The Critic and I eat a lot of chicken breasts. It's his favorite meat, and I like the fact that it's reasonably healthy. I buy the free-range organic ones in our local supermarket at least once a week. Chicken breasts are pretty versatile and I have a lot of ways of preparing them, with varying degrees of healthiness: mustard chicken breasts, wrapped in bacon and cheese, chopped up in soups and pies, stir fried...the list seems endless sometimes.
But in actual fact, the list is not endless and so every once in a while I'm thoroughly tired of the usual preparations and look around for something new and exciting. This Sunday I wanted to use the new flash Weber grill the Critic bought over the weekend and I wanted something summery and fresh. Fresh herbs and a grill: why not?
For the first time in my life I have actually succeeded in growing a coriander plant. I'm so pleased because it's one of my favorite herbs and unfortunately it's one that doesn't keep well in the refrigerator. Basil and parsley can be counted on to stay relatively fresh wrapped in damp paper towels for a few days but the delicate coriander leaves seem to wilt within hours of purchasing them.
So, as I say, I'm rather proud of my little plant. (I do feel a bit mean picking leaves from it though...it seems so cruel to keep a plant alive just to systematically and carefully pick the best leaves it has managed to grow...)
Grilled Green Chicken
2 boneless skinned chicken breasts if you have a grill with a cover that will cook them quickly and keep them moist (otherwise, I would recommend bone-in and with skin)
1 small handful of coriander leaves (1/4 cup)
1/4 cup frozen or fresh parsley
1 clove garlic
1 jalepeno pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of 1 medium lemon
2 small ripe tomatoes, chopped
pinch of salt, grinding of pepper
1 tsp grain mustard
Place the herbs, garlic and pepper in a small blender or use an immersion blender in a small cup. Zap them with a drizzle of olive oil and continue adding oil and lemon juice until you have a thinnish sauce.
Take your breasts and make a few diagonal slits in them with a sharp knife. Slather half the herb sauce on the two breasts (i.e., one quarter each) making sure that you push some into the slits. Salt and pepper the breasts and place them on a hot grill or grill pan.
In the meantime, chop the tomatoes and toss them with the reserved sauce and the mustard. When the chicken is grilled on both sides and done in the middle (the slits will help you determine!) serve them over a helping of the herbed mustard tomatoes.
Although dark meat is generally a better candidate for the grill (it doesn't dry out as easily as white meat) on this recipe I think white meat is really essential. Not only do the fresh herbs go well with the less gamey meat but it also makes the dish very light and healthy. Serve with freezing cold white wine or light dry rosť on the terrace and toast the summer days to come!