August 06, 2006

Chicken with Basil-Lemon-Garlic Oil - Carnival of the Grill #1

My friend Adam at Men In Aprons started up a great blog carnival -- the "Carnival of the Grill" which has no specific theme this first time around, other than, well, using the grill.

The deadline for the first roundup is August 14th -- so get crackin'. Thanks to Adam for hosting and creating a much needed blogging event!

Onto the food! I turned to Bobby Flay's cookbook, Boy Gets Grill. First off, let me say I've made a handful of recipes out of this cookbook so far and I've loved them all. I would recommend this to the home cook that wants to add a little variety in their grilling repertoire.

Oh my, this was some good eatin'. There just isn't anything that can beat food cooked over charcoal, in my opinion. I had to swap out the rosemary and use basil instead, but I would imagine both taste amazing. I used chicken thighs instead of whole, butterflied chickens. A sprinkling of fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese at the end tops this awesome dish off.

Chicken with Basil-Lemon-Garlic Oil, Parmesan, and Black Pepper
Serves 4; can be doubled for 6 to 8 (no need to double the marinade)

1 1/2 cups olive oil
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (or rosemary) leaves
Grated zest of 2 lemons
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 (3-pound) chickens, butterflied (Or a few pounds of chicken thighs)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper

Combine the oil, garlic, basil, zest, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. Place the chickens in a large dish or a sealable plastic bag, pour half of the oil mixture over the chickens, and turn to coat. (Refrigerate the remaining marinade.) Cover the chickens and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to overnight (which is what I did). Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.

Heat your grill to medium. (I used charcoals instead)

Remove the chickens from the marinade and season with salt and pepper. Grill until the skin forms a crust and pulls away from the grate, 8-10 minutes. Turn the chickens over, close the grill hood, and grill, basting with the reserved marinade until just cooked through, about 15 minutes more. (Less if using chicken thighs)

Remove the chickens to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Mix together the cheese and black pepper. If using butterflied chickens, cut the chickens in half, and then in half again, using poultry shears or a heavy knife. Transfer to a platter or serving plates, sprinkle with the cheese mixture, and serve immediately.