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grilled chicken

Lemon Oregano Greek Grilled Chicken

  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 to 60 Minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hr and 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Grill
  • Cuisine: American


Lemon Oregano Greek Grilled Chicken made with just four simple ingredients, is one of our summer favorites. Juicy and flavorful, this spatchcocked chicken is so easy to cook on the grill. The tart lemon halves only add to the the deliciousness of the chicken when squeezed over before serving.



3 whole lemons

5 cloves garlic, minced

3 T minced fresh oregano or 2 T dried (I used both)

1/4 c extra virgin olive oil

1 whole chicken 3 1/2 to 4 lbs


In a large measuring cup grate 2 t zest from 1 of the lemons. Split that lemon in half and squeeze 3 T juice into the cup. Add garlic and oregano. Whisking constantly slowly drizzle in olive oil to make a vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pat chicken dry and place breast side down on large cutting board. Using sharp kitchen scissors, remove the backbone by cutting along either side of it.  Turn chicken over and lay flat. Press firmly on breast to flatten the chicken. For added stability run one metal skewer through one thigh and through the breast. Do the same on the other side. Tuck wing tips behind back. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Pour half of vinaigrette into a large zip lock bag. Add chicken and massage vinaigrette into the chicken. Let marinate as long as you can.

If using charcoal start it now. If using gas which is what I have, preheat covered grill for 10 minutes at highest heat. Turn off half of the burners and place chicken on the cooler side of the grill with legs facing towards the hotter side. Cover grill. Cook until thermometer inserted into deepest part of the breast reads 120, about 30-45 minutes.

Carefully flip chicken and place skin side down on the hotter side of the grill with breasts pointed towards cooler side. Reduce heat to medium low. Press down firmly with a large spatula to increase contact between the bird and grill grates-to ensure a crispy skin. Cover and cook until thermometer registers 145 to 150, about 10 minutes longer. If chicken is not cooked all the way slide to cooler part of grill and cook until done. Do not leave lid off through this entire process unless checking temperature. If you do it will take longer to cook.

I also grilled some peppers and onions to go with my chicken. Add these if you’d like.  When you remove the chicken from the grill add split lemon halves and place cut side down on the hotter part of the grill. Grill until well browned. Carve chicken and drizzle with remaining vinaigrette. Squeeze grilled lemon halves over and serve.


Please read all instructions before grilling.

Each grill is different. This is what works with mine. Please make sure your chicken is at room temperature before grilling.

If you want more vinaigrette, please double the recipe.

To make peppers and onions I sliced one pepper and cut into wedges one onion. I tossed them with some olive oil and salt and pepper and placed them on a grill tray to grill them. You could also use the same vinaigrette from the recipe.

Thanks to Serious Eats for this inspiration.

Keywords: Lemon Oregano Greek Grilled Chicken