Sunday, June 29, 2014

Summer twist on a Barnett Favorite: Lemon Chicken Hits the Grill

Grilled lemon adds great flavor - and are tasty, too.
This one's a bonus blog -- had to share the yummy chicken that we served with the Farmers Market Summer Salad that I posted earlier today.  Lemon Chicken has been a Barnett go-to meal as long as I can remember.  Served up with lemon pasta, I have made it just about every time I've visited Will -- at college in Montana, and now at his city digs in Downtown LA.

Tonight, I did a grilled version - with great success.  Had to share.

Ready for a day in the 'fridge


  • Whole chicken cut into parts and skinned.  I like to cut the breasts in half, so you can pull the thin side off the fire before the thicker pieces.
  • About a 7 or 8 inch sprig of fresh rosemary, chopped fine
  • One lemon, cut into very thin slices
  • Garlic powder (not garlic salt)
  • 4 or 5 fresh basil leaves, chopped fine
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 lemon to squeeze over the finished chicken
Prep the chicken
  • After you skin the chicken pieces, prep one side of each piece: sprinkled lightly with salt and pepper, then generously season with the garlic powder. 
  • Top half of the pieces with a slice of lemon, drizzle with olive oil and then put seasoned side down into a shallow glass dish.
  • Now do the same treatment to the other side, putting the lemon on the ones you left bare before.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and
    stash in the 'fridge.  
  • I let mine marinade all day - if you don't have that kind of time, a couple of hours should do it.
Time to grill
  • Get your grill screaming hot
  • Place the pieces of chicken on the grill, putting the lemon on the side that is up.  Close the lid and cook until they have got good grill marks and are feeling firm.
  • Now pull off the lemon and flip.  Replace the lemon on the top of the pieces of chicken.  (Trust me, this is worth it).
  • Continue to cook and flip until the chicken is done.  It will be firm and juices will run clear.  
  • When you pull from the grill, squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken and sprinkle with the basil.

I Love Summer! (Summer Farmers Market Salad with Walnut Honey Mustard Vinaigrette) 2 WW ppts

I never thought I'd acclimate, but I'm here to proclaim that I,  Holly Billings Barnett, Southern California Native - where the heat is a dry heat and the summer nights are cool - have grown to appreciate a sultry summer day in the South.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not abandoning my SoCal roots. But there is something special about stepping outdoors, feeling your body and soul slow down, and hearing those cicadas in the trees scream out that summer is here!

Summer in North Carolina also means amazing produce.  Yesterday I scored a garden fresh cucumber from a friend, and then hit the Farmers Market for tomatoes, corn, basil and sweet sweet vadelia  onions.   Together with a bit of watermelon and a yummy vinaigrette made with one of my secret ingredients, walnut oil, this baby is a winner.

I can't wait to get back from the pool this afternoon and dig into a big ol' helping served along side grilled chicken.  Yeah Summer!

Here's how I did it:

Prep and combine the salad ingredients:

Cut the corn off of the cob:

  • On a paper towel or tea towl:  Hold the corn cob horizontally, run a sharp knife along the cob to shave off the kernals.  Pull the sides up on the side of the towel and pour into the bowl.  

Cut into about 1 inch dice:

  • 1 cup of peeled cucumber
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 cup watermelon

Cut into very very small dice

  • about 2 Tbs of valdalia onion (Maui onion or any other sweet onion from your region will do)

Chop finely

  • 3 or four fresh basil leaves

Mix it all together gently, add a pinch of Kosher salt, cover and stash in the 'fridge.

Make the vinaigrette
Put the following in a jar and shake shake shake - then taste and adjust.  Maybe a little more honey, maybe a tad more salt.... make it your own.

  • 2 or 3 TBS grated valdalia onion
  • 1 TBS grainy mustard
  • 1 TBS honey
  • 1/4 cup walnut oil (keep this in the fridge between uses to keep fresh)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Pinch of Kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper

To serve - toss the salad with the dressing and dig in.