Juicy chicken breasts grilled to perfection and doused in a super duper easy lemon and herb marinade! Ahh the flavours of summer…
I am holding on to this season for dear life out here on Moshav Mevo Beitar. Not for the bugs, of which there are more than a-plenty, and most definitely not for the fact that it is so hot I have to shower three times a day. (an unfortunate fact, if you ask my water bill).
Theres just something special about watching the sun turn red in the distance while babe tosses grub on the grill. I’ll miss lounging with my feet up, the hookah a foot away, tenderly watching my dinner without being up to my ears in fleece blankets-they say it gets cold up here.
So we’re here BBQ’ing away and boy do I have the perfect recipe for you! If you’re not into grilling don’t worry, this can easily be made in the oven!
This chicken marinade is so easy and downright delicious, it’s going to be your new favourite. We are making use of all the fresh basil we have in our gardens right now, and adding in fresh parsley and thyme for flavour and tang. Zesty lemon, garlic, and olive oil finish off this marinade that will leave you with chicken so tender and moist you won’t even care that you’re already full when you go for seconds(I meant fourths)!
Grill, Oven or Grill Pan?
While there is an extra smoky flavour that comes with grilling chicken on a charcoal or gas grill, you can totally make use of your ovens grill setting, or sizzle this chicken up on a grill pan. I personally like the char marks from the grill, and the whole experience, but this marinade is killer however you choose to cook it.
For the grill, make sure to brush your grate with oil before adding the chicken to keep it from sticking!
How to Make the Chicken Marinade
For this zesty lemon and herb marinade you will need a food processor fitted with the “S” blade, or a strong blender.
First, toss in the garlic cloves and give them a couple pulses to chop them up so we don’t get left with any large chunks. Next toss in the basil and parsley, making sure that both are washed AND dried. Drying the herbs is very important because any extra moisture will water down the marinade.
NOTE: To wash herbs place them in a large bowl with two drops of soap, and water to cover. Let them soak for 2-3 minutes, not longer, then rinse thoroughly and dry(I place the herbs between paper towels).
When preparing the lemon, make sure to zest one of them first(you’ll use about two for the marinade), and then juice them. The lemon zest adds so much extra tang and flavour. Add both zest and juice to the food processor, along with pepper, salt, and thyme, and process. Turn the processor on low, and slowly drizzle in the olive oil.
Thats it! You’ll be left with extra marinade, and you can save it for drizzling on the chicken after, or use as salad dressing or as a sandwich spread.
Because of the lemon juice in the marinade, you can’t leave this chicken to sit overnight, or the meat will start to break down. Lemon juice does tenderise chicken-giving you softer meat-but we don’t want it too tender.
Place your cleaned chicken breasts in a ziplock bag or container(I think ziplocks are more fun to smush everything together in!), cover with lemon herb marinade and toss to coat, and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
If grilling on the grill, brush the grill with oil first and lay out the marinated chicken breasts. Let them cook until golden on one side, then flip and cook the second side. I like to keep the chicken pieces uniform size so they all cook at the same rate. You can do this by pounding the chicken with a meat mallet to even thickness. Cut one piece open to check it its ready, and you’ll know the rest will be too!
If grilling in the oven, preheat your oven to 200 C/425F. Line a baking tray with baking paper and lay out the chicken breasts in an even layer. Grill for 20-25 minutes. Thinner chicken breasts will take less time, so check at the 20 minute mark!
Serve this delicious Summer Lemon and Herb Grilled Chicken with a Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Poppyseed Dressing for the full she-bang.
Happy eating, Estee
Summery Lemon Herb Grilled Chicken
- one package chicken breasts cleaned
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 cup fresh basil washed and dried(see post on how to wash herbs)
- 1 cup fresh parsley washed and dried
- 1 tsp thyme, fresh or dried
- zest of one lemon
- 1/4 cup lemon juice about 2 lemons
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes(optional)
- 5 Tbs olive oil
- The the bowl of a food processor fitted with the "S"blade, or in a blender, add 5 garlic cloves and pulse to chop up. Add the basil, parsley, thyme, zest of one lemon, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, if using. Chop until the herbs are minced. Turn the mixer on low and add in the olive oil.
- Place chicken breasts in a ziplock bag or container, and pour over 3/4 to all of the marinade, depending on how much chicken you are making. You will have leftover marinade, set it aside for drizzling on the chicken after, or use as a salad dressing. Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
- Brush grate of the grill with oil to avoid the chicken sticking, and Grill on a charcoal grill until golden and cooked through on both sides, or grill in a grill pan. Oven: Preheat oven to 425 F/200 C. Place marinated chicken on a baking sheet fitted with parchment paper and grill/bake for 20-25 minutes. Thinner chicken breasts will cook faster, so check after 20 minutes for doneness.