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Recipe for Grilled Chicken - with Fresh Herb Marinade
Chicken recipes are super popular in the U.S. Poultry is relatively inexpensive, depending on which chicken parts you buy and whether or not the skin and bones have been removed. For example, leg quarters are often cheap, while boneless, skinless breasts are more expensive. Chicken is also nutritious – high in protein and lower in fat than most meats. I think another reason chicken recipes are so popular has to do with the flesh’s adaptability. In other words, chicken is extremely versatile, and it takes on other flavors well. It cooks pretty quickly, too. Fried chicken, baked chicken, BBQ chicken, roast chicken, chicken fingers, chicken soup, chicken and dumplings, chicken and rice, chicken and dressing – just think of all the recipes for chicken! You could make chicken every night for a year and never use the same recipe twice. And I haven’t even mentioned some of the best chicken recipes yet – grilled chicken recipes.
Grilled Chicken Recipes
Grilled chicken recipes are among my favorite foods, especially for cookouts. I use quite a wide range of chicken marinades. For the base or main liquid, I often use a fruit juice or a combination of fruit juices. These might include orange juice, lemon juice, pineapple juice, white grape juice, or lime juice. I’ve even used blackberry juice, and believe it or not, the chicken was great. White wine also works well with chicken marinades. For this particular chicken marinade, I use apple juice.
Acidic fruit juices help to tenderize meats, but I often give the tenderizing properties a little boost with a shot of vinegar. I might also add some soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, or teriyaki sauce. I usually include a bit of oil, too, along with herbs and spices. I often add some chopped veggies, too, like red onion, scallions, garlic, bell pepper, chopped celery, or jalapeno peppers.
A chicken marinade serves more than one purpose. Of course, marinating makes the flesh tastier, but it can also tenderize it. A marinade that includes some oil will help keep your chicken moist and juicy on the grill, too. In most cases, chicken doesn’t need to sit in the marinade as long as some other meats, like beef and pork, do. Generally speaking, chicken doesn’t need to marinate longer than four hours. In fact, two hours is usually sufficient time for the poultry to spend in the marinating liquid.
Which spices and herbs are best in chicken marinades? It’s largely a matter of taste. You probably already know which seasonings you like with chicken. Some of the herbs and spices I’ve used in my chicken marinades include cayenne, rosemary, thyme, sage, black pepper, parsley, savory, ginger, lemon thyme, mace, curry, allspice, and celery seed. For BBQ chicken, I might use cinnamon or a pinch of ground cloves in the chicken marinade. By the way, I prefer using fresh herbs, and I like to chop them coarsely. Just think about how you want the final product to taste. Which undertones and overtones are you shooting for?
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- 1 whole chicken, cut up, or thighs, breasts, or legs
- 2 cups apple juice
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced or chopped
- 2 green onions, sliced
- Rinse chicken parts and pat dry with paper towels. Trim any excess or dangling pieces of skin with kitchen shears. If the breasts are large, you might want to cut them in half. Also, if you prefer, you can use all breasts, all thighs, or all legs. Set chicken aside.
- For the marinade, you’ll need a large glass or plastic bowl that has a tight fitting lid. In the bowl, combine the apple juice, apple cider vinegar, oil, rosemary, parsley, thyme, peppercorns, red pepper flakes, and salt. Whisk the ingredients together. Add the green onions and garlic. Give the contents of the bowl a good stir.
- Add the chicken parts to the bowl. Place the lid on the bowl and shake it to distribute all the seasonings over the chicken pieces. Allow the chicken to marinate in the refrigerator for two to four hours, shaking the bowl occasionally. Personally, I prefer the longer marinating time.
- Get your grill going to medium heat. Remove the chicken parts from the marinade, allowing the extra liquid to drip off. Discard the marinade. Oil the grill’s cooking surface well. Place the poultry pieces, skin side up, on the grilling grate.
- Grill for 25 minutes. Turn chicken over and continue grilling for 25-30 minutes longer, until chicken is done. The breasts should have an internal temperature of 170 degrees, while the thighs and legs should register 180 degrees.
- Remove chicken from grill and place on a platter. Brush with seasoned butter, if you like. Melted honey butter is also great on this grilled chicken recipe. Cover the cooked chicken tightly in foil and let rest at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.
Garlic-Honey Butter Recipe
This flavored butter is great with grilled chicken recipes. You can brush it on while grilling or as soon as the chicken comes off the grill. In fact, you can serve it on the side as a dipping sauce. Flavored butters are also taste for dipping bread. It’s super easy to make, so I don’t need to put it in recipe form. I just place a stick of butter, three tablespoons of honey, and one teaspoon Lawry’s garlic salt in a microwave-safe bowl and zap it for about one minute. Sometimes I like spicier flavored butters with my recipes for grilled chicken. In that case, I might add chipotle powder, chili powder, minced jalapeno peppers, cayenne, or even better - a vinegar-based hot sauce.