On one of my recent cooking trips to Tuscany, I had this delicious dish at a local restaurant. The chef prepared it in an outdoor brick oven and as we enjoyed the terrace dining, the beautiful aroma surrounded us. The restaurant served it with lamb. I enjoyed it with lamb, and then I tried it with chicken. It was spectacular!
I wanted to recreate this delight for my family and friends. (Since I come from a large family, I am always searching for great crowd pleasing dishes.) Well, this is one that certainly delights the crowd.
As we head in to summer, what better way to celebrate all of the season’s bounty – fresh rosemary, thyme and sage and grilling on the barbeque.
Tuscan Grilled Chicken with Balsamic Vinaigrette and Herbed Salt
1 medium size chicken, cut into tenths
- 1 cup fresh sage
- 1 cup chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 1/2 cup coarse natural sea salt
- 10 peppercorns
- 6 garlic cloves
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed
- In a food processor, place the above ingredients together and pulse for 2-3 times or until it resembles coarse meal. Set aside.
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- Freshly ground pepper
- Kosher salt
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced (optional)
- Mix together the vinegar, salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and whisk until blended.
Place chicken in a non-reactive bowl and season with 2-3 tablespoons herbed salt. Mix the seasoned chicken with the marinade. Let marinate overnight or for 1 hour. Herbed salt can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
To prepare the grill, heat grill to high setting. Using an old rag or paper towel place oil on top. Using a pair of tongs, generously rub grates with oiled cloth.
Before grilling chicken, lower heat to medium setting. Place chicken on preheated grill, skin side down for 15 minutes. (If fire is too hot, reduce to low setting.)
Turn chicken and brush with additional marinade. Cook for 25 minutes, turning often.
Serve garnished with fresh lemon slices.
|Renée Cohen is the instructor and chef at CuisineArts.|