We’re Cooking: The Best Herb and Citrus Grilled Chicken Ever

Surprisingly, we don’t cook a lot of chicken.  I say surprisingly because growing up chicken was pretty much the staple protein, made 100 different ways in my grandma’s kitchen from fried to poached to sautéed to baked.  I suppose tastes change as you get a little older, with our taste leaning more towards fish these days.  I do, however, love a good smoky chicken and the campfire flavor grilling can add to any ingredient.

Gary and I recently stepped into the modern world and ditched our old outdoor grill that would under-cook half of a dish while overcooking the other half and got a shiny new grill with every option from smoking to grilling, and nice little pictures on the buttons to show me where to put the setting. (I haven’t ever been much of a griller…until now.)   To christen our new purchase we threw a few pieces of chicken, marinated with lemon, wine, olive oil and lots of herbs, and some juicy, blue cheese stuffed burgers on the grill.  The burgers were delicious, but the chicken….simply divine, and super easy.  Why did it take so long to get a real grill?
Pair with a citrus filled Malagousia from Greece, a summer Rose of Pinot Noir from Oregon or even a light Grenache from France or Granacha from Spain. 


Herb and Citrus Marinated Grilled Chicken
Chicken and Marinade –
4 chicken breasts, any access fat removed and pounded slightly to make sure the chicken is an even thickness for uniform cooking.
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, lightly chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped fine
2 teaspoons dried herbs de provence, lightly crushed
1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon each salt and pepper

Sauce –
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped shallot
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper

2 hours prior to cooking the chicken add all the ingredients except the chicken into a bowl and mix well.  Place the chicken in a large, seal-able plastic bag.  Pour the marinade over it and seal, pushing out all the access air.  Massage the chicken in the bag a bit to help the marinade penetrate the chicken.  Place the bag in a baking dish and place in the refrigerator.  Every 15-20 minutes remove the bag and massage the chicken a bit more, then replace the bag in the dish in the fridge.  When ready to cook heat the grill to medium-high, or using a charcoal grill place the chicken in an area where the heat is not super high but still consistent and the coals are greyish red, not black.  Remove the chicken from the marinade and place it on the grill, cover the grill and cook for 5 minutes, then shift the chicken the other way and cook for another 8 minutes with the lid covering it.  Flip the chicken over and cook on the other side for 2 minutes, then shift slightly and cook for another 5-10 minutes (depending on the size of your chicken breast.) You want the temp to be about 160-170 degree to kill any bacteria.  Meanwhile add 1 tablespoon to a saute pan over medium heat and add the garlic and shallots.  Saute until just cooked.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.  Scoop the shallots and garlic into a bowl and all of the remaining sauce ingredients except the olive oil.  Stir together, then whisk in the additional tablespoon of oil.  Set aside.  When the chicken is cooked place it on a platter and immediately spoon the sauce over each piece while it is still hot.  Add a sprinkle of parsley for garnish.

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