Foot Bridge Grilled Chicken (also known as A Third-A Third-A Third Chicken)

By Ann Fulton

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A flavor-packed marinade with just three basic ingredients makes this oldie-but-goodie ideal for both busy weeknights and casual backyard entertaining. I always prepare more than I need the first night, as leftovers are delicious cold, reheated, and as a leveled-up base for your favorite chicken salads. The marinade works beautifully with vegetables too.

Over the Fourth of July holiday, we often spend a week with my in-laws at their cabin in the Poconos of Pennsylvania. Their house is nestled in the woods near a lake and several streams.  

There is always much fishing, hiking, biking, swimming, and blueberry picking while we are here. After a good rain, the kids love to hunt for the little orange salamanders that suddenly appear along the sides of the gravel roads.

There is little TV, lots of games–many of them silly games made up by the family over the years–and plenty of food.

It is a tradition to enjoy dinner along one of the streams at least once during the week. We fly fish, grill over an open fire, and toast marshmallows for s’mores.

The following recipe has become a favorite of my in-laws since I first made it for them several summers ago and is perfect vacation food: easy to prepare in amounts for any size group.

The 3-ingredient A Third-A Third-A Third Marinade for grilled chicken was an idea from a friend years ago and has been a consistent crowd-pleaser over the years. When people ask for the recipe, they usually can’t believe how easy it is.  

My dad, who generally does not cook, recently started making this. Trust me, that says something!

I often prepare this easy marinade after breakfast and let the chicken steep all day. I also like to reserve a small amount of the mixture and used it to marinate thick slices of onions, zucchini, and portobello mushrooms for about an hour before grilling. This has been a very good way to get people excited about eating their veggies! A tossed or grain-based salad rounds out the meal perfectly.

Until last year, we always referred to this chicken, perhaps cumbersomely, as “a third, a third, a third chicken” in honor of the unique marinade. On a recent outing, someone dubbed it “Foot Bridge Chicken” in honor of the pretty spot along the stream where we cooked out that evening.

They caught nine fish between them!

“Blueberry Jammie” is a dessert we have been enjoying for many years and is reason to pick from the nearby blueberry bushes daily when in season. We have been known to make quite a few batches!

Click here for the recipe and to find out the reason for the goofy name!
Foot Bridge Grilled Chicken (also known as A Third-A Third-A Third Chicken)
Depending on the amount of chicken you wish to grill, you may adjust the total quantity of marinade as needed. Simply use equal parts of each ingredient. Make a little extra of the mixture if you'd like to use it as a marinade for vegetables. I typically marinate veggies for about an hour prior to grilling.
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2-3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (may substitute other parts)
  1. Mix the first three ingredients in a large bowl or zipper-top bag.
  2. Add desired amount of chicken and marinate for several hours or up to all day.
  3. Grill over medium-high heat until chicken is just cooked through.
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  1. Mary McGovern

    This is my “go to” marinate for chicken now—thank you, Anne, for another easy and delicious recipe!

  2. Tom

    Grilled tonight even though the temperatures have dropped. It’s never too cold to grill. Chicken was great. Thank you

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  5. Kenny

    The chicken sounds wonderful, but what caught my eye was mentioning salamanders. Since I went to camp in the Poconos when I was 5, begged to stay two months that first year and did, also for about 9 years after that, I spent many hours finding salamanders. I’m so glad to hear they are still there. I have never seen or heard of them any other place. People may call what they find salamanders, but I don’t think they are the very orange fellows near and dear to my heart that seem unique to the Poconos.

    1. Sherry

      What touched my heart too was about the rain and the salamanders. Growing up my parents owned a cabin on a lake in upstate NY and we would spend the entire summers there and fish and swim and eat the best tomato sandwiches and the very best corn on the cob And also look for salamanders after it rained. Great story Ann.

      1. Ann

        Thank you for the great comments, Kenny and Sherry. It’s so neat when such a little thing can elicit such wonderful memories! I, too, have many fond memories from my summer camp days and my boys so enjoy going to camp every summer. They have every boy’s dream at their camp–a frog pond! And tomato sandwiches…soooo good!

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  7. Denise

    We tried this recipe this past weekend! OMGoodness we loved it and it will be our new recipe for marinade. Fast and easy and I know what’s in the ingredients!
    Thank you for sharing!

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  9. Kimberly

    I tried this marinade last night. This recipe will be my new go to for marinade. I really liked it. Used it on boneless skinless breasts and it made a big difference on how they came out. They were juicy and delicious.