Paint your chicken green

By Lewis

Here’s something I first cooked a month or so ago (and again about a week ago) but never got around to posting.

See these two little guys? Poor little jalapeños. Hardly ripe for pluckin’. But I had no choice. See, after that section of tree fell on my car (scroll down to the bottom of that post), another hunk of that same tree settled nicely on our building’s gutters. And me being the unofficial building manager, had to go up on the roof and cut some of it loose so our upstairs neighbor could use her porch without poking out an eye.

Anyway. Part of what I cut off landed on my poor little jalapeño plant two stories below. What snapped off was a fertile branch, with these two guys. So, what to do? Had some chicken breasts in the fridge, and don’t ya just get sick of chicken breasts? So I typed in jalapeño in the ol’ Google. Noting much came back. Then recalled the blog Too Many Chefs and typed in jalapeño and grill or chicken or some such combination, and up popped this:

Green Grilled Chicken

2 boneless chicken breasts if you have grill with cover that will cook quickly and keep them moist. Otherwise, bone in and skin on.

1 small handful coriander leaves (1/4 cup)
¼ cup frozen or fresh parsley
1 clove garlic
1 jalapeño pepper
¼ cup olive oil
juice of 1 medium lemon
2 small ripe tomatoes, chopped
Pinch of salt, grinding of pepper
1 tsp grain mustard.

Place herb, garlic pepper in a small blender or use immersion blender in small cup. Zap with drizzle of olive oil and continue adding the oil and lemon juice until you have a thinnish sauce.
Take breasts and make a few diagonal slits in them with knife. Slather half the herb sauce on the two breasts (1/4 each) making sure that you push some into the slits. Salt and pepper the breasts and place them on hot grill or grill pan.
In meantime, chop tomatoes and toss them with the reserved sauce and the mustard. When the chicken is grilled on both sides and done in the middle, serve them over a helping of the herbed mustard tomatoes. 

Now, you can thank me later for typing that up for you, because that there blog wouldn’t let me do the ol’ cut and paste. So you’ve got my truncated copy.

But here’s my process, and it turned out damn nice.

That first time I had to wander over to Mississippi Market for some tomatoes and coriander leaves, where I was informed by the nice, pretty Colorado-hiking-type woman at the herbal/health product counter that coriander leaves are cilantro. Huh. I did not know that. And I call myself a foodie.

Blender? Er, small blender? Whose kitchen is this? No blender. Well, none handy, anyway. And certainly no immersion blender. But I have my handy mini Cuisinart. I threw all that junk (the jalapeño, cilantro, parsley, garlic with olive oil and lemon juice) into the little machine, thinking it would work

Not. You need that propelling action of a blender to keep circulating the junk up and down.

Went down to the dungeon to retrieve my old blender, and after a good scrub, was ready for use. Fortunately, with the olive oil and lemon juice, there was enough liquid to draw over the blades and blend the stuff (note to self: ask for immersion blender for X-mas).

Now, the first time I used this, I didn’t have a lemon on hand, but had some lemon juice. Second time around I had a lemon, just squeezed the whole sucker in there. Second time around I also had a mature jalapeno. Not a whole lot bigger than one of the tinies I had the first time, but there was much better heat and flavor.

After it’s all adequately cranked around, you should have a not quite watery mixture looking like this:

Then, as the recipe says, cut some diagonal slashes (or whateverChick4
configuration you want, I suppose) in yer chicken breasts and slather that stuff on the breasts, working the mixture into the slashes. NOTE: don’t be dunkin’ the same utensil using to spread the sauce on the chicken into the container that holds yer sauce. You’ll be using the remainder of that sauce to mix with your tomatoes, and you want to avoid salmonella, I assume.

Throw the chicken on the grill (my propane job it’s about 5-6 minutes a side on medium high) and in the meantime, dice your tomatoes. Now, this time of year there is ABOSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE to find yourself some prime tomatoes. Get yourself down to a farmers market or co-op. It’ll make all the difference in the world. Chick5_1

Take diced tomatoes (sans cores) and toss ‘em in a bowl. Take that mustard (or, if you don’t have the
grain mustard, I used about a mounded teaspoon of Dijon mustard from the fridge) and mix it in the remainder of your sauce, then take that sauce and mix it carefully into your tomatoes, taking care not to mash your tomatoes into a pulp.

Make a nice little pile of tomatoes on the plate, and place the chicken breast on top. Or, slice that breast before placing it on top of the tomatoes.

The result? Damn tasty, but much better the second time with fresh-grown tomatoes and mature jalapeño. Also, if I would add something to the recipe, don’t fear fresh-ground pepper. Slathering with the sauce and grilling quickly over relatively high heat keeps the chickie moist and avoids blackening so you get the full jalapeño flavor. And the tomatoes give that nice cooling effect.

In short, it’s now in my repertoire to jazz up the ol’ chicken breast rotation. But there’s room for improvement on this recipe. I’ll keep you informed…

1 comment for “Paint your chicken green

  1. cK
    September 6, 2006 at 9:41 pm

    Quite nice. Thanks for that.

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