Like I said, the weather is getting cooler out, right now I'm actually sitting in my chair wrapped in a blanket, hahahaha. But everyone knows that I'm built for this cooler weather, and appreciate it greatly! Okay, enough of my blabbering on, I need to get to the meat of this post. Get it..."meat" because I'm grilling. Okay...maybe I shouldn't type a blog post after I first get up in the morning. Hope this all makes sense!
Grilling is somewhat of a rite of passage for cooking. I think a lot of people take for granted that this was the way that people cooked food for thousands of years before all the myriad of cooking appliances came into existence. Granted...they didn't have big fancy grills to cook on, just open pits...but come...you know what I meant, right? Thought so.
Since Michael and I have been married I've done my fair share of grilling, and like to think that I've gotten quite good at a few things. Michael loves it when I grill rock fish in a tinfoil pouch with some onions, leeks, capers and limes. And of course I love to grill me a steak! But today isn't about fish or steak...today is about chicken. Don't worry, none of my chickens were the ones that I grilled...although Chynna is getting pretty close to the stock pot if she doesn't start laying some eggs!
We eat a lot of poultry in this house and so I'm always looking for ways to cook it, reinvent it or in the case of boneless, skinless chicken breasts...make them edible! I've always been a bit scared of grilling chicken because it can go from juicy to dry and choking in a matter of minutes, but I think I've figured out the secret! Don't overcook it. ;-) Just kidding. Well that is part of it...but the main thing is...sear it on one side, flip it, sear it on the other side...then move it to the side of the grill and turn off the flame under them and let them cook with indirect heat. This turns your grill into more of an oven. Easy, right?! Well it is!
So my wonderful friends, I'm going to share my grilled chicken recipe with you. Now remember, the marinade can be made up of anything you like. You don't have to use what I do, or you can use them and add more. Make this your own. And you can do with this bone in, skin on chicken as well, but realize that anything with a bone in it will take a little bit longer, so always, ALWAYS use a meat thermometer when cooking any type of poultry. And what's the number one rule of working with poultry? Wash your hands with warm water and soap, as well as wash anything else that has touched raw chicken! :) Okay enough lecturing. Let's get on with it...shall we?
~The REAL Housewife's
Grilled Lemon, Thyme and Hot Pepper Chicken Thighs with Grilled Asparagus~
Grilled Lemon, Thyme and Hot Pepper Chicken Thighs with Grilled Asparagus~
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs (# depends on how many people you are feeding)
- 2 Lemons
- Fresh Thyme
- Olive Oil
- Crushed Red Pepper
- Kosher Salt
- Fresh Ground Black Pepper
- Hot Chili Peppers, whatever you have on hand or whatever is cheapest at the store
- Any other veggies you want to grill
Here are the ingredients...not too many for such a wonderful dish!!
Start by zesting a lemon (or two depending on how many thighs you use) You can use a zester, but I prefer to use the side of my box grater. Much faster! :)
Housewife Hint: Only zest the yellow stuff, getting the pith (white stuff) is not tasty at all!
Now using your hand, apply pressure and roll the lemon on a flat surface. This helps to bust all the juice pockets (that's a technical term) and aids in getting the most juice out as possible.
Squeeze the juice out of the lemon. I like to do it right into a measuring cup, where all the ingredients will fit. :)
Now add the olive oil. I just eyeball this, and depending on how much meat I have, I adjust the amounts. You want enough to coat everything, but not drown it.
Now add the Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper. This is always to taste, but remember this is the only time you are going to salt the chicken...so be liberal.
I love adding Crushed Red Pepper along with fresh chilis.
I like to mince up the Chili Peppers. These are from my greenhouse, not sure what kind they are...but they are spicy! HAHA
I don't bother picking the thyme leaves. If the stems are really woody, then I will, but these are tender stems so I just run my knife through them to chop them up. This also busts the leaves and helps to release the oils.
Everything gets thrown into the party and given a good stir. At this point I taste it...and adjust seasonings if necessary. It's going to taste really lemony...but that's good. Oh. Don't forget to add the lemon zest in! (I clearly forgot to take that picture)
Put the chicken thighs into a big zip lock baggie and pour the marinade over it. I prefer to use a baggie because you are able to squish them around easier, and you don't get a bowl or your hands dirty! :)
Rub everything together, make sure the marinade is all over each piece. Then set in the fridge for a few hours, or it can safely stay on the counter for up to two hours. That's if it's not 110 degrees in your house! But I tend to toss chicken in the fridge...just don't want to mess with it.
After the chicken has marinated for a few hours, I will heat up the grill. When grilling it's always best to preheat your grill for at least 20 minutes. I use a gas grill, but if you use charcoal, let it get nice and hot and the coals should be white. Then get out your wire brush and clean any of the gunk off. Heating it up on high will loosen the crud.
After brushing the grates, I like to use an old towel rolled up, pour olive oil on it and rub the grates. This gives it a bit of a "non-stick" feature.
I'm making my potatoes to go with this as well, you can find the recipe on my recipe page. They take the longest to cook so those always go on the grill first.
Now time for the chicken. Over High Heat, place the chicken on the grill. Allow it to sear.
Flip it over, and let it sear on the other side.
Now for the hard part. Turn off one of the burners on the side, or if using a charcoal grill, move all the coals to one side, and place the chicken over that burner. You are now cooking with indirect heat so the chicken won't burn. At this point, I close the lid.
While the chicken is cooking, lets get the asparagus ready. I leave the bottom rubber band on and cut about 1/2 inch to an inch above it.
Lay all the asparagus on a sheet tray, or a big plate.
Drizzle with Olive Oil and season with Kosher Salt and Black Pepper.
Now go throw them on the grill. Remember the skinny ones WILL fall through the grate. LOL I know...I've fished many a spear out. lol. Toss them on the grill over the heat and then close the lid.
At this point I check the chicken. Chicken ALWAYS needs to be cooked above 160 degrees. I like to be above 165. And always use a meat thermometer...it's not worth the risk.
I move the chicken up top to keep it warm, and then throw on the corn. The corn doesn't take long. You just need to get it nice and browned. I just brush it with Olive Oil, and season with Kosher Salt and Black Pepper. Easy peasy.
After a few minutes of cooking, flip the asparagus. Be careful. Only grab a few at a time that way you don't lose any to the flames!
Pull the chicken off the grill, and cover loosely with foil and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
Once the asparagus is done pull it off, as well as the corn. I leave the potatoes on until the last minute. This way some get nice and crispy!!
Now...dish up this happiness! Nothing is as good as food from the grill!!
I've also used this marinade for a whole chicken on the grill. You just take the backbone out flatten it and marinate it, and put some up under the skin. Sear it skin side down, then sear the underside, then move to the side, just like I did with the chicken thighs. Mmmmm Mmmmm Mmmmm. Now I'm hungry again!
I hope you all have a fantastic Labor Day Weekend, and that you all fire up the grill and cook some wonderful food! As always, let me know if you try this recipe! Send me a picture! I'd love to hear from any of you!
Well I'd better get my day going, the chores won't just do themselves around here!
Until next time...Keep Cookin'!