Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Mediterranean Chicken on the Grill

This is our family's favorite chicken. I usually serve it with Tabouleh With a Greek Twist and our favorite green beans.

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (bone in, skin on would be good, too)
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
freshly squeezed juice of two or three lemons*
3 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons dried oregano (or twice as much fresh)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a gallon-sized ziplock bag. Keep in fridge for two to twenty-four hours, occasionally turning and working marinade into chicken. Take out of fridge about thirty minutes before grilling time. Preheat grill on high for about ten minutes. Place chicken on grill and immediately turn down to low. Maybe half way between medium and low, but closer to low. Close lid. Cook for about ten minutes, then turn over. Close lid. Cook for maybe another fifteen minutes. Remove as soon as it’s no longer pink in the center. With practice you can tell if it’s done by how it feels when you squeeze it with the tongs. Do not overcook or it will dry out. Better to undercook and then put back on the grill than to overcook it! And once you cut into it to see if it's done, the juices run out. I usually take it off the grill a little early, put it on a plate and cover it snugly with aluminum foil. While I'm getting the rest of the meal on the table, it cooks a bit more under the foil. I can't stand overdone chicken. Can you tell?

*I never buy bottled lemon juice. I don't think comes close to the real thing. I like to buy a big bag of lemons or limes at Costco and enjoy having them in a bowl on my kitchen counter for a while. After a few days, I juice them, freeze the juice in ice cube trays, and then dump the cubes into a gallon sized Ziploc bag. Two and a half to three cubes equals the juice of one lemon.

I read somewhere that if you microwave a lemon for 30 seconds before juicing it, you'll get more out of it. I don't if it's true, but now that I've read it, I always have to do it. Limes, too. Less time.

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