Whenever I grill chicken I first give myself a brief talking to. It usually goes something like this: Be Patient. The skin WILL crisp, you do not need to turn the barbecue up higher.
Then I proceed to grill the chicken perfectly, until the very end when I turn the barbecue up and the skin chars just a little too much. Generally this is followed by much cursing until I bite into the chicken and discover it is still juicy and delicious. Whew.
I came really close to being patient with this oregano and lemon chicken, but I caved a few minutes before it was done. Luckily the light flavours of the marinade were still perceivable through the char.
This marinade is the one to use when you have fresh farm raised poultry which will be full of chickeney flavour. When I was in Greece it was always the simple lemon, oregano, olive oil, salt and pepper that so beautifully complimented fresh grilled meats and fish.
[print_this]Oregano Grilled Chicken
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
the zest of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt (adjusted for taste)
freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano
4 chicken legs, with skin
In a small bowl or measuring cup combine lemon juice with lemon zest, salt and pepper. Get a whisk and start stirring the mixture furiously while slowly pouring in olive oil. When all the olive oil has been added you should have a nice vinaigrette. Whisk in oregano. Pat chicken dry and put in a shallow container with a lid. Pour in two thirds of the marinade, cover and refrigerate. Ideally you let the chicken marinate for 8 hours, but give it whatever time you have — just take it out of the fridge 30 minutes before you are ready to grill.
When you are ready to eat, heat your barbecue to medium-low. Grease the grill thoroughly with vegetable oil. Remove the chicken from the marinade and shake off any excess. Put chicken skin-side up on the grill, close the lid and grill for 15 minutes. Remove lid and baste with extra marinade and cook for another 10 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165F or more.
Turn side of the grill without the chicken on it to high and grease well. Turn the chicken skin side down on to the high side of the grill and leave the lid up. Cook until the skin is crispy, basting every 5 minutes. Before removing from the grill flip and baste again.