Our fourth of July weekend, we celebrated by lounging out by the pool, the kids had playdates and sleepovers, while we finished up some much needed yard work around the farm (yes, the work around the farm never stops for holidays), and barbecued.
I had planned on grilling chicken to go along with our potato salad and crock pot barbecue beans and read my Food Revolution email the day before about Jamie Oliver’s Barbecued Chicken recipe. I’m always interested in sweet and tangy dishes that have a little bit of a kick to them. I browsed through my pantry and found the ingredients I needed for the recipe with the exception of the dried chile. Dried chiles are not a pantry staple in my house. I usually have fresh peppers on hand from our local Farmer’s market or right from our garden.
Fresh orange zest and Fresno pepper is the secret behind my version to Jamie Oliver’s tangy Barbecued Chicken.
Jamie Oliver’s Barbecued Chicken
(Adapted from JamieOliver.com)
zest of 1 orange
1 Fresno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 ½ heaped teaspoons smoked paprika
1½ teaspoons Dijon or English mustard
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/16 teaspoon sea salt and
freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 x 5-ounce boneless skinless chicken breasts
To prepare your chicken
1. If barbecuing, light the grill now so the flames have died down and it’s ready when you’re ready to cook.
2. Finely grate the orange zest into a shallow bowl. Add in chopped pepper. Add the paprika, mustard, honey, ketchup and a splash of olive oil. Season with a small pinch each of the salt and pepper and mix well. Spoon out a few tablespoons of the marinade and set it aside.
3. Add the chicken breasts to the bowl with the remaining marinade. Turn them over in the marinade so they’re well coated, cover with plastic wrap and leave to sit for 5 to 10 minutes or until the grill is ready.
To cook and serve your chicken
4. If using a grill pan, put it over high heat now to get it screaming hot.
5. Use tongs to transfer your chicken breasts onto the grill or grill pan. For chicken breasts about 1 inch thick, cook for about 5 minutes on each side, turning every minute and basting as you go, or until golden and cooked through. Spoon a little of the reserved sauce over each breast.
Delicious served with Dante’s Loaded Potato Salad and sliced watermelon, or delicious sliced in sandwiches in some good-quality bread. Add some leafy lettuce and sliced tomato to give it a good crunch.
Tips from the kitchen:
• Citrus zest, including orange, lemon, and lime gives a dish loads of flavor without adding many calories. Chile and peppers also does the same job. Make your marinades ahead of time and store it in a jar so you don’t get tempted to use bottled sauces.
• Skinless chicken breasts are a lean protein – cook up some extras to use in sandwiches and salads for lunch.
• Store raw meat and fish on the bottom shelf of your fridge, and food that’s ready to be eaten whether it’s salad, cheese, dairy or cooked food on the shelves above. This is so the juices from the raw foods can’t drip onto cooked foods and cross-contaminate them.
• Use tongs to move the meat into the marinade and again into the pan. If you flip the meat with a spatula, be sure to wash it before you use it again to take the fillets out of the pan to avoid cross-contamination.
Here are some of Jamie’s Top Tips:
This marinade can be used on other lean proteins such as shrimp, pork tenderloin or flank steak. If the outside of the meat or fish looks a dry, brush a little of the marinade over it whilst cooking.
• When zesting citrus fruit, use a Microplane or similar zester so you only remove the colored zest without digging into the bitter white pith underneath.
• When grilling you need to keep control the heat really carefully so the food cooks through properly before it starts burning on the outside. If your meat starts to char soon after putting it on the grill or in the pan, move it to a cooler part of the grill or turn the heat right down.
• If you’re doing this on the stovetop, it will work best in a well-seasoned cast-iron or non-stick grill pan.
• It’s good to have one side of the barbecue with fewer coals so it’s cooler. The coals are ready when the flames have died down.