Before I started grilling I kind of thought it was really simple. I mean, why else would that be most men’s sole form of cooking? I’m learning, however, how wrong I was. I’ll give you that burgers and dogs are simple, once you get used to the grill. And that’s the key, getting used to your grill. Like oven and stove tops, they are all pretty unique in how they heat. Some can take forever, such as the case with my crappy stove top, while others heat like a stove top is supposed. I’m finding this pretty much sums it up with grills, too. Also, finding that perfect spot to grill where the outside doesn’t get charred while leaving the inside raw. And timing, when to turn it, when to move it, etc. I’ve found a whole new appreciation for those that grill, and grill well. But don’t tell them or I’ll deny it. 🙂
4 chicken pieces, with bone & skin, about 10-12 oz each piece
1½ lb asparagus
1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges (for garnish – optional)
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3 Tbs finely chopped fresh Italian parsley (as a time saver sub Litehouse freeze-dried parsley)
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice (which is super simple since you just zested one)
2 garlic cloves, minced
In a small bowl mash the lemon butter ingredients, including ¼ tsp each of salt and pepper, until thoroughly blended. (This can be a bit challenging as the lemon juice and butter do no naturally combine well)
Carefully lift the skin of each piece of chicken, being careful to not puncture the skin. Spread 1 tablespoon of lemon butter around under the skin. Lay skin back in place.
Transfer remaining lemon butter to small saucepan and melt over medium heat. Set aside
Prepare grill for direct and indirect heat over medium (350° to 450°F).
Remove and discard the tough bottom of each asparagus. This is done easiest by taking one and bending it gently at the bottom until it snaps at its natural point, then line the rest up and cut them at about the same location. Drizzle asparagus with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Brush chicken with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill chicken, skin side up over direct medium heat, with the lid closed, until nicely marked on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Without turning the chicken, move it over to indirect medium heat, close the lid and continue cooking until the meat is opaque all the way to the bone, about 30 minutes. About 5 minutes before the chicken is done, brush the tops with some of the melted lemon butter and then turn chicken over to skin side down. Slide over to direct medium heat, close the lid, and continue cooking until the skin is brown, basting once more with the lemon butter. Remove from the grill, cover, and let rest 3 – 5 minutes.
Grill asparagus over direct medium heat, with the lid closed, until crisp tender, 6 – 8 minutes. Turn occasionally. Arrange asparagus on serving platter and drizzle with remaining butter. Serve chicken warm with asparagus and garnish with lemon wedges.
Wine Pairing Suggestions:
Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio
Prep time: 20 minutes / Grilling time: 43 minutes
*Derived from Jamie Purviance
It seems like lately I’ve had those, “This recipe says what?? How am I going to do that??” only because when preparing my menu I haven’t thoroughly read the recipe. This is one of those times. I pulled a great looking recipe from Annie’s Eats on Pinterest. I quickly scanned the ingredients, no worries there. And that is where I went wrong. The recipe called for marinating 2 hours. Yes, I gave the kids a snack but not a great enough snack that I could add 2 hours to the dinner prep. Sure, we could get more homework done in that 2 hours, but dinner would be ready at bedtime! So, below is what I came up with by morphing two recipes together. And wow, it was a huge hit!
2 small lemons; zested and juiced
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp each thyme and crushed rosemary
1 tsp Kosher salt
4-6 Tbs olive oil
2-4 lbs bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or drumsticks (I used mostly drumsticks)
Preheat oven to 425°. Combine garlic, lemon zest and juice, herbs, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a large ziplock bag. Add chicken and move it around in plastic bag to ensure even coverage. Let sit for about 20 minutes (enough time to start your side dishes).
Remove chicken from marinade and place in a baking dish lightly coated with non-stick cooking spray. Use the marinade to brush over the top of each piece. Bake for 50 – 55 minutes, until skin is well-browned. Let stand for 10 minutes and then transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with lemon slices.
Wine Pairing Suggestions:
Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio
Total Time: 1 hour
*Derived from Annie’s Eats and Our Best Bites
Sea bass has got to be my 2nd favorite fish (a very close second to salmon) This recipe highlights why that is. What I loved about this: everything came together so quickly and easily (in just under 30 minutes, take that Rachel Ray!); the sea bass just about melted in your mouth and the flavor, even without the butter, was so rich; both of my littlest foodies could not get enough of it; the marjoram butter adds such an amazing dimension with all of the flavors coming together and making you want another bite, immediately; and, I bought a huge piece of bass, so there is plenty for fish tacos!! What I didn’t love about this recipe: that I haven’t made it more often! That’s truly the only thing, and it really doesn’t count. This will become an oft repeat in our home.
1/2 stick (or 1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp finely grated fresh lemon zest
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp chopped fresh marjoram (you can also use oregano, which I’ll try next time. Stay tuned!)
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
4 (7 oz) sustainable sea bass fillets (you can sub sustainable red snapper)
Olive oil for brushing
Preheat broiler (You could also grill, which would be amazing, too.) Line a shallow baking pan (1 to 1/2″ deep) with foil.
Stir together butter, zest, juice, marjoram, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
Brush both sides of each bass with oil. Arrange bass in baking pan and season with salt and pepper. Broil 4 to 6 inches from heat until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately, topped with marjoram butter.
Active time: 15 minutes; Cook time: 5 minutes
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