Thursday, June 24, 2010

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Lemon Zest, Garlic & Herb Marinade

Well, I've up and done it.  I've posted a recipe for chicken on my vegetarian cooking blog.  It's true world, I've started eating small amounts of chicken.  It's hard concept to wrap my head around; I still consider myself to be a vegetarian but I eat some chicken.  Now that I've said that, I bet a few people will tell me I'm wrong.  And for all technical purposes I am, but the chicken that I have eaten is free range and vegetarian fed.  On top of that, all the chicken I have eaten has been purchased for me, I have yet to buy meat of my own.  I'll see if I'll be able to even purchase it on my own... of if I'll even know how.  While I am having this mini-less-than-a-quarter-life identity crisis, I do know that since I have started eating chicken I feel a lot healthier.  Aside from finding out I'm allergic to bees, I have yet to get sick!  For those who know me, that is saying something.

Oh, right, back to the food.  I'm not going to lie, it's good.  Good as in I ate-it-cold-out-of-a-tupperware-and-still-enjoyed-it good.  For me, the cooking part was a little difficult and nerve racking, but cut me a break people, I've never done this before and I didn't want to get anyone sick on my first try!  The whole time I was trimming the chicken breast I was a little squeamish and was ruffling up my nose with confusion.  While that was one thing, don't even get me started on the grilling, I was terrified I wouldn't cook it well enough and I would be exiled the suffering I inflicted upon my kin.  I may or may not have yelled "DAAAAADDD" one or two times to make him check the chicken for me while I anxiously asked "are you SURE it's not pink inside?"  Needless to say, I did it.  I very successfully grilled chicken.  Throughout dinner my family kept on insisting "this was the best chicken they ever had" (I still don't believe them) and we were all vying for leftovers the next day.

You want to know how this tastes?  Garlic plays a pretty prominent role and is the first flavor that is noticed.  Slowly, the light taste of lemon comes through and the helps give the chicken a nice fresh finish.  Yet the marinating in olive oil with herbs gives a wonderful undertone.  Fire up the grill this weekend (I don't know about you, but it's beautiful here!) and get cooking!

PS - As you can tell, Mom, I finally posted to recipe, albeit a little later than you would have hoped. 
While not the greatest picture (dang compact florescent light bulbs!) it does prove I did cook the chicken!

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Lemon Zest, Garlic & Herb Marinade
Adapted from Once Upon a Chef
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 ounces each, or about 1½ pounds total)
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons lemon zest (about the zest of one lemon) - I used a little more zest than the recipe indicates
  1. Place chicken breasts between 2 pieces of wax paper and, using a meat mallet, pound to an even ½-inch thickness (I couldn't get mine this thin… but if you can, more power to you!).
  2. Mix all ingredients except chicken together in a 1 gallon zip-lock bag. Add chicken breasts and massage marinade into meat until evenly coated. Seal the bag and place in a bowl in the refrigerator (the bowl protects against leakage); let the chicken marinate at least 4 hours or up to 12 hours.
  3. Clean grill and preheat to high. Lightly dip a wad of paper towels in vegetable oil and, using tongs, carefully rub over grates several times until glossy and coated. Place chicken breasts on the grill (and get as much of that marinade on as you can!  More marinade = more flavor!). Grill, covered, for 4-5 minutes per side.

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