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Grilled Lemon Chicken

Photo: Coral Von Zumwalt; Styling: Jeanne Kelley
Total time 1 hr
Yield Serves 8
A great, mostly make-ahead party dish from Brandon Boudet, chef at Dominick's, Little Dom's, the 101 Coffee Shop, and Tom Bergin's (all in Los Angeles). He simmers the chicken ahead of time so that all it needs is a few minutes on the grill. Squeeze the soft, juicy grilled lemons over the meat, or cut the lemons into pieces to eat skin and all.


  • 5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or beer
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red chile flakes, divided
  • 8 bone-in chicken thighs with skin (3 lbs. total)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 lemons, cut in half crosswise
  • Chopped thyme leaves and thyme sprigs

Nutrition Information

  • calories 240
  • caloriesfromfat 57 %
  • protein 23 g
  • fat 15 g
  • satfat 4.1 g
  • carbohydrate 2 g
  • fiber 0.6 g
  • sodium 113 mg
  • cholesterol 84 mg

How to Make It

  1. Heat a grill, ideally charcoal, to medium (about 400°). Meanwhile, bring broth, 1/2 tsp. chile flakes, and the chicken to a simmer in a 5- to 6-qt. covered pot. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is barely cooked through at bone, 12 to 15 minutes.

  2. Transfer chicken to a bowl (save broth for other uses). Let stand a few minutes, then drain juices. Coat chicken with oil, remaining 1 tsp. chile flakes, and the salt. Coat lemons on cut sides with the oil in bowl.

  3. Grill lemons on cut sides until softened and grill chicken, turning once, until browned, with grill covered, 5 to 10 minutes total; if chicken flares up, move to another spot. Transfer to a platter. Garnish chicken with thyme.

  4. Make ahead: Up to 1 day through step 2, covered and chilled.