables is always an excellent way to bring a meal together.
  • Pasta: Either cold pasta salad or warm pasta pairs well with chicken.


How Long Should You Cook Chicken?

How long you should cook chicken depends on its size and the cooking method. No matter which part of the chicken or what chicken recipe you use, the internal temp of the chicken should always read above 165ºF to be safe to consume [1].

How Do You Cook Frozen Chicken?

You cook frozen chicken by thawing it first. If you’d like to skip the thawing step altogether, you should increase your cooking time by 50%. Ensure that the chicken isn’t frozen together in a big cluster and can be spread out over a baking sheet [2].

Grilled Chicken With Rosemary and Lemon - a Delicious Recipe Made Easily

This grilled lemon and rosemary chicken is tender, moist, and has delicious golden brown skin. The lemon zest creates a refreshing flavor, balanced by a garlic and oil mixture to create something bright, herby, and flavorful.

This entire recipe takes less than an hour to prepare and can alternatively be cooked inside an oven when the weather isn’t fit for grilling.


  1. https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2011/05/25/cooking-meat-check-new-recommended-temperatures
  2. https://www.cookinglight.com/cooking-101/techniques/how-to-cook-frozen-chicken-safely-without-thawing
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