“Hey, Betty Ann. Here’s how I made the lemon chicken. I used parts instead of a whole chicken, and I didn’t weight the parts like I did the the whole chicken, ” Pam Anderson wrote to me from her Facebook page, to describe the luscious, juicy lemon-flavored grilled barbecue chicken she served us at the “Big Summer Potluck 3” welcome dinner.
Every time I eat anything at a party that catches my gastronomical fancy, I try to recreate the recipe for my family as soon as I get home. It’s just something I enjoy doing. My mom used to tell me to learn from others when it came to cooking. She also taught me to ask for the recipe whenever I really liked what I ate.
Pam Anderson gladly and quickly shared her delicious “Dad’s Lemon Chicken” with me. I’ve tried it twice since the weekend we got back from the bloggers weekend retreat at her house. The first time, I stayed true to her recipe and used lemons. The second time, I infused my Filipino flavors and added “kalamansi”, the Filipino lime. Unlike my west coast friends, I can’t grow the kalamansi where I live in the east coast. So I settle for the frozen kalamansi concentrate which I get from Asian groceries. Both attempts, using the American lemon, and the second time, the Filipino lime yielded fantastic lemony grilled chicken results!
Following Pam’s advice, I did the entire process first, exactly how she instructed in her recipe that follows. And for a more pronounced lemony flavor, as Pam suggested, I added the lemon juice towards the end of the grilling. It was marvelous!
What does the lemon juice do to the grilled chicken? First, you have the char-grilled barbecue chicken pieces. The chicken pieces were simple to prepare. I marinated them overnight with the right amount of salt and some pepper. As it cooked on the grill, we could all smell the irresistible barbecue chicken aroma in the air. I closed my eyes dreamily and envisioned the sweet, juicy morsels in every bite. What made it better? A good dousing of the lemon juice with herbs at the last stage of grilling finished the job for me. The effervescent citrusy flavors on the char-grilled meat was enough to get everyone’s appetite all fired up! Whether I made it with regular lemons or kalamansi, the Filipino lime, it was perfect! This grilled lemon chicken was simply lemon-licious!
Pam Anderson's Lemon Chicken
- 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper powder
- 4 to 5 pounds chicken cutlets, bone-in, skin-on around 6 to 7 pieces
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil for brushing on chicken
- 1/2 cup calamansi or lemon juice
- 1/4 cup chopped soft herbs of fresh basil and oregano
- for serving: steamed jasmine white rice
- for serving: achara Filipino green papaya pickles
- Sprinkle chicken pieces on both sides with salt and black pepper. Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight. (Pam says : “ It can be refrigerated up to 2 days”).
- The next day, lightly brush both sides of the chicken pieces with oil and place, skin side up, on a preheated hot grill rack. Cover and grill for the next 12 to 15 minutes until the first side is nearly dark brown. Turn the chicken pieces over, and around for even grilling and cooking.
- When you’re 45 minutes into the grilling, pierce the chicken pieces. Cook for 10 minutes more till the chicken is grilled well all over. Separately, mix the lemon, garlic, basil and oregano in a bowl. Transfer the chicken to a platter. Pour the lemon juice – herb mixture over the hot chicken and allow it to “rest” for 10 minutes, so the lemon flavors get absorbed. Serve with rice and Filipino pickles like achara (green papaya pickles) or sweet green mango pickles.