It is often said many of the best recipes are the simplest, and this applies to the ingredients you use as well as the final presentation. Using too many ingredients and flavors means you will get an overly complex dish where all the different flavors fight against one another for supremacy, and using too much garnish means your beautiful meal will get lost in the unnecessary fuss and look untidy. This recipe is perfect for getting you back on the right path if over-complicating recipes has been an issue for you, and even if it has not, this is still a lovely recipe to make because it is easy and also because the flavors are so classic and harmonious.
You will need skinless, boneless chicken breast halves for this recipe, as well as a few common pantry ingredients. Garlic, lemon and Dijon mustard are combined with some olive oil, and then you add salt and black pepper. This provides both a marinade and a basting sauce. For the best results use fresh garlic and fresh lemon juice. At a pinch you can use garlic powder but fresh garlic will give a nicer taste. The chicken only needs half an hour marinating time, but you can leave it for a few hours if you prefer, not overnight because it might go a bit mushy and that is no good for chicken or any kind of meat.
Once the chicken has absorbed plenty of lemon, garlic and mustard flavor, it is time to heat up the grill. Get it nice and hot before you add the chicken for the best results, and brush the basting sauce over the chicken a few times during cooking. This adds moisture and boosts the flavor. This is one of those recipes where you will be able to taste every ingredient in the finished dish. The garlic, lemon and mustard flavors will not be overwhelming but they will be enjoyable and fragrant.
Served with rice and vegetables, this makes a hearty meal. Served with a mixed leaf salad and some Caesar or ranch dressing it makes a lighter meal. Take your pick from all kinds of side dishes because the flavors in this barbequed chicken are easy to pair. Try asparagus and wild rice if you want to add a gourmet touch, or even creamy pasta if you are making this for the whole family. If you are feeding a crowd you can double or triple this recipe easily enough, and make some potato salad and mixed leaf salad to go with it so they can serve themselves. A glass of Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc is also good if you are into wine.
This is a recipe you might like to bookmark but it is so easy you will probably remember how to make it after making it once. The next time you might wish to change the ingredients, swapping the lemon for lime or the Dijon mustard for a different kind of mustard. Although these changes would work just fine, there is something special about the classic recipe. Garlic, lemon and Dijon mustard are beautiful with chicken, and this trio of flavors is always a good standby when you have some chicken to use and want to use a classic marinade to bring out its full flavor.
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- 2 finely chopped garlic cloves
- ⅓ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Fresh thyme, for garnish (optional)
- Combine the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper.
- Set ¼ cup of this mixture aside for basting and add the chicken to the rest.
- Marinate for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
- Preheat the grill to high and oil the grate.
- Drain and discard the marinade and grill the chicken for about 7 minutes per side or until the juices run clear.
- Baste the chicken occasionally with the reserved marinade as it cooks.
- Serve the chicken with rice and vegetables (or your favorite side dishes) and garnish with thyme sprigs if liked.
This chicken is beautifully flavored and perfectly cooked. The golden brown areas are typical of barbequed chicken and a few sprigs of thyme on top adds some color. In the photo you can see the chicken is served with golden rice and mixed vegetables like carrot and onion. The colors look nice but this is just one possible serving suggestion. Some people like to serve sautéed potatoes or mashed potatoes with the chicken, while others might be in the mood for fries or even a pasta side dish. The aromatic, delicate flavors in the chicken mean all kinds of side dishes are possible.
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