Thursday, November 7, 2013

Preserved Lemon and Garlic Grilled Chicken

A few months ago I started my first (of many) preserved lemon jar.  Yes, I've had the jarred stuff you buy at expensive chefy-gourmet stores but, being the curious bugger I am, I had to figure out how to make it myself. I read a few of my middle-eastern cookbooks and did some research online and everyone had their own version of how to make it. So, armed with several different pieces of information from all over the globe I set out to make preserved lemons. I wasn't sure if it was going to work, I was kind of scared it would get moldy and I'd end up disgusted, never to eat a preserved lemon again. I am so glad I made them, because that opened up the door to being able to make this incredibly delectable Preserved Lemon & Garlic Grilled Chicken and so many other delicious recipes. You don't have to make your own for this recipe, you can of course buy a jar and that would be perfectly fine. In fact, if you wanted to make this recipe tomorrow, that would be your only option because preserved lemons are all about time and patience ... about a month's worth of time and patience. If you want to make your own, scroll down to the bottom for a link to my post on preserved lemons.
When I make this recipe I use skinless, boneless chicken thighs, because frankly I think they pack so much of a flavor punch, it's a sin not to use them. But for those folks who prefer, chicken breast, I've got you covered too. When you bite into the tender, juicy chicken, the flavor of the lemon and garlic will greet you like a long lost lover and you won't be able to get enough of it.

Serves 4 - 6

6 boneless, skinless, chicken thighs OR 3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied so that you have 6 individual pieces.
1 preserved lemon, chopped, + 1/2 preserved lemon, diced
2 tablespoon of the preserved lemon brine
1/2 a head of garlic, minced or passed through a press
1/8 cup of olive oil
Pepper to taste
Large palm full of roughly chopped parsley, divided in two

Add all the ingredients (except 1/2 preserved lemon and parsley) to a large glass bowl. With clean hands, massage all the ingredients into the chicken pieces. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and allow to marinate in the fridge minimum of 2 hours or overnight (even better).

What you need at the grill:
Sturdy grill tongs
Cooking oil spray or canola oil in a small bowl and a brush to swipe over grill grates
A large piece of aluminum foil - large enough to fold over and enclose all the chicken pieces (like a pouch) when done.
A tray - I use a lipped baking sheet - to transport stuff.

Spray grill with cooking oil. Heat your grill using a high flame (about 10 minutes). Place each piece on grill, do not try to move it at this point, and lower grill cover. If you want crisscross grill marks, after 3 minutes, give each piece a quarter turn and lower flame to medium and continue to grill for an additional 3 minutes. Raise flame to high, flip over each piece and repeat process if you want crisscross grill marks. Grill on high flame for 2 minutes, then reduce flame to medium and continue cooking 3-4 minutes. Place all the pieces in a large sheet of foil and close tightly, allowing to rest for 5 minutes.

To serve, sprinkle each chicken pieces with reserved  preserved lemon and parsley. Accompany with steamed zucchini, topped with a tablespoon of lemon juice, salt and pepper. Or slice and serve atop crisp romaine lettuce.

Want to make your own preserved lemons?
See my post Make Your Own Preserved Lemons.

1 comment:

  1. This was absolutely delicious! Highly recommended and easy!