Monday, August 23, 2010

Lemon Chicken with Cucumber Salsa (Plus a Bonus Meal Idea)

 Can I just say I am loving my grill on the deck!!!!  Who knew this girly-girl could grill?!  This marinade has crept up to #1 favorite chicken marinade status, pushing the one I used to favor to second place..  I love the fresh citrus taste of the lemon zest and juice and the fragrant taste of the oregano.  And really, since it has garlic in it, what's not to love??!!  Two thumbs up for easy and delicious!

Lemon Chicken with Cucumber Salsa
adapted from Pampered Chef's Casual Cooking cookbook

Chicken and Marinade:
2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of any excess fat
2 lemons
3 garlic cloves, pressed
2 tbl. olive oil
2 tsp. dried oregano leaves (use fresh if you have that available!!)
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Cucumber Salsa
1/2 medium unpeeled cucumber, seeded and coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
2 tbl. red onion, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup pitted ripe olives, sliced
1/4 cup red pepper, diced
2 tbl. of marinade, reserved

In a small mixing bowl, zest lemons to measure 1 tbl.  Juice lemons to measure 1/2 cup juice and add to bowl.  Add pressed garlic, olive oil, oregano, paprika, salt, and pepper; whisk to combine.  Reserve 2 tbl. of marinade for salsa.  Place chicken breasts in a large zip bag and pour marinade over them.  Turn to coat; marinate in refrigerator 2-4 hours.

For salsa, coarsely chop cucumber and onion and add to a bowl.  Add sliced olives, diced bell pepper, and reserved marninade.  Mix gently, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Heat grill over medium heat.  Remove chicken from bag and discard marinade.  Grill both sides until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink, about 5 minutes on each side.  Top each chicken breast with salsa to serve.

**Another meal option using this chicken:  Make marinade and grill chicken as stated above; omit the salsa.  Grill slices of fresh pineapple until grill marks appear on each slice.  Serve with jasmine rice.

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