Grilled Chicken with Garlic-Herb Dressing and Grilled Lemon

>> Tuesday, May 24, 2011

When the heat index hits over 90 degrees, I do not want to heat up the kitchen by using the oven or the stove, so that means one thing - - it's grilling time! Since Andrew is king of the grill, it means less work for me too. I get to relax in the air conditioning sipping an icy cold beverage while Andrew mans the grill. A win-win situation, if you ask me! (Granted you do have to use the oven to roast the garlic, but I did that first thing in the morning when the temperature was still in the 70s.)

As a true lover of anything citrus, I was really intrigued with the idea of grilling the lemons in addition to the chicken. The grilling process caramelizes the sugars in the lemon and produces a wonderfully sweet yet still tart flavor. Gorgeousness in my mouth! I really love the dressing and I'm already planning what else I will be smothering it with...pork chops, fish, salad...the list could go on and on...

Grilled Chicken with Garlic-Herb Dressing and Grilled Lemons
recipe adapted from Tyler Florence's Tyler's Ultimate cookbook

1 head of garlic, cut in half at the equator
kosher salt
extra-virgin olive oil
2 whole fresh thyme sprigs, plus leaves from 6 sprigs
juice of 2 lemons, plus 2 more lemons, halved
1/2 c chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 to 6 skin-on chicken breasts
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut a piece of aluminum foil about 12 inches long. Put the garlic on one half of the foil, sprinkle with salt, drizzle in some olive oil and a couple of teaspoons of water and add 2 sprigs of thyme. Fold the foil over the garlic to enclose and fold in the edges 2 or 3 times to seal. Put the package in the oven and roast for 30 minutes, or until the garlic is soft. Open the package and let the garlic cool a bit, then squeeze out the cloves into a food processor or blender. Add 1/2 cup olive oil, lemon juice, parsley and thyme leaves and puree to make a thick vinaigrette. Divide dressing into two bowls, one for basting the chicken and one for serving.

Preheat outdoor grill to medium heat.

Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Put the chicken in a bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil; toss to coat with seasonings.

When you're ready to cook, take a few paper towels and fold them several times to make a thick square. Blot a small amount of oil on the paper towel and carefully and quickly wipe the hot grates of the grill to make a nonstick surface. Put chicken on grill, skin side down. Grill the chicken for 15-25 minutes, turning once and basting often with half of the dressing. Cook chicken until no longer pink. During the last few minutes of cooking, throw the lemon halves on the grill, cut sides down, and cook until just marked and smoky.

To serve, toss the chicken with the remaining dressing and squeeze the grilled lemons over the chicken.


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