Garlicky Grilled Chicken with Paprika Butter

Sharing the best chicken recipe for a Memorial Day grill-out: garlicky grilled chicken with whipped paprika butter. The marinade of garlic, dill, salt, lemon, and oil really does all the work here…creating juicy grilled chicken that’s bursting with garlic flavor. The paprika butter is the special touch, hinted with just a bit of cayenne pepper, and slathered on top of the hot chicken right off the grill.

Garlicky Grilled Chicken

chicken in bowl with marinade

I simply cannot believe that Memorial Day is a week from today. These spring weeks are flying by and summer is already in view. I’m really pretty excited for all the sunny days outside to come. I’ll be heading out of the city much more to spend time at my parent’s house – going for walks outside and doing lots of grilling.

And that’s exactly what I did last weekend. The weather was beautiful and I finally got into creating some fun new grilling recipes. One of them being this absolutely delicious garlicky grilled chicken. It’s going to be the perfect recipe for your Memorial Day menu to kick off the summer!

chicken right off the grill

Garlicky Grilled Chicken

garlicky grilled chicken with paprika butter – the details

So all in all, this is a very simple recipe. We’re marinating the chicken, grilling it, and whipping up a smoky paprika butter to slather over top. You can use whatever cut of chicken is your favorite here. I’ve got a little bit of everything – two chicken breasts, four skin-on/bone-in thighs, and 6 skin-on/bone-in drumsticks. The chicken breasts that I used were really thick, so everything ended up cooking around the same time. You’ll want to be aware of the thickness and size of the chicken you buy, and may need to adjust the cook times as needed.

The marinade is a pungent blend of LOTS of garlic cloves (24 to be exact), kosher salt for seasoning, sprigs of dill for freshness, lemon juice for a pop of bright flavor, and oil to bring it all together. The chicken gets tossed in this mixture and then chilled for at least 2 hours (you can do it overnight as well).

Garlicky Grilled Chicken

In the meantime you’ll whip up the paprika butter in the food processor which is just a few simple ingredients. Only thing here is to make sure your butter is softened so it blends well.

Once the chicken is done marinating, you’ll start it on the grill over the hottest possible heat. This will give you nice char marks on each side. I then like to move the chicken to a lower heated part of the grill, close the lid, and allow the chicken to finish cooking there. A lower heat after the quick char will keep the chicken nice and juicy.

The finished result? Flavor-packed garlicky grilled chicken that is beyond tender. Then just slather the paprika butter over top for a rich, smoky finish. Such a great recipe that will be the perfect addition to any upcoming summer feasts. Stay tuned for the rest of the dishes I plan to serve alongside for Memorial Day (coming this week on the blog).

And if you’re looking to make this chicken for a weeknight dinner, I’d say this spring vegetable brown butter gnocchi would be really delicious as a side dish.

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Garlicky Grilled Chicken with Paprika Butter

Garlicky Grilled Chicken

juicy grilled chicken flavored with garlic, dill, lemon, and slathered with whipped paprika butter 

servings: 4

  • Author: Kayla Howey

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 ½ lbs chicken – 2 large breasts, 4 skin-on/bone-in thighs, 6 skin-on/bone-in drumsticks 
  • 24 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 4 sprigs dill
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced 
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper 
  • flaky sea salt (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place the chicken into a large mixing bowl. Add the garlic, salt, and dill to a food processor. Pulse until finely minced. With the processor running, slowly stream in the vegetable and olive oil until emulsified. Add the lemon juice (reserve the zest). 
  2. Pour the marinade over the chicken and toss well. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours. Transfer the bowl of chicken to room temperature and let sit for about 30 minutes before grilling. 
  3. Meanwhile, add the softened butter, lemon zest, paprika, and cayenne to the food processor. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Transfer to a small serving bowl and set aside. 
  4. Heat one side of the grill over high heat and the other over medium-low. Once hot, place the chicken directly over the flames (or the hottest part of the grill). Grill quickly on both sides until deeply charred, 1-2 minutes per side. 
  5. Transfer the chicken to medium-low heat and cover the grill. Cook for another 15-18 minutes or so until the chicken is cooked through, flipping halfway through (it should read an internal temperature of 165°F). Remove the chicken from the grill and cover loosely with foil. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. 
  6. Thinly slice the chicken breasts. Arrange all of the chicken onto a large platter with the paprika butter alongside. Garnish with extra fresh dill and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt if you’d like.

Notes

All grills are different and may cook the chicken at different rates. Also, the chicken breasts that I used were really thick, so everything ended up cooking around the same time. You’ll want to be aware of the thickness and size of the chicken you buy, and may need to adjust the cook times as needed.

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Garlicky Grilled Chicken

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