Yield: Enough for 12 chicken breasts



  1. Scrub the lemons to clean, dry and zest (scrape, shave or grate off the yellow flavorful portion of the skins) and chop the zest finely.
  2. Juice the lemons, removing any seeds and combine the juice in a measuring cup. Add a volume of olive oil roughly equal to 1/2 the amount of juice, the zest and spices. Whisk well to mix.
  3. Combine the marinade (2) with the chicken in a plastic bag (I like to use 1 gallon zip lock bags best for this), remove and much air as possible, seal and mix well. Put into the refrigerator for 4-24 hours (3) then grill. I usually baste the meat with the extra marinade from the bag as I grill.


  1. This is a blend of salt, pepper, sugar, onion and garlic oils, celery seeds, parsley and "spices" that could probably be replaced with the individual ingredients, or eliminated. If you choose to eliminate it use salt instead.
  2. For 2-4 breasts, I make up a 1-2 lemon batch of marinade, 4-8 3 lemons, etc. The marinade recipe scales well. The amounts of the individual spices are not critical. Many other spice blends work as well with the lemon juice, zest and olive oil base, such as oregano, Italian Seasoning, or the seasoning packets used to make oil & vinegar salad dressings. The tarragon gives it a French feel, oregano - Italian, etc.
  3. The longer you wait, the stronger the flavor gets. If you want to to serve this quickly, you could marinate the chicken at room temperature for 2-3 hours. Or it can be left in the refrigerator for up to 2 days with no problems. The acid in the lemon juice kills the germs on the surface of the meat.