Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Grilled chicken with garden herbs

Well, we had a very long and hard winter in New England this year. At last summer is here, and if you're like me you're trying to suck up as many summer days as possible. In the dark depths of my winter cabin fever I started day dreaming of planting my own vegetable garden.

It's small and made mostly of containers, but you can fit a lot into a 7x4 area if you're cleaver enough. This summer I planted-
-Red cabbage
-Strawberries
-Yellow onions
-Green onions
-Parsley
-Thyme
-Tomatoes
-Cucumbers
-Mint
-Radishes
-Oregano
-Rosemary
-Pole beans
-Chives
-Celery
-Basil
-Broccoli
-Peppers
So as you can see, you can get plenty into a small area. I bought a couple books on container gardening to help me out and a really good vegetable garden book called "The Kitchen Garden"
I wish I could be super cool and claim to have grown the majority by seed but I only grew 30% this way. Yes it's cheaper and more bragging rights come with it, but I was ok with buying baby plants.
The nice part is having all the herbs on hand and the option to just go in the back yard and cut what you need. Light pruning also aids in the plants' grow. Just don't forget to rinse off what you cut to get the dirt off
But getting back on track to grilling chicken! I know plenty of people that know more about grilling then myself. I'm more of a "Grill Fan" then "Grill Master" But I can grill a good bone in chicken breast. I find bone in chicken is really good for grilling and makes a much more tender results then a boneless breast. In the morning I'll put together the marinade for the chicken and let the meat soak for the day. It's a really basic but very good mix.
-Half of the juice from a lemon & its zest
-two cups of olive oil
-tablespoon of salt
-2 teaspoons of fresh cracked pepper
-Half a bulb of garlic chopped
-2 tablespoons of dijon mustard (I like the country style)
-handful of fresh herbs (I had thyme, parsley, basil, rosemary) chopped
I got some cake pan tins at the dollar store to let the chicken marinate in. Combined ingredients.
Loosen the skin of the chicken like shown in the Roast Chicken recipe. I even slide some of the mix under the skin, but keep in mind not to add too much or it will prevent the skin from browning. Place the breasts in the tin breast down. Make sure to cover the upright part with the mix also. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the frig until you are ready to grill. Mine sits for at least six hours. (Reduce how much lemon you put in if you plan to let it sit over night)
I'm using a gas grill here, this grill was large enough that it had four burners. I used 3 out of the four. Preheat your grill with the lid down for at least fifteen minutes before placing anything on the grill. Shake off the excess marinade from the chicken to prevent flare ups from the grill. Place the chicken on the grill with the breast meat facing up for a half hour with the lid closed. Resist the urge to open the lid and let the heat out, I have my heat a bit higher then the lowest setting.
After 30 minutes flip the chicken placing the breast meat down on the grill, this will finish off the cooking and crisp the skin nicely. Grill for about 10-15 more minutes until skin is crispy and the juices run clear. Remove chicken from grill and let rest tented under foil for 10 minutes.
Serve and enjoy!

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