Grilled Lemon Chicken with Herb Couscous

We've perfected the basic grilled chicken recipe—and we're not talking about just salt and pepper. This simple grilled chicken hits the table hot and destined for lemony, herby, honeyed, Dijon-infused glory. We made the recipe fitting for a whole chicken, which makes it ideal for feeding a family or ensuring there are plenty of leftovers to last all week. From there, all you need is a hard-working side dish to round out your easy chicken dinner. In our opinion, a quick side of lemony couscous with cucumbers, fresh mint, and parsley brings new life to any weeknight sideboard menu and pairs well with the flavor of the real star: juicy, perfectly cooked, delightfully charred chicken. Voilá! A grilled chicken supper that feels anything but boring. Test Kitchen Tip: You can prepare the couscous and marinade a day in advance, and chill. Add the remaining garlic-lemon mixture to the chicken an hour before you plan to grill it. Stir in the cucumbers, herbs, and extra salt just before serving.

Grilled Lemon Chicken with Herb Couscous
Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall
Active Time:
45 mins
Chill Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs 45 mins
4 serves


  • 1 (4-lb.) whole chicken, cut into 6 pieces (leg quarters, breasts, and wings)

  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest plus 1/2 cup fresh juice (from 3 lemons)

  • 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 2 cups uncooked Israeli couscous

  • 2 lemons, halved crosswise

  • 2 small cucumbers, chopped (2 cups)

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint


  1. Cut chicken wings at joints, separating flats, drumettes, and tips. Discard tips. Set aside 8 remaining chicken pieces. Stir together garlic, mustard, honey, and lemon zest and juice. Whisk in oil until emulsified. Whisk in pepper and 1 teaspoon of the salt.

  2. Place chicken in a large bowl. Add 3/4 cup garlic-lemon mixture (reserving remaining mixture in a separate bowl); toss to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; chill 1 hour.

  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high. Add couscous, and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until couscous is tender, about 10 minutes. Drain; transfer to a large bowl. Cool 10 minutes. Add remaining 3/4 cup garlic-lemon mixture to couscous; toss to coat. Cover; chill until ready to serve or up to 1 day.

  4. Preheat a gas grill to medium (350°F to 400°F). Using tongs, transfer chicken from marinade to a plate, letting excess drip off (discard marinade). Sprinkle evenly with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Using tongs, transfer chicken to unoiled grates, skin sides down. Grill, uncovered, until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of thighs registers 165°F (13 to 14 minutes per side for legs and breasts and 10 minutes per side for wings). Add lemon halves, cut sides down, to grates while chicken cooks; grill until charred, 2 minutes. Let chicken rest 10 minutes.

  5. Stir cucumbers, parsley, mint, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt into couscous mixture. Divide couscous, chicken, and charred lemons among 4 plates.

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