Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Grilled Tuscan Lemon Chicken with Garlic and Rosemary • Grilled Chicken at its Best!


Hi Readers. I'm sorry I just basically disappeared for two weeks, but you know, it was August. And August is hot. And when it's hot, I lay on the couch and eat popsicles all day, and then after that I go somewhere air-conditioned like the mall, because it's so hot. I do not sit around in my hot hot house and blog for you, because I am selfish like that. Sorry.

But now it's September! The month of pumpkin spice lattes, crisp autumn leaves, snuggly sweaters and scarves, and fresh notebooks full of crisp white paper ready for a school years worth of notes! I love September. (And true to form, we had a chilly overcast marine layer all summer and them today was THE hottest day of the entire year. Thanks California! Love how you never go with the seasons like everywhere else does! Stay classy!) And with September comes more recipes. That's right - I'm blogging even though it's the hottest day of the year. That's how committed I am to September people!

And here is a recipe for you. This recipe is seriously the best grilled chicken I have ever had. Pardon me if I tread on your toes, but generally I really don't like grilled chicken. It's just always so dry and so bland, and the only thing that gives it any interest at all is barbecue sauce, and that generally only makes it edible - hardly delicious. And yet for whatever reason, this recipe is so moist and tender, and busting with flavor. It's so delicious! And the lemon garlic sauce is seriously to die for. We served this with roasted potatoes and grilled veggies and it was an absolutely delicious meal.

Tuscan Lemon Chicken with Garlic Rosemary Sauce
adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home, By Garten

Ok, don't freak out because this recipe calls for a whole stick of butter. When you divide that up amongst all the people eating (not to mention that part that is most regrettably left in the pan) it really comes out to very little. and it's SO delicious. And honestly, in the grand scheme of things? A little butter in not so bad. It much, much less bad than a fast food hamburger, or a candy bar, or a soda, and I bet you have that every now and then, don't you?

1 3.5ish pound chicken (fyi, I am sure you could make this with any other cut of chicken from the grocer - I just happen to love that it works with whole chicken so well, because it's the cheapest by far! I also love to save the bones from whole chickens for stock!)

1/3 cup good olive oil
zest of two lemons
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3-4 large cloves fresh garlic, minced or passed through a garlic press
2 tbs finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 stick unsalted butter
freshly ground pepper
kosher salt
1 lemon, halved

1. (This is the grossest step, fyi, but it really makes it easy to grill!) Rinse chicken and pat dry. With a pair of cooking shears (or a VERY clean pair of scissors - wash them with dish-soap or run them through the dishwasher - Or of all else fails, a large cooking knife), cut out the backbone of the chicken (I always throw it in a ziplock bag in the freezer for stock). I just cut right up each side of the chicken. Trim any large chucks of excess fat. Spread the chicken open, cavity side down, and press down firmly with the hell of your palm, until the chicken is flat. Sprinkle both sides generously with salt and pepper

2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, and 1 tsp pepper. Place chicken in a large 1 gallon ziplock bag, and pour marinade over chicken. Seal bag, removing as much air as possible, and turn to coat. Refridgerate chicken a minimum of 4 hours, but up to overnight, turning once or twice.

3. When ready to grill, heat grill to medium high. Remove chicken from bag, saving whatever juices are left over in the bag, and place chicken on the grill skin side up. Cook 15 - 25 minutes, until golden brown (adjust heat if necessary if chicken browns too quickly or begins to burn. Grills can be so different from one another!). Turn the chicken skin side down, and cook for another 15 - 20 minutes, until skin is brown and crisp, and meat is cooked through. Grill the lemon halves, cut side down, for the last 10 minutes of cooking.

4. Remove chicken from heat, and let rest on a cutting board (tented with foil or something like that, so it doesn't get cold) 5 minutes. Remember that left over marinade? I hope you saved it! In a small saucepan, combine leftover marinade, butter, and any juices from chicken resting place. Heat, and bring to a boil, whisking to combine. Chop the chicken into 4 pieces, and top with garlic rosemary sauce. Enjoy!