With the temperatures as high as they have been lately, it’s been an ideal time for getting your grill on. It’s just not as satisfying to stand around a grill with a heavy jacket and skullcap, as it is to hang around in a tank top and shorts. At least, it’s not as satisfying to me. The other night, chicken was on the menu, but the seasoning decision was a little up in the air. We were cooking for the family, and while some of us like it spicy, others can’t eat anything much more than some barely-applied black pepper. Cullen had to step out for a while, so everything got left up to me. I decided I’d halve the seasonings between blackened and… something else. A few minutes of searching Epicurious yielded Grilled Lemon-Honey Chicken Breasts, and it sounded just like what I was looking for. Even better, I had everything in the kitchen to make the marinade!
On a side note, am I the only one who likes the look of squeezed lemon “shells”? I think they just look so cool. Anyway, moving on.
As a marinade, it looks a little clunky, mostly because I didn’t chop my onions finely enough. Next time, I’ll probably slice half of my onion on the mandoline before dicing them, just to get some uniformity, and finer chopping. (I’ve been working on my knife skills. You can see I haven’t improved much yet.) I think I would’ve liked a mince in the marinade, but a fine dice in the glaze, better than I liked dealing with the messy dicing business I laid out here.
It’s really hard to make raw chicken look appetizing. But wait, there’s more! In only a few minutes on that hot grill grate, and with a little brushing and basting, you get something that looks fairly appetizing! Golden chicken, with those nice pretty grill marks.
The best part about making your own marinades is that if you don’t like an ingredient, you can reduce the amount, or leave it out altogether. Think it needs something else? Add it in. It’s your supper, and if no one else likes it, that’s too bad. Sometimes a storebought marinade just can’t deliver.
Grilled Honey Soy Chicken
inspired by Grilled Lemon-Honey Chicken Breasts
4-5 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 medium onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
zest and juice of 2-3 Meyer lemons
OR zest and juice of 1 medium-large lemon
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons soy (or tamari) sauce
Split chicken breasts and, if necessary, pound to 3/4″ thickness; place into a shallow dish. Mix remaining ingredients together in a small bowl. Pour half the mixture over the chicken, and turn to coat. Refrigerate up to 4 hours; or let stand, covered, up to an hour. Pour remaining marinade mixture into a small saucepan, bring to a slow boil, and reduce until thickened (about two minutes). Reserve this for glazing during grilling.
Remove chicken from marinade, shaking off excess, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Grill until thermometer registers 165F or better, brushing occasionally with reserved glaze. Remove from heat, cover with any remaining glaze, and let rest for 3-4 minutes before serving.