Friday, March 18, 2011

Grilled Chicken With Gremolata

Good news or bad news first?

It's been almost two weeks since our little Princess injured her left foot.  Yesterday we took her to a pediatric orthodepist and got a 3rd x-ray done which still did not show any visible injury.  The doctor however concluded it to be a fracture judging from the way the injury is behaving.  There were no suggestions given on how to treat the injury except for us not to worry.  We were told that it will just heal on it's own, and that it will take 3-4 weeks before we see an improvement.  Of course not worrying is easier said than done.  My heart breaks seeing our dear daughter limp when she walks, as if she is literally stepping on my heart with every step. If only Mommy's kisses take all boo-boos away (sigh)... Nevertheless, our little princess remains a happy toddler, smiling and replying "better" when asked about the condition of her foot. What a spunky little one.

Meanwhile I am expecting to receive a $500 bill from Cedars-Sinai ER one of these days and thus the need to cut down again on our budget (huh? what budget?).  As always, chicken and pork come to mind when I think of cheap meals.  Not too long ago I stumbled on this grilled chicken recipe on my husband's stack of GQ magazines.  Last summer I successfully grilled a butterflied whole chicken.  It came out succulent and superb, but I have not grilled a whole chicken since because it is indeed tricky and it takes awhile, about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes .  So I experimented and tried it on chicken legs and then to boneless chicken thighs.  On both counts, the chicken turned out almost just as good as the whole chicken version but with the cooking time significantly reduced.  For drumsticks, cooking time was upto 30-40 minutes.  For boneless thighs, cooking time was upto to 20 minutes.  I suppose, for boneless chicken breasts it would be about 15 minutes only.

I believe the secret is in picking a good chicken- fresh, preferrably organic and free range.  The first time I made this, the taste just sent me back to my native land, to my childhood when my Dad used to grill freshly butchered chicken from his poultry.  Fresh, organic and free range really make a big difference.  Additionally the gremolata adds a nice herbaceous punch, similar to what a chimichurri would do to a nice piece of steak.

For a little spin on the recipe, I added adobo seasoning on the chicken.  I have used Spicely 100% Organic and Certified Gluten Free, Adobo Seasoning in the past but when I ran out of it, I made my own concoction based on the list of ingredients on the label (see bottom).  I found the resulting flavor to be very identical, and also more practical.  I try to keep a container of it in my pantry for adding umph to roast chicken, grilled meats, shrimp and fish.

So the good news is that I live in sunny California where I can grill year round, ha!  And I am also loving Daylight Saving Time, longer days mean I can "see" what I am grilling much better.

Grilled Chicken With Gremolata

*Serves 2 to 4
1 whole chicken, butterflied and pressed flat (or chicken legs, or boneless chicken thighs)
Salt and pepper
adobo seasoning
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
Zest of 1 lemon

1. Make gremolata a couple of hours in advance. Mix together parsley, olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, and salt and pepper.

2. Season chicken with salt, pepper and adobo seasoning and let chicken come to room temperature.

3. Heat grill.  For whole chicken, cook for 15 minutes on one side, flip; repeat (count 1 to 1 hour 15 minutes).  For drumsticks, cook 30 to 40 minutes flipping every 10 minutes or so.  For boneless chicken thighs, cook about 20 to 25 minutes flipping every 10 minutes or so.  Occasionally cover grill, to help meat cook through.  You always always should cook chicken all the way.

4. Chicken is done when an instant-read thermometer reaches 165 degrees (or juices run clear when you cut into thickest part). Remove from grill and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve on a platter and spoon gremolata over top.

Adobo Seasoning
1 teaspoon Organic garlic powder
1 teaspoon organic onion powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground oregano
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne

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