Friday, 15 July 2011

Lemon and Herb Grilled Chicken Breasts

Chicken happens to be our favourite non vegetarian item. Lamb, fish, shrimp and squid are only occasional boredom busters. Most Indians i know (at least those living in India) only cook chicken into different curries to be eaten as a side dish with rice or rotis. Almost never as the main dish to be eaten with a side salad or vegetables. I was like that too until a year ago. But because we like chicken so much, we are always looking for new ways to cook it. Our current favourite is the soy grilled variety, that's how most of the chicken breasts that gets into our fridge finally end up on the table these days.
One day i was watching the food programme Gourmet Central on ndtv goodtimes channel where the chef Vicky Ratnani made a herb marinade. All i remembered about it later was that it was green, and had coriander, mint and lemon it. Then i made up my version in a week to experiment on chicken. And you get to see my recipe here. Oh, i forgot to tell you that i really enjoyed the chicken, although if i have to be honest, soy grilled might still be the favourite.

  • 2-3 skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 cup fresh roughly chopped coriander, packed
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 green chilies, chopped
  • juice from half a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
Rub turmeric into the chicken breast and wash thoroughly. Make this your first step when working with chicken, turmeric kills germs. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.
In the smallest jar of a stand mixer or in a hand blender add the chopped coriander, mint leaves, garlic, green chilies, lemon juice, and oil. Blend into a paste. Season it with salt and pepper and mix. Apply the paste to the chicken breasts on both sides. The oil in the paste helps in keeping the herb mixture stuck to the chicken breast. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for at least an hour and up to 4 hours.
You can use a heavy bottomed frying pan, a griddle or a grill to cook this chicken now. On the preheated cooking surface on medium heat, you will need to let the chicken cook for 8-10 minutes on each side. Allow to cook undisturbed for 8-10 minutes on one side before turning over. Remove from flame when done. Check for done-ness of chicken by cutting the thickest part, it should be white and not pink. If it is not done, return to flame for a couple more minutes. Monitor the chicken closely towards the end. Overcooking the chicken for too long can make it dry. You can try this marinade for chicken legs or for roasting whole chickens as well.
La's serving tip: Slice one tomato and one onion into circles, and one green capsicum (bell pepper) into 1 inch wide strips. On the same griddle or pan that you are using for your chicken, first grill the tomato, onion and capsicum for 1-2 minutes on each side. Remove to a serving plate and proceed with cooking the chicken as mentioned above.

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