I’m crazy for this dish. Just give me a big piece of crusty bread, a cold beer and a few pieces of this Beer Marinated Lemon Grilled Chicken and I’ll do my happy dance for you. Its sweet-sour-savory-finger-licking yum! You know it’s a good one when every taste bud in your mouth is engaged. In fact, when I served this no one talked for the first 5 minutes. Like it was our last supper or something. Funny.
So why use beer?
Beer is my spirit of choice when I make marinades. I love to use beer because it can add rich, caramel-like flavors or tasty floral notes and its one of the best ways to tenderize meat. The tenderizing, moisture-adding action comes from the enzymes in the beer as they help break down tough fibers in meat, making it more flavorful at the same time.
But you need to choose your beer carefully as those light beers or pale ales won’t add much flavor and those IPA’s and stouts are too bitter. So find a middle of the road one like a lager or a brown ale and be sure to save another bottle for later. That’s one beer for the marinade and one for you to drink when you hit grill it.
All the flavors in this grilled chicken are simple but oh so fresh. You could also substitute rosemary if you like and I think sliced oranges might be nice, too. Feel free to take some liberties. And be sure to try some of the other tasty recipes from my Recipe Redux friends below. Check out their links….
- 2 cups of beer, preferably lager style
- 2/3 cup lemon or orange marmalade
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
- 3 whole lemons, cut in half
- In a small bowl, combine the beer, marmalade, salt, thyme and juice of one lemon. Set aside 3 tablespoons of this marinade in a small bowl. You will use this to drizzle over the chicken after it’s cooked.
- Now pour the remaining marinade in a Ziploc bag and add your chicken. Add the 4 lemon halves to the bag as well. Remove the air, seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or best would be overnight.
- When you are ready to grill, remove the chicken and the lemon and discard the marinade. Grill until the chicken is done and juices run clear or about 20 minutes. Grill the lemons cut side down until they are very brown, very soft and very hot. Since they were in the marinade with raw chicken be sure to grill them well or at least 165 degrees to kill any bacteria.
- When everything is done, transfer the chicken and lemon halves to a serving plate. Drizzle with reserved marinade. Give the chicken a few squeezes of the grilled lemon and serve.