Herb garden chicken breast
By Christine Anisko
Summer is here and farmers markets are brimming with herbs and greens. So is my herb garden, all rich colors and possibilities. And the best thing about herbs is the more you trim them back, the more they grow. Now’s the thyme (sorry) to try this flavor-developing treatment for poultry and pork. Bright, tender, and delightful, this works in a pinch or overnight in the refrigerator. Just take all the herbal goodness you can gather and toss it in the bowl, people!
Mixed herbs (parsley, basil, thyme, chives, mint, dill, cilantro, etc.), two handfuls rinsed
Farm raised chicken breast (pork and turkey also work well)
1 small lemon
3 large garlic cloves, crushed
2 Tablespoons fine olive oil
Salt & pepper
Wash meat and pat dry. Place between two pieces of wax paper and pound to your choice of thickness. I suggest chicken breast to about ¾ inch precooked; if you go thinner, the marinade time can be shortened to two to four hours.
Place meat in a non-reactive bowl, preferably one with a tight fitting lid. Add garlic cloves roughly crushed with the side of your knife. Cut lemon in half and lightly juice ½ at a time onto the meat. Slice the remainder of lemons to create ½ inch thick rounds, add to the bowl. Add one handful of herbs whole or rip slightly to extract scents. Lightly coat with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cover tightly.
If you are pressed for time, you can start with refrigerated meat and leave mixture on a counter until room temperature, then cook as directed below. Preferably, refrigerate overnight; remember to turn and shake a few times.
Finally, if the weather is fair, fire up the barbeque. If not, a cast iron grill pan indoors does the trick. Remove meat from bowl, pat dry, and cook each side thoroughly. Add sliced lemons from the marinade to the grill and char them slightly on each side. In the meantime, mince second handful of herbs as finely as possible. When meat is just about to come off the heat, coat with minced herbs on both sides. Let the fresh herbs cook ever so briefly, just 5-7 seconds, so they retain their fresh green color. Remove to a plate and serve topped with charred lemon slices.