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Five-Herb Grilled Chicken with Green Aioli

A fresh herb pesto does double-duty in the chicken marinade and in the sauce.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 10 to 12

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  • Three 3 1/2- to 4-pound chickens, quartered (see Note)

  • 1/2 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves

  • 1/2 cup packed basil leaves

  • 1/2 cup snipped chives

  • 2 tablespoons minced jalapeño

  • 1 tablespoon minced thyme

  • 1 tablespoon minced rosemary

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the grill

  • 1 cup mayonnaise

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • Grilled bread, for serving


  1. Using a sharp knife, score each piece of chicken 2 or 3 times through the skin. Transfer the chicken to a large bowl.
  2. In a food processor, combine the parsley, basil, chives, jalapeño, thyme, rosemary, garlic and 1 tablespoon of salt; pulse until the herbs are finely chopped. With the machine on, add the 1 cup of olive oil in a steady stream.
  3. Pour all but 1/2 cup of the marinade over the chicken and turn to coat; rub the marinade into the gashes. Refrigerate the chicken for at least 4 hours or overnight. Add the mayonnaise and lemon juice to the remaining marinade in the processor and pulse until bright green. Scrape the green aioli into a small bowl and refrigerate.
  4. Light a grill and oil the grates. Grill the chicken over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until lightly charred and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the inner thighs registers 168°, about 35 minutes. Serve the chicken with the green aioli and grilled bread.


Variation: Preheat the broiler and set a rack in the lower third of the oven. Arrange the chicken skin side up on a sturdy rimmed baking sheet and broil for about 40 minutes, turning occasionally. You can use 4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts instead. Pound them lightly before marinating and grill over high heat for about 12 minutes.

Suggested Pairing

Lemony southern-French white, like a Picpoul de Pinet.

Contributed By Published June 2013

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