We have a prolific dwarf Meyer Lemon tree on Lotus Ridge that produces fruit the size of oranges. Our tree is so beautiful that we have named her “Lemon Drop”.
We wanted to make something savory and delicious that would highlight the sweet and vibrant flavors of the lemons and use every part possible; zest and juice. We turned to one of our favorite chefs Ina Garten, her recipe for “Tuscan Lemon Chicken” was perfect. We then poured ourselves a glass of super White “Vespa Bianco,” Bastianich 2007 and went to work re-creating this wonderful recipe.
We have made it several times with rave reviews and have rarely had any chicken left. We have even managed to successfully convert friends who claim not to like chicken. One bite of this crispy flavorful chicken is enough to start a love affair with any bird.
Combine the olive oil, Meyer lemon zest, Meyer lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, and 1 teaspoons pepper in a small measuring cup.
Place the chicken in a ceramic or glass dish just large enough to hold it flat. Pour the lemon marinade over the chicken, turning it in the dish. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Turn the chicken 2 or 3 times while marinating. When ready to grill, prepare a hot charcoal fire on 1 side of a grill (or turn a gas grill on low heat). Spread 1/4 of the coals across the other side of the grill. Place the chicken on the cooler side, skin side up and weigh it down, using either a pan or grill weight. (a pizza stone covered in foil works extremely well).
Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until the underside is golden brown.
Turn the chicken skin side down, weight again, and cook for another 12 to 15 minutes, until the skin is golden brown and the chicken is cooked through.
Place the lemon halves on the cool side of the grill, cut side down for the last 10 minutes of cooking.
Remove the chicken to a plate or cutting board, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Cut in quarters or smaller pieces, sprinkle with salt, serve with the grilled lemon halves and sprinkle with fresh herbs.