I came across this recipe the other day while trying to find a simple marinade for some chicken that I had sitting the fridge. This marinade has lemon zest, garlic and some dried herbs, but I decided to add two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice to go along with it. The night before I prepared the marinade in one of my dressing carafe and placed it in the fridge to let the flavors marry. Plan on marinating for at least four and up to twelve hours – any longer than that and the lemon juice will start to cook the meat. This morning I pounded the chicken breasts in a sealed, one gallon Ziploc bag – you don’t want all that chicken juice flying around your kitchen! Plus, once the chicken is nice and evenly pounded, you can pour the marinade over the chicken, mush the bag around a little and finally place it in the fridge. Whenever I marinade meat, I either put it in a Pyrex container and cover it, or as with this method I place the bag in another container. It’s just a way to be extra safe in keeping any raw meat juices from contaminating the rest of your fridge and it’s contents.
This chicken grilled up moist and flavorful and paired perfectly with the green salad. I added tomato, bell pepper, cucumber, avocado and grated carrot to the greens – the more veggies for me the better! Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Perfectly Grilled Chicken Breasts with Lemon Zest, Garlic & Herb Marinade – adapted from Once Upon a Chef
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1¾ pounds total)
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced (use a garlic press)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1½ teaspoons lemon zest (you’ll need one lemon)
- * I added 2 TBSP of lemon juice
1. Place chicken breasts between 2 pieces of wax paper and, using a meat mallet, pound to an even ½-inch thickness.
2. Mix all ingredients except chicken together in a 1 gallon zip-lock bag. Add chicken breasts and massage marinade into meat until evenly coated. Seal the bag and place in a bowl in the refrigerator (the bowl protects against leakage); let the chicken marinate at least 4 hours or up to 12 hours.
2. Clean grill and preheat to high. Lightly dip a wad of paper towels in vegetable oil and, using tongs, carefully rub over grates several times until glossy and coated. Place chicken breasts on the grill (make sure they are well-coated with the marinade; the more garlic, lemon zest and herbs on the chicken, the better!). Grill, covered, for 2-3 minutes per side.
Use a fine or Microplane grater to zest the lemon. Simply rub the lemon in one direction against the blades, turning the lemon as you go. Be sure to remove only the yellow part; the white pith underneath is bitter.
If you are using less than 4 chicken breasts, you’ll need to reduce the salt accordingly.