This is the best grilled chicken we’ve enjoyed in a very long time. The recipe comes from a popular restaurant in Pennsylvania called JohnJJeffries and was recently posted in the Epicurious RSS. This flavorful dish is brined, marinated and served with a chimichurri sauce. The process is a little lengthy, but worth it.
Allow for 1 hour brining and 4 hours marinating.
1/4 cup fine sea salt
2 teaspoons pickling spice (buy fresh if it’s been around a long while – this brine is only as good as your pickling spice!)
2 tablespoons honey
4 1/2 pounds of chicken pieces, or whole chicken backbone removed
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, chopped
1/3 cup fresh basil, rough chopped
1/3 cup flat parsley, rough chopped
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh flat parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 garlic clove, minced
pinch of red pepper flakes
FOR THE CHIMICHURRI SAUCE:
Put all the ingredients in a processor and puree until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate.
FOR THE CHICKEN:
If you are using a whole chicken, removing the backbone as well as spliting it in two makes handling much easier (to ‘flatty’ a chicken see previous post: Roasted Flatty Chicken with Compound Butter 7/17/2010)
Boil 2 cups of water with pickling spices and 1/4 cup of fine sea salt in a large pot. Stir and heat through until salt has dissolved. Let cool on stove top. Add 6 cups water and honey stirring until combined. Place chicken pieces in pot and let brine for an hour.
Meanwhile mix 1/2 cup olive oil, shallot, basil, parsley, rosemary, thyme and garlic in a processor until finely chopped. Place herb mixture in a 13x9x2 inch glass dish. Rinse chicken in cold water, pat dry and place in herb mixture. Turn all the pieces coating all sides. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or more.
Prepare barbecue for medium heat. Remove excess marinade from chicken pieces and place on a baking sheet. Salt and pepper all sides. Grill the chicken covered until cooked through turning about every 30 minutes. Watch for flare-ups! Move the chicken to cooler locals if necessary.
Alternatively, pre-heat oven to 325°. Bake chicken for an hour and 40 minutes or until a thermometer reads 165F.
Serve with the chimichurri sauce.
Basil Lemon Corn on the Cob
This version comes from the September issue of Food Network magazine. We excluded the flavored oil side, because we think the water the corn cooks in is flavorful enough.
1/2 cup basil, whole leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 ears of corn, cleaned
Bring 4 cups water, basil, lemon, oil and a pinch of salt to a boil. Carefully add corn and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and enjoy!
creamy basil green goddess dressing
This salad is from Ina Garten with only a few tweaks. The dressing is very creamy and a little goes a long way, however it tastes very herbaceous and light because of the citrus, basil and tarragon.
1 cup mayonnaise
4-6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh basil, rough chopped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons tarragon, rough chopped
2 teaspoons anchovy paste
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoons fresh black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 cup sour cream
2 heads of bibb or butter lettuce, cleaned and dried and chopped
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
You will likely have far more dressing than required to dress your salads, but it also works well with baja fish taco, salmon sandwich or fajita, tartar sauce substitute and countless other applications.
Place the first 9 ingredients in a food processor and mix until smooth. Add sour cream and blend briefly. Serve with tomatoes and lettuce. We found that fresh croutons added a much needed grounding for this very rich dressing so you may want to cube some bread up, toss it with some olive oil, salt and pepper and bake approximately 15 minutes at 350°.