Cracking The Skewered Lemon Chicken Code
Cracking the Skewered Lemon Chicken Code is here to share with you. It’s honestly the best grilled chicken I know. I hope you agree.
When my daughter was born, we were living in Brockton, Mass. There was (and still is) a fabulous Italian food shop, International Food Gourmet, where I could buy all the best ingredients for making exotic and delicious meals: aged provolone, Amaretti di Saronno, and marinating chicken breasts that cooked up deliciously juicy and bursting with bright lemon flavor.
For years I tried to reproduce the flavor and texture. I came across a recipe and have tweaked it over the years.
Don’t let the deceptively simple photo fool you. And since we’re paleo and not at all afraid of butter, drizzling lemon butter all over the chicken and vegetables makes for heaven on a plate.
I was struck by the red of the background cloth and flowers of the first photo. I used one of my daughter’s porcelain “tin cans” as a vase. (She’s a RISD-trained ceramist with a lovely artistic soul, and I decided to do a portrait. What do you think? Pretty cool! Know what? So is she!!
For an additional course, I found some gorgeous figs at my local Whole Foods. The season is nearly over in south Louisiana, but there are fresh, local figs elsewhere. If you happen upon some, this salad is as yummy as it looks. And super simple to make. Sweet, juicy, crunchy, green and salty: what more could you asked for in a salad? Nothing, I say!!
We have a new toy to play with and it’s a gem. It’s an Australian grill called a Cobb Cooker. Based on a stove used in Africa where access to electricity is scarce, it’s perfect for 2-4 servings. We’ve cooked all sorts of things on it. Using only 8-10 pieces of charcoal, it’s easy to light, cooks for up to two hours without adding more briquets, and versatile. There’s a griddle, wok pan, frying pan, roasting rack and grill pan. Roast chicken is amazing on this cooker, as is stir-fried shrimp and vegetables, even breakfast.
We’ve done so many delectable meals, we were inspired to get a dozen large blue crabs and grill them, too. Turned out we needed the Weber for the amount of crabs we had, but we definitely got the idea from the Cobb meals we’d been making.
Harris blanched the crabs in boiling water, then cleaned and seasoned them. He cooked them to perfection with his signature touch: adding small pieces of oak and pecan wood to the fire. They were insanely good. I roasted some artichokes and we had a feast!
The playlist is a smattering of tunes I liked this week. Crank up the music and get cracking the skewered lemon chicken code, y’all.
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 medium lemons zested, juiced, separated
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tbl honey
- 1 tbl cider vinegar
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 8 oz mushrooms
- 8 oz small zucchini thickly sliced
- 1/2 cup butter melted
- 8 oz cauliflower florets
- 8 oz broccolini trimmed
Note: Marinating times are specific. Longer time than recommended can yield mushy textures in the chicken and vegetables.
In a gallon zip top bag, add zest and juice from 2 lemons, salt, honey, vinegar, garlic and cayenne. Add the chicken breast meat and marinate for two hours.
Add mushrooms and zucchini, mixing up all ingredients thoroughly. Marinate additional 2 hours.
Melt butter, add remaining lemon zest and juice. Add salt, pepper and cayenne to taste.
Skewer the chicken and vegetables, alternating ingredients. Heat grill pan or charcoal or gas grill to medium high. Cook skewers, basting with lemon butter until cooked through about 10-12 minutes. (I like to remove a piece of chicken and check to see that it is cooked, but not dry.)
While chicken skewers are cooking, steam cauliflower, 6-8 minutes. Add broccolini and continue steaming until both are tender and the broccolini is still bright green. Set aside and keep warm. Season with salt pepper and lemon butter.
- s oz fresh figs halved
- 4 oz salad greens
- 1/2 cup pecans toasted
- 2 oz prosciutto
- 2 oz goat cheese crumbled (optional)
- olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper
Heat a dry, 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add figs, cut side down. Cook for 3-4 minutes to release sugars and flavor. Remove from skillet and set aside.
Place salad greens on individual plates or serving platter. Add figs, pecans, prosciutto and goat cheese (if using). Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.