Thursday, July 8, 2010

too hot to cook, fire up the grill!

Greg left town after the pig roast with the propane tank for the grill empty. We lived for a week without grilling and then it was just too darn hot to not learn how to refill the tank myself. Disconnect the tank, check. Take the tank to be refilled at Ace Hardware, check. Reconnect the tank, hmmmm don't think I have it right. Call Greg, grab Quinn (having the girls' boyfriends around does come in handy) and finally connect with enough force we're pretty sure we will not leak gas and blow up the house. That could ruin a meal.

So, we're all ready to grill and it's no wonder the tank needs to refilled on a pretty regular basis. We grill for lunch. We grill pizza. We grill peppers and onions to go with or on just about anything. We grill artisan bread slices (then we top them with goat cheese and melt it because that's just delicious). We grill fruit for dessert (halve peaches or nectarines and brush with a little oil, yummy). But mostly we grill chicken. Lots of chicken. So today we'll go over two favorite recipes.

The first is a classic base recipe for a lemon and herb marinade for chicken that we use on a weekly basis and generally use chicken tenders (you know, the little tenderloin pieces attached to the breasts, not the fried kind). The second is a bone-in, skin on breast recipe with a fabulous summer fruit and balsamic glaze based on a recipe from Fine Cooking magazine. I've mentioned Fine Cooking before, it's one subscription that always is worth the price.

Lemon and Herb Marinade for Chicken

2T olive oil
1 or 2 T minced fresh herbs (try rosemary and thyme or 3 T of basil or all three)
juice from half a lemon (or more if you love lemon like I do)
3 garlic cloves minced and mashed together with the knife blade with 1 T kosher salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 T water
2 pounds of chicken tenders

Whisk together all ingredients. Pour over chicken tenders and refrigerate to marinade for 15 minutes (I use a glass dish and turn the pieces once or twice before marinating because I'm trying to cut back on plastic bags). If you use whole or half breasts of chicken you can marinade for 30-90 minutes in the refrigerator. Grill as usual. The tenders will be done in 10 minutes over medium heat. That's 30 minutes or less from prep to table.

Make plenty of chicken. Leftovers are great over salad, in a panini, with pasta or on a pizza.



Grilled Chicken with Summer Fruit Glaze

2 T unsalted butter
1/2 C peach or apricot preserves
3 T balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
6-8 chicken breast pieces, bone in and skin on

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the preserves, balsamic vinegar, red pepper flakes and rosemary with a good pinch of kosher salt (1/2 tsp). Stir and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir occasionally until slightly thickened (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
Heat grill. Rub the chicken pieces with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill skin side down over medium heat with the cover closed. Cook until skin is golden (about 10 minutes). Flip the chicken and cook until a digital thermometer (get the cute colors Taylor one at Sur La Table for $10-$12 you will use it all the time) reads 165 degrees in the thickest part of the chicken (maybe 10-15 minutes more). When the chicken is done, generously brush with the glaze on all sides. Cook for another minute or so to slightly caramelize the glaze.

Great with grilled corn, grilled flat bread and a salad.




Get Grillin’ with Family Fresh Cooking and Cookin’ Canuck, sponsored byIle de France CheeseRösleEmile HenryManPans and Rouxbe.”


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