Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Grilled Herb Marinated Chicken

When watching a food travel show one day, I heard the host having a foodgasm over chicken that actually tasted like pure, unadulterated chicken, as opposed to what comes shipped to us in vacuum packed cellophane packages over at our local Albertson's.  Intrigued, I got to wondering- is the stuff you can get at Whole Foods really that much tastier and chicken-y?  But then again, I'm just too damn stingy to fork over the premium for a free range bird, when I can get pre-cut, mass produced chicken from Costco.  Does it make me a hypocritical foodie with poor taste?  Most definitely.  But until then, I guess I shall cover up my bland, factory farmed chicken with a slew of different marinades. 

I usually don't like salting my marinades themselves, because it's hard to judge how much salt you need for the amount of protein you have.  Instead I just salt the meat directly, and then pour on the marinade- no need to worry about over or underseasoning. 

ready to bake

I love grilled chicken for huge crowds because a) it's cheap, b) it tastes good, and c) everyone likes chicken.  However for me they're a bitch to cook, because only the back half of my grill stays hot, meaning I would have to do 2-3 batches of chicken that take a half hour each to cook.  Big no no.

So instead, I opted to pre-bake my chicken pieces for the sake of convenience until they were done, and let them cool in their own rendered fat and juices so they would stay moist before I chucked them on the grill on high heat for 2-3 minutes.  Perfect, fast, chicken!


It is crucially important that you pat dry the chicken pieces though- the pre-baking process renders out an insane amount of chicken fat from the thighs, and if you just slap it on the grill, not only will there be a sh*t-ton of grease flare ups, those flare ups will leave a burnt, sooty flavor.

*If you're only cooking for a few though, definitely take the extra effort to cook it entirely on the grill, because it tastes a lot more smokier and the charred flavor permeates the meat.  

let's be honest- just skip the salad

I absolutely love this chicken- the skin gets crispy, and you can actually taste the marinade.  It's great served cold on a picnic (or cold from the fridge for that matter).  But overall it's an easy meal to pull together, and makes for some great midnight snacking leftovers

Grilled Herb Marinated Chicken

inspired by Ina Garten

1 onion, roughly chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of grated lemon zest
1/3 cup of lemon juice
1/2 cup of basil
1/2 cup of chopped parsley
2-3 green onions, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons of dijon mustard
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons of black pepper
1/3-1/2 cup of vegetable oil
chicken thighs and legs

Put all of the ingredients except the chicken and salt in a blender and puree until smooth.  Season the chicken pieces with salt, and pour over the marinade.  Allow to sit in the fridge to marinate for at least an hour, but preferably overnight.

Grill the chicken on low to medium low heat for 20-25 minutes, with the lid down while flipping occasionally until the internal temperature reaches around 160 degrees.  Cover with foil and allow to rest before serving.

Alternatively, if you are cooking for a large crowd, transfer the chicken along with the extra marinade into an oven safe dish and bake at 325 degrees until fully cooked (160 degrees).  Allow the chicken to cool in the liquid to room temperature.  When you're almost ready to eat, drain the liquid and pat the chicken pieces dry.  Grill on high heat until the skin is crisp and brown. 


  1. I've been waiting for a long time for this recipe. I'm not surprised Ina inspired this deliciousness

    1. I can always rely on Ina... most of the time hehe

  2. Unknown = Jennifer