Monday, October 11, 2010

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Garlic and Parsley

Chicken pancetta.

That phrase came to me tonight while I was grilling this recipe that I adapted from Wolfgang Puck's Live, Love, Eat.

Sure you can find boneless, skinless chicken breasts anywhere and they are more healthy and blah, blah, blah, blah.

I see your boneless, skinless chicken breasts and raise you chicken pancetta.

Chicken pancetta is what happens when you grill a chicken breast with skin on, skin side down. The natural fats in and under the skin renders down and crisps the cooked pancetta. You have a problem with that? Run an extra mile or two.

And yeah, you'll notice I'm not using the Big Green Egg to cook these. We are finishing staining our deck so I had to roll the old Brinkmann Charcoal Grill out into the driveway.

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Garlic and Parsley
adapted from Live, Love, Eat by Wolfgang Puck

12 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
4 chicken breasts, boneless SKIN ON
2 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp white wine
1 Tbsp parsley, finely chopped

Blanch the garlic cloves in boiling water for 1 minute. Dice the garlic and mix with the 1/4 c parsley, salt and pepper. The book didn't give an amount for the salt and pepper. I used about 1/2 tsp of each and that worked. Divide the mix in half. You'll use one half for a rub and one half for the finishing sauce.

Work about 2 tsp of the mix under the skin of each chicken breast. If you haven't done this before, just work a finger under one edge of the skin and make an opening. Then you can stuff the mix in and push it around under the skin. This is one of the best techniques you can learn for grilling chicken because as the fat renders down, it "self bastes" the meat with the seasonings and skin.

Fire up your grill to medium high heat. I used 1 chimney full of Kingsford briquettes and 2 splits of cherry wood.

While the cooking times are too short and the temps too high for smoking, the wood does still add some color and flavor in my opinion.

Grill skin side down for 6-7 minutes.

Flip and grill skin side up for about 8 minutes....see that chicken pancetta forming?

Or until the internal temp reaches 160 f. For us tonight, that was right at 8 minutes but use your meat thermometer.

Loosely tent the chicken with foil to keep warm and then melt 3 Tbsp of butter in a sauce pan. Add the other half of the garlic, parsley mix and saute over low heat until the garlic just starts to brown. Add the wine and simmer another 2-3 minutes until reduced. Add the lemon juice and simmer for about 1 minute.

Slice the breasts into medallions. Place on a bed of pasta and spoon some of the sauce over it all.

This was a good one. The only two things I would change the next time are
  1. Double the amount of sauce (pasta needs love too).
  2. Season the backsides of the breasts.
A few people mentioned not being able to find skin on, boneless breasts. I just get split bone in, skin on breast and de-bone them myself. Here's a video from Rouxbe that shows how:

Guest Post Heads Up
Alexis and I are heading to the Eggtoberfest in just a few days, where a couple of thousand of Big Green Egg owners get together to exchange ideas, lies, and recipes. You can count on a full report. Until then....
  • If you are a burglar getting ideas, we have a security system and my two boys will be here. The 21 y/o is a crack shot with his .30-06 and shotgun. Come on over, he needs target practice.
  • But more importantly, I have a great guest post coming on Fire Day Friday from Jenn at Jenn's Food Journey. If you haven't seen her grilling blog, you are missing out. I'm honored to have her fill in for me.