Spring-thyme chicken

I know that springtime has arrived..and with it grilling season…when I get the impulse to plant fresh herbs in the window boxes on my balcony. I love fresh herbs—but I find it difficult to maintain them over the winter, so I end up planting new ones each spring. Rosemary, sage, thyme, parsley, oregano (or sometimes marjoram) and an extra rosemary (simply because it’s my favorite). This year, the weather has been awful—rainy, cold, and gray—anything but springlike. Nevertheless, I optimistically went ahead and planted my herbs a couple of weeks ago in the hope that I could will spring into being.

The weather has persisted in being cold and gray—but I was undaunted.  I decided to fire up the grill and make some grilled chicken.  I started with some lemon, garlic, and thyme…

Lemon, garlic, and thyme
These are a few of my favorite things
(lemon, garlic, and thyme)

…combined it with a bit of olive oil in my mini food processor.

Into the mixer
Into the mixer

It was all ok until it started to rain just minutes before I was going to fire up the grill. So, since I couldn’t grill my chicken from the  bottom, I decided to “grill” it from the top, or broil it. Into the oven it went. 

Here's how it looked before I baked it
Here’s how it looked before I broiled it

I put the chicken on my broiler pan, which has a grate to let the fat drip away. I find that putting a layer of aluminum foil under a layer of parchment paper under the rack really helps in the cleanup. Neither of these really do the trick alone, but together they are almighty. 

When the chicken was nearly done, I popped some asparagus into the oven with it. (I like using a single heat source for a dinner if I can, simply because it’s economical.) At this point, I’ve got to do a shout out to my friend Uri over at The Portable Chef, from whom I learned how to make asparagus in the oven. He’s got an awesome tutorial here. And that’s exactly how I made the asparagus. 

Spring-thyme chicken
Spring-thyme chicken

   Do you have any springtime traditions? I’d love to hear them.

Spring-thyme chicken
Serves 6
Easy lemony chicken legs that you can "grill" either on your grill or in your oven
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr
476 calories
2 g
255 g
29 g
49 g
6 g
229 g
224 g
0 g
0 g
21 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 476
Calories from Fat 262
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 29g
Saturated Fat 6g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 16g
Cholesterol 255mg
Sodium 224mg
Total Carbohydrates 2g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 0g
Protein 49g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 6 sprigs of thyme
  2. 1 untreated lemon, juice of (and zest if you wish)
  3. 4 cloves of garlic
  4. Sea salt and pepper to taste
  5. 90 ml (ca. 3 oz) EVOO
  6. 6 chicken legs with thigh
  1. Preheat your grill or preheat broiler to 200 °C (400 °F).
  2. Remove the leaves from the sprigs of thyme and place in a mixer with all ingredients aside from the chicken. If you don't have a mixer, finely chop thyme and whisk ingredients in a nonreactive bowl.
  3. Wash the chicken legs and pat dry with a paper towel. Generously brush the chicken with the marinade.
  4. Grill (ca. 10-15 mins/side) or broil (20-25 mins/side) the chicken until it is no longer pink inside.
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