Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Recipe: BBQ Chicken

How to Grill Herbal-Rubbed Chicken Breast Perfectly

Look out baby, Memorial Day is nearing and that means barbecue season has officially begun      

Perfectly grill chicken & the best wine pairing

I bet this sounds familiar.   You are standing in the middle of your backyard drooling on the bucket of weeds you just pulled because an enticing aroma of yummy barbecue wafts through the air.  Sadly, it is not coming from your grill.  The bad and good news of this tasty temptation is that I'm that neighbor torturing you with mouthwatering BBQ aromas, but I'm letting you in on some of my secrets! 

Good BBQ begins in the kitchen! 

Although not a food snob, I am particular.  I believe that the best 'cue begins in the kitchen.   Fresh food is a must and it has to be cooked just right.  Moreover, whatever goes on the grill has to be bursting with flavor.  Luckily, I have a prolific herb garden.
My herb garden

This won't rub you the wrong way. 

Chicken slathered with me herbal rub.
Since I tend to lean toward Mediterranean dishes, specifically Italian food, I use homegrown lemons -- also from my garden -- and an herbal rub for my meat.  With an ample amount of high-quality extra virgin olive oil, I grind 1/3 cup fresh thyme with 2/3 cups each fresh rosemary and Greek oregano.  When this is a thin paste, I add sea salt and crushed garlic to taste. 
The rub is now ready to slather on meat, to use in marinades for veggies, and sauces for pasta.


How does it all come together? 

Tonight I'm barbecuing boneless chicken breast.  I begin by juicing a fresh lemon.  Cutting each breast in half -- much easier to control cooking time -- I slip each into the lemon juice and set aside for about an hour.  Removing the chicken from the juice, I dry thoroughly, rub each piece generously with the herbal rub, and marinate for at least four hours.   

I heat my grill no more than 350 degrees to ensure even cooking.  When the chicken pieces lift easily from the grill, I turn each 90 degrees to get a nice grill mark, while also not allowing any flare-ups.   I turn the pieces over and repeat the process--approximately 7 minutes per side.  The chicken is done when the interior is 165 degrees.  

Pair this perfectly seasoned and grilled meat with your favorite sides and your favorite Shiraz and ...walla! You have the best BBQ dinner ever! 

Wine suggestion: 2009 Red Diamond Shiraz from Washington State