Bone in chicken breasts are incredibly easy to grill as long as you take your time. In addition to being easy, they can also be turned into some seriously amazing eats that blow the stereotype of “bland chicken breasts” out of the water.
Stick with me and let me show you how to grill some of the best chicken you will ever eat!
Prepare the Chicken Breasts for the Grill
We are going to make the breasts tender and juicy with a brine. We are going to pack them with flavor by stuffing rosemary and lemon under the skin!
Brine the Breasts
The first step in making the breasts incredible is to brine them. Every now and then I get lazy and inject the chicken but it is never as good as when I soak it in a salt/sugar brine overnight.
- 1 quart water
- 1/4 cup kosher/sea salt
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
After the breasts have brined in the refrigerator for at least four hours, and preferably overnight, rinse them off with cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
Season the Breasts
One of the reasons that I love preparing skin on chicken breasts is how pretty the ingredients are! Look at that fresh rosemary and lemon slices…how could that not end up amazing?
You need to lift up the skin and use your finger to open up a pocket between the skin and the meat.
Once the pocket is created add the following:
- 1 thin slice of lemon
- 1 three inch sprig of rosemary
- 1 pat of real butter
Here is what it should look like.
Season the outside of the skin with salt and pepper or you can get a little fancier and use our award winning chicken rub.
Fire Up the Grill
I grilled these breasts on a Weber Q1200 gas grill but you can use any grill that has the ability to cook with direct Medium/Low heat.
It is important to use Medium/Low heat. Do not be tempted to crank the grill up to High.
The presence of the bones in the split breasts creates a very unevenly shaped piece of meat. If we tried grilling the chicken at high heat like we do for grilled boneless breasts then the outside would be burned before the inside had time to finish cooking.
Place the chicken on the grill BONE SIDE DOWN and close the lid.
Every 4-5 minutes open the grill and move the breasts to different spots on the grill. I do this to check to make sure nothing is burning and even out the cooking in case the grill is heating unevenly.
After 15 minutes of cooking, flip the breasts over so that they are now SKIN SIDE DOWN. The bone side of the chicken should have some char at this point but should not be burnt.
Grill the chicken, skin side down, for another 15 minutes moving it around every 4-5 minutes. Be vigilant for flare ups as the skin starts to render fat.
After 15 minutes flip the chicken to SKIN SIDE UP and finish grilling until an internal temperature of 165F is reached.
The grilled lemon and aromatic rosemary combine to make this juicy chicken extraordinarily delicious!
If you are looking for other ideas to try then here is our recipe for Smoked Bone In Chicken Breasts.
Grilled Bone In Chicken Breasts with Rosemary and Lemon
- 4 large bone in skin on, split chicken breasts
- 4 pats butter
- 4 thin lemon slices
- 4 sprigs rosemary 3 inches
- Salt and pepper or our Chicken Rub
- Brine the chicken breasts for at least four hours but preferably overnight.
- Rinse the breasts in cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
- Use your fingers to create a pocket underneath the chicken skin.
- Insert the butter, rosemary and lemon into the pocket.
- Season the skin with salt and pepper or our chicken rub.
- Grill over Medium/Low heat, turning often, to an internal temperature of 165F.