Saturday, May 9, 2009

Lemon-Thyme Marinated Chicken

This is the recipe I use for livening up a chicken breast to go on a Caesar salad, or on my favorite quinoa and roasted vegetable salad. For these recipes I use boneless, skinless breasts and pound them to an even thickness, so that they will grill quickly and evenly in a stove-top grill pan. This marinade also works well with bone-in, skin-on breast, thighs, or even on a whole chicken, if you prefer it roasted.

Juice of 1 lemon
2-3 cloves garlic
Salt to taste
1-2 sprigs of fresh thyme
3 tablespoons extra-virgin, cold-pressed olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Put lemon juice into a small ceramic or glass container. Add enough salt to the lemon juice that it tastes slightly oversalted (another option is to salt the chicken).

Smash the garlic cloves with the side of a large chef’s knife, and add the pieces to the lemon juice along with the thyme. Allow the garlic and thyme to sit covered in the lemon juice for at least 10 minutes. In my opinion, salting the lemon juice (instead of the chicken that’s added later) helps to pull the flavor out of the garlic and thyme in this step.

Meanwhile, pound out the chicken breasts until they are of even thickness. I use the side of a large rolling pin to pound the chicken, and I place the chicken between a flexible plastic cutting board and a regular plastic cutting board to prevent chicken juice from getting on my rolling pin. If you didn’t salt the lemon juice, salt the chicken on both sides now.

Add the olive oil to the lemon juice mixture and stir to emulsify. Add the chicken breast to the mixture, making sure to coat the chicken, then cover with a lid or plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, and up to overnight.

Before grilling, drain the chicken breasts a little. Too much liquid clinging to the chicken will prevent it from browning up. Heat the grill pan over medium-high heat, add the chicken breast and lower heat to medium-low. Cook for 3-5 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the breast. Chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.

Original recipe by Carol White, 2009.

I hope to have a picture here of the grilled chicken later on this evening! (Added 5/11/09 by Carol: Sorry! I forgot to get a photo of the chicken.)

COMING UP NEXT: Caesar Salad (on which to put your Lemon-Thyme Chicken!)

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