Marinated Chicken Alla Griglia |

Updated February 07, 2018

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

This is a simple marinated chicken–I used to make it all the time at home. The first time I tried this baby out, one of my cooks said to me, “Chef! It tastes just like you marinated the chicken in Wishbone salad dressing!” I don’t care what anyone says: I think this marinade rocks. Left overnight and grilled the next day, the chicken becomes tender, garlicky, and herbaceous, with a deep, tangy flavor. It pairs well with all sorts of accompaniments.

Timing: An overnight marinate, plus about ½ hour of cooking time


Cooking MethodBroiling, Grilling


OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Dietary ConsiderationEgg-free, Gluten-free, Halal, Kosher, Lactose-free, Low Carb, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free

Taste and TextureCrisp, Garlicky, Herby, Sharp, Smoky, Spiced, Tangy


  • 1/4
    cup roasted garlic purée (see Notes)
  • 1/2
    cup rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1/4
    cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4
    cup grape seed oil or corn oil
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano, preferably on the branch (Sicilian or Calabrian)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 whole chickens, halved
  • 1/2
    teaspoon each of salt and coarse-ground black pepper


  1. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

  2. Place the chicken halves in a large container and pour the marinade over the top. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for at least 8 hours, or overnight.

  3. Fire up the grill or preheat the broiler.

  4. Remove the chickens from the marinade (but don’t wipe the herbs off; they’re delicious charred right on the skin). Season with more salt and pepper.

  5. If you’re using a grill: Place the chickens skin-side down and grill them on high. After 2 minutes, turn the halves 45°. After another 2 minutes, flip the halves over. After another 2 minutes, turn the halves 45° again. Turn the heat down to medium and cook the chicken until the juice runs clear when you stick a leg with a knife, about 20 minutes, depending on your grill.

  6. Or if you’re using a broiler: Place the chickens on a roasting rack and broil them until the skins are crisp, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to 425° and bake the chicken until the juice runs clear when you stick a leg with a knife, about 20 minutes.

  7. Serve immediately, with the vegetables and accompaniments of your choice, leftovers make great chicken salad.

To roast the garlic:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°.

  2. Cut across the top of each head of garlic to expose some of the garlic flesh.

  3. Place each garlic head cut-side up on a piece of tinfoil big enough to easily wrap it, about 3 inches by 3 inches. Sprinkle the garlic with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Wrap the garlic up in the foil, making a Hershey’s-Kiss shape.

  4. Bake on a baking tray on the center rack in the oven until the cloves are soft and golden brown, about I hour. Cool the garlic in the fridge or freezer until it’s cool to the touch. (The garlic can hold in the fridge for up to 3 days at this stage.)


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