A grilled chicken breast is a blank canvas for your favorite flavors. The best part? You don't have to be an artist to make it happen! Grilled Chicken with Lemon and Thyme is perfect for the grill master who wants something quick and easy but still delicious. Plus, you can cut up any leftover pieces of chicken into salads or sandwiches during the week. This recipe is easy to make and perfect for family dinners this summer, so grab your utensils, ingredients, and your favorite drink, and let's get grilling!
Lemon and thyme are an excellent pairing for chicken as the bright citrus flavor cuts through the meat's richness, while the herb provides subtle hints of freshness. This chicken can be grilled up to an hour before serving as the flavor gets deeper and richer sitting under the grilled lemon slices and marinade. Since we are using bone-in chicken breasts, it will require a grill set up for indirect heat to cook the large pieces without burning the outside. The grilled lemon wedges with the fresh thyme create an aromatic masterpiece that is the perfect weeknight meal.
Grilled Chicken with Lemon and Thyme Ingredients
- 3 Tbsp. plus ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for the grill
- 4 skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts (about 3 lb.)
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- 2 lemons
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 large sprigs of thyme
- 1 cup torn pitted Castelvetrano olives
Grilled Chicken with Lemon and Thyme Directions
- Prepare a grill for 2-zone heat (for a gas grill, set one burner to medium-high and one or two burners to low; for a charcoal grill, bank most of the coals on one side). Lightly oil grate.
- Pat chicken breasts dry; season generously all over with salt and pepper. Place on a rimmed baking sheet; let sit at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Thinly slice one lemon crosswise into rounds; pluck out seeds. Place half of the lemon slices in a small bowl. Add garlic and 1 Tbsp. oil and toss to coat; season with salt and pepper. Set remaining lemon slices aside for serving. Slice the remaining lemon in half and squeeze the juice into another small bowl (you should have about ¼ cup). Set aside.
- Pat chicken dry again (the salt will have drawn out more moisture) and rub with 2 Tbsp. of oil. Grill oiled lemon slices over the hot side of the grill, turning once until charred in spots, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
- Grill chicken on the cooler side of the grill, skin side down, for 15–20 minutes until skin is browned and starting to crisp. Turn the chicken over, cover, and continue to grill until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of breasts registers 160°, 8–10 minutes longer. If desired, uncover the grill, move the chicken over to the hotter side, and lightly char a minute or two. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 10–15 minutes.
- Pull the chicken meat from bones and slice ½" thick. Place on a rimmed platter, shingling slices. Scatter thyme sprigs, olives, grilled lemon slices, and reserved fresh lemon slices over. Season with more salt and pepper; drizzle reserved lemon juice and remaining ½ cup oil around. Let sit at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour before serving.