“I’m not a chef, I’m Italian”- David Rocco

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Tuscan Grilled Lemon Rosemary Chicken

Today we will be traveling to Tuscany for supper.  You have the time, yes? Well, if you don’t, then just preparing this dish will bring a little piece of Tuscany right to your home.

I adore Tuscan cuisine. It is all about simplicity and fresh ingredients. Tuscan food is traditionally rich with legumes, fish, meat, fresh herbs, fruit and vegetables. As you can see by the ingredients, I find Tuscan cuisine lighter than some of the other regional cuisines (not that there is anything wrong with that, who doesn’t want a lot of cheese now and then?) so this is the perfect food if you are watching what you eat. This dish is perfect for almost all diets. High protein, low carb or healthy eating in general.

For today’s meal, I have prepared Tuscan grilled lemon rosemary chicken over a bed of fresh arugula. This chicken is so tender, moist and juicy. It is flavored richly by the marinade. It takes a bit of prep time, but that is part of what makes it so delicious, so don’t skimp on the time that you marinate it. I also use half chickens so that I can grill it under a brick, which is a Tuscan style of cooking. It flattens the chicken and somehow, I just find that it makes it taste better.

So, I invite you to my table to take a little bite of Tuscany with me.

Tuscan grilled lemon rosemary chicken

2 half chickens
Garlic (chopped, as much as you like, I love a lot of garlic)
½ cup of oil
Salt (Quanto basta!)
3 lemons
1 box of fresh Arugula

Start off by rinsing your chicken in saltwater and letting it sit there for around 20 minutes.

Chop your garlic and put it in a bowl. Add the oil, salt, pepper, rosemary and squeezed lemons with the garlic. Whisk together.

Put the chicken in the bowl with the marinade (or you can put the marinade and chicken in a zip lock bag, but be careful, it could get very messy!!). Let the chicken marinate for at least one hour!

Now, start preparing your bricks. Wrap your bricks in a lot of foil. Also take two extra pieces of foil t put directly on top of the chicken. Next, get out your flat grill pan and set on medium heat. Put the chicken skin side down on the grill pan, put the extra piece of foil on top of the chicken and then put the brick on top. Cook the first side for 30 minutes and then very carefully turn it to the other side and cook for another 30 minutes.  Once the chicken is done, take it off the pan to cool.
The chicken is so moist; I actually like to tear the chicken with my bare hands, as opposed to using a knife. You of course can use a knife though. On each portion, put a handful of fresh arugula on the plate and put the chicken directly on top of the greens. If the chicken is slightly warm, it will wilt the greens very nicely and all of the marinade from the chicken will act as a bit of a dressing.
Might I suggest this dish with a glass of Vernaccia di San Gimignano? It is considered Tuscany’s best white wine, so only the best for us, right? Buon Appetito!!


  1. Looks FANTASTIC!!!! Ill definitely be making this for the family!

    1. Thanks so much!! Your family will LOVE it!!

  2. So simple to make and looks delicious.

    1. That's one of the things I love about this, it's simple but so delicious.

  3. There's actually a little science involved here. The reason why your chicken was so juicy and flavorful was because of the salt in the marinade, which is called a brine. It changes the tissue structure of the chicken meat to retain water. Sugar is also added to many brines to cut the taste of the salt.

    Overall a great recipe!

    1. Thanks so much!! Love that you explained all of that; I'm always interested in the scientific aspect behind cooking!

  4. Great blog, if i actually make it for my family then my kids and my wife will eat it out, leaving few scrumbs for me, really good bringing some water in my mouth.

    All about tuscan food
    Toscana - Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria

    1. Thanks so much, this will become a family favorite!! P.S. Is that your restaurant?

  5. Thanks for the recipe. Sounds good.