Grilled Garlic Chicken with Herb Pesto

A simple garlic chicken recipe from the grill. A excellent meal, simple and delicious!

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This garlic chicken recipe makes:

Three to four servings

Sometime simplicity is the best and a simple grilled chicken recipe can be one of those things. This dish is one that I really love because of the simple preparation, nice clear and bright flavors. Garlic, Herbs and chicken are simple and go really well together. So I put garlic cloves under the skin, the essence permeates the chicken.  I am showing this with a half chicken, but this can be prepared with almost any cuts of chicken, bone in / bone out. 

6     Cloves of garlic peeled smashed with the flat side of a knife then cut in half

       Salt and Pepper to your taste

        Olive oil to coat

In order to prep the chicken, give it a rinse. Cut the chicken in half, may a cut at the joint between the leg/drumstick and the thigh. Just about 1/3 of the way into the joint. Then make an incision into the skin on the breast about a 1/2 inch wide.  Slide the garlic cloves into the incisions in the chicken, one in the thigh two in each breast and any leftover in the leg. If the skin is tight wiggle the cloves in or slide your finger under to loosen. 

If you are using chicken pieces then make the incisions in the pieces and follow roughly the same process. 

Coat the chicken with salt and pepper and the olive oil. Marinate for one to four hours if you have time . You have a wonderful garlic chicken ready to grill up.



Garlic chicken - Herb Garlic Pesto Marinade

This is great for all meats, poultry, veggies and seafood. The bright flavors come through. Just about any collection of fresh herbs can be used. So feel free to play around with them and follow the seasons from you garden. The photos here show a mix of rosemary, basil (Genovese and Opal) thyme and oregano.

1/4     cup fresh rosemary, basil, thyme, oregano, cilantro, parsley mixed.

4-6    cloves of garlic or to your taste

1/4     cup olive oil 

1       teaspoon kosher or sea salt

1      teaspoon coarse black pepper

Combine all in a food processor and run for a minute. Scrape down the sides and run for 30 seconds. 

Prepare the grill for indirect or two zone cooking. If using a gas grill get it nice and hot 450-500 degrees  in all zones, place the chicken on to get nice grill marks. Turn off the zone under the chicken so the flare ups don’t incinerate your chicken.  Close it up and let cook with indirect heat. Another aspect of going a bit slow on this particular recipe is the garlic under the skin, as it cooks it sweetens and the flavor spreads.

I have to tell you, that the Weber genesis gas grill is awesome for this garlic chicken recipe. It’s design is great for avoiding big flame ups. I am really happy with this grill, even though it was a fairly large investment. But it is worth every penny!



Cook your chicken to done and internal temperature of 165. Nice golden skin. Move your garlic chicken off and lets it set for five minutes to settle down. Carve it up if applicable. Enjoy!


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