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September 23, 2012


Spicy Lemon Chicken

by BBQ Insanity

This recipe for spicy lemon chicken is based on an earlier post I wrote called Easy BBQ Chicken.  It’s really the same chicken recipe with a spicy lemon wet rub applied to the chicken before cooking.  A dry rub would just use dry spices. It’s called a wet rub because lemon juice and butter is applied.    This recipe is based on a spicy orange rub recipe from a little book called “Paul Kirk’s Chamipionship Barbecue sauces”.  Paul Kirk (aka the Baron of Barbecue) has written this little gem of a book, containing 175 recipes for suaces, marinades, dry rubs, wet rubs, mops and salsas.  It’s really one of the best books you can buy for making your own sauces and rubs.  The “Baron” has won over 400 barbecue competitions including 7 world championships, so he knows a thing or two about barbecue rubs!  I highly recommend this book.

Spicy lemon chicken

Ingredients for the wet rub

  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons minced lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper



Combine the butter and brown sugar in a mixing bowl, beat with an electric mixer until smooth.  Blend in the lemon juice, add the spices and mix well.  Use immediately as otherwise the lemon will start to react with the butter.  Rub the wet rub onto the chicken pieces.  Smear it all over the chicken, ensuring that everywhere is covered with the spicy rub.  You can even slide some of it under the skin if it comes away easily, and be sure to apply to the underside of the chicken pieces if using thighs.  But don’t take too long or the butter will start to melt.  For this recipe I used chicken thighs but it will work equally well with drumsticks or other chicken pieces.


Cook the chicken on the barbecue with indirect heat for about 40-45 minutes.  If this method of cooking is unfamiliar to you, you should check out an earlier post called Easy BBQ Chicken to see how it’s done. The photo above should also give you the basic idea.  Instead of applying a spice rub to the chicken as in that recipe, apply this spicy lemon rub for delicious BBQ lemon chicken.  Remember to keep the lid of the barbecue closed and don’t be tempted to check!  I usually limit myself to one check on the chicken midway through the cooking process,  moving some chicken pieces further away from the fire if it looks like they are getting a little bit burnt.  After about 45 minutes, remove from the heat. When I cooked this at the weekend, the chicken was succulent, the skin was crisp, and the lemon rub gave a fresh yet slightly spicy taste to the bite.  So there you have it, spicy lemon chicken.  Thanks to the Baron of Barbecue for another tasty recipe!


2 Comments Post a comment
  1. John Farrelly
    Sep 29 2012

    We tried this recipe, and it was very tasty. Thanks for sharing!

  2. bbqinsanity
    Sep 30 2012

    good to hear John!


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