Paleo-Friendly Meals: Lemon Grilled Chicken

We have been having some odd weather over the last week – even though it is still August, fall is definitely coming! The days are hot and humid, but the nights have been cool and beautiful. Don’t get me wrong, I love the summer, but these slight reminders of fall have really gotten me in the mood for falling leaves and pumpkin pie! So to maintain my summer-state-of-mind, here’s another grill recipe that is sure to please!

100_1710 Gather your ingredients: Whole chicken, lemons, onion, garlic, organic raisins, butter, olive oil, Dijon mustard, white cooking wine, Worcestershire sauce, tamari, tomatoes (not pictured), and s&p. The majority of these ingredients go towards the marinade, which you can make a few days in advance. Just be sure to keep it covered and refrigerated. 100_1713For the marinade: Grate an onion finely. You can also dice it, but it won’t be as awesome nor will it incorporate into the sauce as easily. 100_1717 At this point, it really is much easier to measure out the ingredients ahead of time. I used to just do this for picture’s sake, but it has become second nature every time I cook. Nothing is better than reading a recipe and actually performing the steps in order without having to run here or there and chop this or cut that. Also, make it easier on yourself by combining ingrdients that you know will be added together. For example, I know the raisins and water are going to be added at the same time, so I combined them in one dish. 100_1718 Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. 100_1725 Add grated onions and minced garlic. Saute for about 2 minutes. 100_1727 Add the raisins, water, white cooking wine, Worcestershire sauce, tamari, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice. 100_1728 Throw in the chopped tomatoes. I left the tomatoes out of the main ingredient picture and added them separately because I did not intend to use them at all. I had adapted this recipe from a non-Paleo cookbook and tried to use Paleo ingredients only. The original recipe called for ketchup, which is obviously loaded with corn syrup, which I decided to omit completely. However, as I tasted the cooking marinade, I realized it needed that tomato-y flavor. Enter the tomatoes. Don’t worry about the marinade lacking sweetness because of the missing ketchup – the organic raisins are already sweet enough to counteract the tartness of the other ingredients. Feel like it needs more sweetness? Hit it with a 1/2-1 teaspoon of honey. 100_1729 Cook the marinade down over medium heat, stirring occasionally to break up the tomatoes. 100_1734 Bring to a slow boil, remove from the heat, and set aside to cool. 100_1730 Now comes the moment of truth. Don’t be afraid to cook with a whole chicken. Not only is it cheaper, but it comes with all of those wonderful bones and insides that make for a perfect chicken stock (see my upcoming post on no-waste chicken stock!) I think I paid about $0.99/lb for this 5-lb chicken. Want 5-lbs of chicken thighs? At least $1.99/lb. Chicken breasts? Usually $2.99/lb. Just do it! Whole chickens are the best! So what’s the plan? We are going to butterfly this lovely lady. If you are absolutley cluess about butterflying/butchering/doing anything with a whole chicken, see this video for some instructions. No shame here, I watched it too! 100_1736 First, using a sharp knife for awesome set of cooking shears, remove the backbone of the chicken. 100_1739 Turn the chicken over and using the palms of your hands, push down on the chicken to break the breast bone. This will allow the chicken the lay flatter and received the most direct grilling heat.. 100_1740 Now, we are going to prepare the chicken for grilling. You’ll need your marinade, butter, lemon juice, and more Worcestershire sauce. 100_1741 Make sure your butter is at room temperature and prepare to get a little frisky with your butterflied chicken. Rub the butter into the chicken on both sides and transfer to a baking dish. 100_1743 Add the Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and cooled marinade. Cover and let the chicken get acquainted with these flavors for at least 2 hours in the fridge. 100_1776 After everyone has gotten friendly in the fridge for a few hours, heat your grill with medium heat and cover for about 5 minutes so you create an oven effect. Place the chicken skin-side down on a cooler part of the grill, close the cover, and cook for 20-25 minutes depending on the size of your chicken. Don’t open the lid! We are treating the grill like an oven here, and we all know what happens to the curious person who wants to open the oven and take a peek? Heat escapes, the temperature drops, and now the cooking time has been compromised. As you can see in my picture, the skin is a bit dark. That’s because I actually caught my grill on fire. Be careful, especially if you are using a gas grill, to remove the chunks from the marinade before you put the chicken on the grill. I think a few raisins snuck past me and created the fire. Sneaky raisins. After 20-25 minutes, flip the chicken over and cook for an additional 20-25 minutes. We want to make sure we cook the chicken all the way through. Flip the chicken one more time and let cook for 10 minutes skin-side down to get a nice crispy finish. Or if you caught your grill on fire like I did, skip this step. 🙂100_1779
This final step is all about preference. If you would like to try to carve your chicken away from the bone – go for it. I just cut my chicken into 1/8ths – breast, wing, thigh, leg. This makes for a great lunch item and would go well with hot sauce, salsa verde, or chimichurri sauce! Enjoy!

Paleo-Friendly Meals: Lemon Grilled Chicken

Per Serving 423 calories

Fat 31 g

Carbs 5 g

Protein 30 g



    For the Marinade:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/3 cup organic raisins
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup white cooking wine
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Tamari or coconut aminos
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • For the Chicken:

  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 cup of marinade
  • 5-6 lb. whole chicken
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • S&P


  1. For the marinade:
  2. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 4 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds.
  5. Add the raisins and 1/2 water and boil until the water has evaporated, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the remainder of the ingredients and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and cool completely.
  8. For the Chicken:
  9. Butterfly the chicken and rub with room temperature butter.
  10. Place in a large baking dish and pour the marinade, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon over the chicken.
  11. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  12. Heat your grill to medium-high.
  13. Season the chicken on both sides with S&P.
  14. Put the chicken skin side down on a cool side of the grill. Close cover and grill for 20-25 minutes.
  15. Turn the chicken skin side up and grill for 20-25 minutes more.
  16. Flip the chicken one more time, skin side down, so the skin gets crispy.
  17. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes.

Leave a Reply