Grilled Chicken with Watermelon Glaze

Spend some time grilling outside and enjoy this fresh chicken recipe with your family. A homemade sweet and spicy Watermelon Glaze makes this our favorite summer grilled chicken recipe.

Grilled Chicken with Watermelon Glaze
Photo: Andy Lyons
Prep Time:
20 mins
Grill Time:
50 mins
Stand Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
20 mins


  • 1 recipe Watermelon Glaze

  • 1 whole chicken or 3-1/2 pounds meaty chicken pieces

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • Snipped fresh herbs (optional)

Watermelon Glaze

  • ½ of a small watermelon

  • 1 12 ounce jar apple jelly

  • Peel and juice from 1 small lime

  • 2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 1 teaspoon bottled hot pepper sauce

  • Pinch of salt


  1. Prepare Watermelon Glaze; reserve 1/3 cup of the glaze.

  2. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. To butterfly chicken,* using poultry or kitchen shears, cut along each side of backbone to remove it. Turn chicken breast-side up. Open the two sides of the chicken as if you were opening a book and lay it flat. Break breastbone by firmly applying pressure and pressing down. Tuck wing tips under upper wings.

  3. Prepare grill for indirect grilling.** Brush chicken with olive oil. Season chicken on both sides with salt and black pepper. Place skin-side down, on center of grill over indirect medium heat. Cover and grill for 25 minutes. Turn chicken over. Brush a little of the remaining 2/3 cup glaze on skin. Cover and grill for 25 to 30 minutes more, or until juices run clear and an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh registers 180°F, brushing with glaze two more times.

  4. Remove chicken from grill; brush with the reserved 1/3 cup glaze. Let chicken rest for 10 minutes. Cut chicken into pieces. Serve with watermelon slices reserved from Watermelon Glaze and, if desired, sprinkle with herbs.

Watermelon Glaze

  1. Cut watermelon in half. Slice and reserve one half for serving with chicken; refrigerate until serving time. Cut the remaining watermelon half into chunks (about 4 cups). Place in a food mill or juicer and collect the juice. Or place watermelon chunks in blender. Cover and blend until nearly smooth. Pour mixture into a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl; discard solid bits. Reserve 1 cup of the juice and drink or freeze the rest.

  2. In small saucepan melt apple jelly over low heat, stirring often so it doesn't burn. Stir in the 1 cup reserved watermelon juice, the lime juice, and lime peel. Add crushed red pepper, hot pepper sauce, and salt. Mix and taste. Adjust seasoning as desired; remove from heat.

  3. Use glaze warm, or let it cool and transfer to a clean jar. Glaze will keep, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

*Butterflying Chicken:

Butterflying makes it easy to cook a whole chicken on the grill. Kitchen or poultry shears are the best tool for the job. Make a cut about 1-1/2 inches apart on both sides of the backbone, cutting all the way down, and remove backbone.

**Indirect Grilling:

This method positions the fire to one side or both ends of the grill. Food sits over the unlit part, and the grill is covered so the food cooks from all sides. This is best for thicker cuts that need longer cooking, such as roasts and ribs.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

539 Calories
27g Fat
39g Carbs
35g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 539
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 27g 35%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 135mg 45%
Sodium 313mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 39g 14%
Total Sugars 30g
Protein 35g
Vitamin C 24.2mg 121%
Calcium 40.4mg 3%
Iron 2.3mg 13%
Potassium 641mg 14%
Folate, total 20.2mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.5mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.8mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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