In this recipe, chicken is marinated and the cooked on the barbeque. The marinade is made with rosemary, which is a distinctive herb often used in lamb dishes, but it is also very good with chicken, especially when combined with lemon juice. This recipe also makes use of garlic and mustard, for a well-rounded flavor. The chicken should be marinated for an hour in the refrigerator or, if you are in a rush, half an hour at room temperature is fine. Use freshly squeezed lemon juice for the best results.
What Kind of Chicken to Use
Choose chicken cutlets or cut chicken breasts in half to make your own. Another way to get these thinner pieces is to pound the chicken thinner. The reason for this is it cooks quicker on the barbeque. You can cook whole chicken breasts on the grill but because they are thick it means the inside will still be raw when the outside is beyond done unless you keep the heat quite low. In this recipe you will need a medium-high heat to get the outside of the chicken nice and golden brown, and charred in places (those grill marks always look appetizing, don’t they?) so choose cutlets, cut breasts in half across the middle or pound them with the flat side of a meat mallet until they are thin enough.
The first thing to do is prepare the marinade and this is very easy. All you need to do is whisk the ingredients together to make it. Some people like to make extra marinade and use it as a salad dressing. Obviously this extra marinade should never come into contact with the raw chicken. Just save it and you will find it makes a tasty dressing. Once the marinating mixture is made, you can add your chicken. If you are pounding it thin or cutting it into thinner pieces, do this before adding it to the marinade because it is more slippery afterwards and you will get a better grip on it before putting it in the oil mixture. Additionally, the chicken will have more surface area after being sliced or pounded, which means more area for the marinade to be in contact with, and hence a richer marinade flavor.
While the chicken is marinating, either for a short time on the countertop, or for a longer time in the refrigerator, or in the refrigerator if it is a particularly hot day, you can get the barbeque ready. It should be quite hot but not too hot. Grease the grates with olive oil (or any kind of cooking oil you want) so when it is time to add the chicken later it is not going to stick.
What to Serve With It
A lot of chicken breast recipes are versatile, in that you can choose from all kinds of side dishes and not experience any flavor clashes. Perhaps you want to serve hot side dishes, in which case consider roasted potatoes or sweet potato wedges, steamed or stir-fried vegetables, or even vegetables cooked on the barbeque since it is hot anyway. Corn on the cob would work well, or how about asparagus? Alternatively you could assemble some vegetable kabobs. Cold possibilities include coleslaw, 3-bean salad or romaine drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and white wine vinegar, or with some of the marinade if you made extra and if it did not come into contact with the raw chicken.
- 8 thin chicken breast cutlets
- Juice from 2 lemons
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3 minced garlic cloves
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 4 fresh rosemary sprigs, for garnish
- Whisk the lemon juice with the chopped rosemary, oil, mustard, garlic, salt, and black pepper.
- Put the chicken in a Ziploc bag and pour in the rosemary mixture.
- Let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for an hour, turning it over halfway through this time.
- Preheat the barbeque to medium-high and brush olive oil over the grates.
- Discard the marinade.
- Cook the chicken for 3 minutes on the barbeque.
- Flip it over and cook for 3 minutes more or until it is golden brown and cooked through.
- Serve garnished with rosemary sprigs.
It is hard to go wrong when barbequing chicken. Use a digital thermometer and as soon as it hits 165 degrees F the chicken is done. It will look golden brown like in the picture, with attractive grill marks. We chose to serve the finished chicken with roasted potatoes and asparagus spears but there are lots of side dish possibilities. Homemade potato salad would be really nice. This recipe is very simple to prepare and the marinade not only adds flavor but helps to ensure the chicken stays moist on the barbeque.
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