This time of year, heating up the kitchen doesn't make a lot of sense. But, if you're like me, you're tired of the same old bottled teriyaki or store-bought marinades on chicken.
This week and next, I'll give you quick and easy marinades for boneless chicken breasts that deliver a lot of flavor with little fuss.
The lemon-Dijon marinade featured today is made with ingredients most of us keep on hand. Dijon mustard, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice are the base, and I add some shallots and herbs to make it come alive.Start the grill, prepare the marinade and place the chicken in the marinade in a zip-top plastic bag. Letting the chicken sit out at room temperature allows the marinade to flavor the chicken quickly. Or, you could prepare the marinade the night before and let the chicken sit in the refrigerator until you're ready to grill.
While the grill is heating up, wash some small new potatoes and boil them for about 20 minutes. They're done when a knife inserted in the center comes out easily. Drain the potatoes, slice them in half and toss them in a skillet with some minced or pressed garlic, butter and salt and pepper. Throw in some dried parsley flakes for color.
Green beans go great with this meal, and you can choose fresh or frozen. Steam or microwave them until they're crisp-tender, give them a little shake of salt and pepper and they're ready.
Grilling boneless chicken breasts can be tricky. You don't want them to be undercooked, and it's easy to overcook them, resulting in tough, chewy chicken. I've found that it takes about seven minutes a side to have moist, juicy, cooked-through boneless chicken breasts. When you think they're done, cut into one to make sure there's no pink in the middle.
Canned peaches in syrup over vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt would make a quick, light dessert.
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes or 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved (or 2 teaspoons of minced jar garlic)
1 large shallot, peeled and quartered
1 teaspoon dried herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (juice of 1 whole lemon)
6 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
4 boneless chicken breast halves
In a food processor or blender, combine the parsley, garlic cloves, shallots, herb seasoning, rosemary, mustard and lemon juice. Process until the ingredients are finely chopped. Drizzle in the olive oil and run until the mixture is fluid. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Wash chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Place chicken in a zip-top plastic bag and spoon marinade over the chicken. Seal the bag and let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. (Or refrigerate for several hours or overnight.)
Grill or broil the chicken breasts for about 7 minutes per side, until juices are clear and when cut, center of meat shows no pink.
(This marinade also can be prepared without a food processor or blender. Finely chop the garlic and shallots -- or press them through a garlic press -- and whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl.)
On the side: Green beans. Boiled new potatoes, cut in half and skillet-grilled with garlic, butter, salt and pepper.
For dessert: Canned peaches in syrup over vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.