Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dijon and Thyme Grilled Chicken - Kosher Recipe Linkup

What is a grilled chicken recipe doing on a baking blog?  Well, man can not live on cookies and buttercream alone, and a home baking business can not survive without a strong support system, so read on...

It’s true confession time, boys and girls.  Here’s my big, guilty secret.

I don’t know how to use a grill.

Seriously.  I don’t even know how to turn our gas grill on.  When my husband left on his first trip to the States, he gave me a quick lesson on how to use the grill, which I immediately put out of my mind, as I had many other things to think about, like how to get everything in the house done as a (temporarily) single parent without killing the children I was supposed to be caring for.  I see my girlfriends grilling outdoors and I admire them, but I am truly happy to leave the heavy lifting to my DH and stick to the prep work in the kitchen.

So when the Kosher Connection theme for the very month I joined the group turned out to be "Grilled,” I was a bit taken aback.  Sugar, eggs, frosting, those are food themes I can easily get behind.  And no, I was not about to bake a cake on the grill, or even grill sliced pound cake or nectarines on my very besari (meaty, or fleishig) grill.  So this challenge led me to conclude that I would need some help from my dear grilling husband.  Which made me think that I have to make another true confession:

I would not be able to make Shabbat without help from my husband and children, especially my two older daughters.

Seriously.  People tend to think I am organized and on top of things, able to get everything done and make it look effortless. Hah! Just ask my family. Erev Shabbat in our house is chaos.  Between cooking for Shabbat, baking fresh challah, wrapping cookie platters, and decorating cakes, there is about 24 hours worth of work to be done, but only about 10-12 hours to do it in.  We have worked up a couple of strategies, including finding a few recipes for each family member to master and be in charge of each week.  The other strategy is getting some of the cooking moved out of doors to free up oven space.  With our great weather here in Israel, we can grill pretty much year-round, especially for Shabbat.  And since I don’t know how to work the grill, I am off the hook for any grilled items.  Recipes like this one, they help me stay sane. Woohoo! 

So with many thanks to my wonderful husband, I share with you one of our favorite grilled chicken recipes.  It is so flavorful – even with a relatively short marinating time – and delicious fresh off the grill, or even room temperature or reheated the next day.  You probably have all the ingredients in your fridge and pantry already, a real bonus.  It’s also super  versatile, as you can use this marinade on boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but also it’s also unbelievable on pargiyot – boneless, skinless chicken thighs, which are so rich and luxurious tasting that you will feel you have died and gone to culinary heaven.  You can also cube up your chicken before marinating and put it on skewers along with a variety of vegetables, like onion, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, peppers, and mushrooms that have also taken a bath in the delectable marinade.  Don’t forget to soak your wooden skewers in cold water for about 30 minutes to keep them from burning on the grill.  And if you are useless with a grill like I am, an indoor grill pan works well, too.

And now, with no further ado, here is our family contribution to the August Kosher Connection:

The cast of characters, minus the chicken -
and yes, that is a lemon.
Welcome to Israel in August.
Dijon and Thyme Grilled Chicken
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/3 cup Dijon mustard (if you prefer a little more mustard kick, use whole grain Dijon for part of the amount; I used smooth only)
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh is best, of course, but in a pinch or a rush, bottled is fine, too!)
8 turns of the pepper grinder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, stripped from a couple of sprigs, or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme (here, fresh is much more delicious - go for it!  And save the rest for the best French onion soup you will ever make...)
¼ cup olive oil
1 kilo (about 2 pounds) boneless skinless chicken – breasts or thighs, trimmed and cleaned

Take out all your aggressions on your garlic, and chop very finely.  You can, of course, use a garlic press, but I prefer a large, sharp knife, both for therapeutic and flavor reasons.  Combine the garlic, mustard, honey, lemon juice, pepper, salt, and thyme in a small mixing bowl. 
Whisk in the olive oil. 
You can whisk with a fork, I won't tell!
Place the chicken in a gallon-sized plastic zipper storage bag or a large bowl. Pour the marinade over the trimmed chicken and mix to combine.  Seal the bag or cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.
Preheat your grill (that’s what my husband does, so it must be right!), then grill the chicken pieces about 5-7 minutes per side until you have beautiful grill marks and the chicken is cooked through, but not at all dried out.
Smoky grilling.  Thank you, honey!
Serving suggestion:
Serve alongside Joyce’s Dijon Roasted Potatoes, which echo the flavors in the marinade beautifully, and need very little attention once mixed together and thrown into the oven.  A green salad on the side, maybe even some grilled veggies if you want to carry the whole grilling theme through, and you have an unbelievably delicious meal.  B’tayavon!

Yes, the photography could be better, but my specialty is food, not cameras.
Please bear with us as we try to improve! In the meantime, take it on faith - it's delicious!!! 

4 comments: said...

Thyme is chicken's best friend, and you can't go wrong with mustard either (as long as it's not that yellow squeezy bottle!)

Anonymous said...

Sounds delicious, and I love the idea of delegating Shabbos food prep. Hmmmm . . . maybe I should show this post to my husband.

Dvora said...

Dijon is perfect for this recipe, but if you want a really delicious basic mustard, try the basic Israeli mustard, called "Chardal Amiti" made by Telma. It's so much more interesting and flavorful than plain old yellow. When I lived in the US, my in-laws would bring it in for me, that's how much I like it. It's like a well rounded, less spicy deli mustard.

RonnieVFein said...

Love mustard/thyme/chicken -- a combo I use frequently.

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