June 28, 2009

Grilled Lemon Parsley Chicken Breasts

I love grilled food. I simply cannot get enough of the grill flavor during the summertime. The family and I have an afternoon of swimming planned, and I thought this would be the perfect dinner to go with an afternoon by the pool (even though it is way too hot to eat outside). I am especially looking forward to trying this easy marinade, since I have heard positive things about it. My friend, Claire tried this chicken out last week with good results, so I am hoping to duplicate her efforts. This is another recipe from the Cook's Illustrated Summer Grilling issue. I am not sure what I am going to serve with it, but probably the standard veggies/salad and a starchy side dish.

Grilled Lemon Parsley Chicken Breasts
From: Cook's Illustrated Summer Grilling

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
1 1/4 teaspoons sugar
table salt
fresh ground black pepper
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons water
4 (8 ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts

1. Whisk together mustard, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 3 tablespoons olive oil, parsley, 1/4 teaspoons sugar, 1/4 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoons pepper in small bowl; set aside.

2. Whisk together remaining tablespoon lemon juice, remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, remaining teaspoons of sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, garlic, and water in medium bowl. Place marinade and chicken in gallon-size zipper-lock bag and toss to coat; press out as much air as possible and seal bag. Refrigerate 30 minutes, flipping bag after 15 minutes.

3. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal (6 quarts, about 100 briquettes) and allow to burn until coal are fully ignited and partially covered with thin layer of ash, about 20 minutes. Build modified 2 level fire by arranging all coals over half of grill, leaving the other half empty. Position cooking grate over coals, cover grill, and heat grate until hot, about 5 minutes; scrape grate clean. Dip wad of paper towels in oil, holding wad with tongs, wipe cooking grate. Grill is ready when you can hold your hand 5" above grate for 5 minutes.

4. Remove chicken from bag, allowing excess marinade to drip off. Place chicken on cooler side of grill, smooth-side down, with thicker side facing coals. Cover with disposable 9x13" aluminum pan and cook until bottom of chicken just begins to develop light rill marks and is no longer translucent, 6-9 minutes. Using tongs, flip chicken and rotate so that thinner side faces coals. Cover with disposable pan and continue to cook until chicken is opaque and firm to touch and instant read thermometer inserted into thickest part of chicken registers 140 degrees, 6-9 minutes longer.

5. Move chicken to hotter side of grill and cook,uncovered, until dark grill marks appear, 1-2 minutes. Using tongs, flip chicken and cook until dark grill marks appear and instant read thermometer inserted into thickest part of chicken registers 160 degrees, 1-2 minutes linger. Transfer chicken to cutting board, let rest, tented with foil, 5 minutes. Slice each breast on bias into 1/4" thick slices and transfer to individual plates.

6. Drizzle with reserved sauce to serve.


On gas grill: Turn all burners to high and heat with lid down until very hot, about 15 minutes. Scrape grill grate with grill brush to clean. Dip wad of paper towels in oil; holding wad with tongs, wipe cooking grate. Leave primary burner turned to high and turn off other burners. Proceed with recipe, grilling with lid down and omitting disposable pan. Increase browning time by 1-2 minutes.

The Result:
This chicken was sooooooo freakin' yummy! The grilling instructions were easy to follow, and the chicken cooked perfectly. The marinade and sauce made the chicken just sing...so very bright and fresh-tasting. It made the chicken both succulent and savory, with just the perfect hit of lemony goodness! Yum! Yum! Yum! I served some corn on the cob, salad, and a small baked potato, for side items. All were really tasty with our grilled chicken. Overall, this was a delicious and satisfying dinner! I am sure that we will be having this chicken again very soon.

On another note, I am pretty happy with all the dishes I have tried from Cook's Illustrated. So far, it has been an awesome resource for both technique and recipes. With each dish I try, I am falling more and more in love with the magazine! I will definitely be getting a subscription.

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