Romeo & Juliet Chicken

The ultimate date night dinner

I came up with this delicious dish for my Romeo and Juliet dinner. Here a whole lemony grilled chicken is smothered in two sauces: Romeo Sauce and Juliet sauce. And may I say, this chicken dish is phenomenal!

Best Homemade Pesto Recipe

Best Homemade Pesto Recipe

Romeo and Juliet Whole Grilled Chicken

For Romeo’s sauce, I served a delicious fresh basil pesto because, well, Romeo is a little green at all the love stuff, isn’t he? I served a sun-dried tomato pesto for Juliet’s sauce because poor Juliet meets a bloody end.

Best Homemade Pesto Recipe
Romeo sauce
Sun-dried Tomato Pesto
Juliet sauce

If you’ve never grilled a whole chicken before, I highly recommend it. Just ask your butcher to remove the backbone for grilling. I keep whole chickens in the freezer because I love working with them and they’re so cheap. This entire chicken cost $4. I served each of us half the chicken: a wing, breast, leg, and thigh. That sounds like a lot but I normally grilled a small, 3- or 4-lbs chicken so the size of each piece is much smaller than say a massive grocery store chicken breast.

Romeo & Juliet Chicken, Shakespeare Recipes

Romeo & Juliet Chicken, Shakespeare Recipes

I served this dish with roasted fingerling potatoes, bread and butter (true Renaissance style), the two sauces, and a sprig of fresh basil for an easy Tuscan-inspired dinner.

The question is: will you eat your Romeo style or Juliet style?

Romeo & Juliet Chicken
Romeo & Juliet Chicken
1 small whole chicken (3-4 lbs), backbone removed
1 large lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
2 rosemary sprigs, 3 thyme sprigs
Sea salt, black pepper

Garnish: 2 basil sprigs
Romeo Sauce (recipe follows)
Juliet Sauce (recipe follows)

  1. Rinse chicken and pat dry.
  2. In a baking dish, whisk together zest and juice from one lemon, olive oil, and chopped fresh rosemary and thyme. Set chicken in the dish, turning several times to coat, leaving skin side down to marinate. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate 3-4 hours or overnight.
  3. Heat charcoal. (Take chicken out of fridge 20 minutes before you’re ready to grill.) Flip skin-side up and season skin well with sea salt and pepper.
  4. Grill on indirect heat (not directly over the coals) skin-side up for about 12-15 minutes with the lid closed. Flip and grill skin-side down on in direct heat for 12-15 minutes. Transfer directly over the coals and grill for 5-10 minutes until beautifully golden. Check the temperature with a meat thermometer. Transfer to a cutting board when the breast hits 165 degrees Fahrenheit. (Finish on indirect heat if internal temperature is not yet at 165.)
    1. Note: for gas grill, grill over a low flame with the other flames set too high. Follow the same directions as above using the low flame as your indirect heat. Raise that flame to high and lower the other flames for the last 5-10 minutes.
  5. Let rest for 5 minutes. Carve into four pieces: breasts, wings, and thighs/legs. Served with roasted fingerling potatoes, basil sprigs, and Romeo and Juliet Sauce.

Romeo Sauce
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup pecorino cheese
Salt, pepper

  1. Process basil, pine nuts, and gloves in a food processor. Stream in olive oil. Season to your liking, then stir in cheese and serve immediately.

Juliet Sauce
4 oz sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Salt, pepper

  1. Blend the sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor. Stream in olive oil. Season to your liking, then stir in cheese and serve immediately.

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Romeo and Juliet Whole Grilled Chicken

Read more about my Romeo and Juliet dinner here. Watch the episode:

Happy grilling,

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