Easy Barbecue (or Oven-Baked) Lemon-Pepper Chicken

lemon chicken
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  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: serves 2 to 4

This Thai Barbecue Peppered Chicken recipe is juicy and extremely delicious! In order to make it a quick & easy recipe, I've replaced lemongrass with lemon juice, which still gives you that lemony-fresh taste without all the preparation of fresh lemongrass. As a result, you can make the marinade in less than 10 minutes. Then just toss it with the chicken and barbecue - or bake in the oven (see recipe). Serve this barbecue chicken any way you like - with rice or potatoes, over salad, or even Western-style: sandwiched between a bun. Any way you grill it, this recipe makes barbecue chicken easy as a summer breeze!


  • 8 to 10 chicken thighs (or 2 to 4 boneless chicken breasts "butterflied" to lie flat or 1/2 chicken cut into pieces)
  • For the Marinade:
  • 6 cloves garlic (minced or 1 tablespoon pureed garlic)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (available in tall bottles at all Asian/Chinese food stores)
  • 1/2 cup coriander (fresh, including stems, chopped)
  • 1 tablespoons peppercorns (ground; use a pepper-mill, or grind the peppercorns in a coffee grinder or pound in a plastic bag)
  • 3/4 tablespoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sherry (or cooking sherry)
  • 1 red chili (minced or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Stir all marinade ingredients together in a bowl, being sure to mix the coriander in well.

  2. Place the chicken in a mixing bowl and pour the marinade over. Stir well, ensuring all surfaces are covered with the marinade.

  3. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator while you warm up the grill - at least 10 minutes, or up to 24 hours if planning a barbecue party or cookout.

  4. Turn the chicken in the marinade several times before placing on the grill.

  5. Barbecue the chicken, basting with the leftover marinade once each side. Chicken is cooked when inner flesh is opaque, plump, and juicy.

If Cooking in the Oven: Simply place chicken on a broiling pan (or a grill with a pan underneath to catch the drippings) and broil on high for 15-20 minutes, depending on how thick the meat is (smaller pieces (like wings or boneless breast or thigh) will cook faster than thick pieces (like drumsticks). Place the pan on one of the higher shelves of your oven (but not right underneath or chicken will burn). Baste the chicken with leftover marinade the first couple of times you turn it. Try to watch the chicken and turn it often, or it may burn. ENJOY!

Leftover Tip: If you have leftover pieces of boneless chicken, warm it up, then sandwich it between a bun with a little mayonnaise and lettuce. Instead of ketchup, top with a dollop of Thai Sweet Chili Sauce (available at most large grocery chains in the Asian section, or at all Asian/Chinese food stores). Enjoy!!