Lemony Grilled Chicken Breasts

When I wake up at five in the morning with a little bit of panic and think, “I’ve got a crowd of people coming for Labor Day. What am I going to serve?” I approach the menu by considering my entrées first. My go-to’s are grilled Premio sweet Italian sausage from Costco, hamburgers, and marinated chicken breasts. Next, I consider my sides, which I prepare depending on what is in season. Often, though, I delegate the “sides” to guests. The beauty of that approach is you get to try other people’s specialties and that is always a fun and tasty option. Desserts are my favorite food to cook and for a summer cookout, I like to make a hotel-size pan of bread pudding using whatever fruit is in season, and also everyone’s favorite cookie, Italian Ricotta and Lemon Cookies.

I was never a fan of grilled chicken breasts until I saw my good friend, Sheila Foley, a master at feeding huge crowds at her summer fests on the Sakonnet River in Tiverton, Rhode Island, pull out bags of pounded-flat marinated chicken breasts. The light bulb went off for me. Brilliant! A way to prepare chicken breasts so that when they are grilled they cook quickly and evenly throughout. I’ve been pounding chicken breasts ever since.

Ingredients:
Whole chicken breasts
@JudysChickens Everyday Salad Dressing
Lemons
Sprigs of thyme

Mise en Place:

DSC_0060

Instructions:

Rinse chicken breasts and trim off fat.
DSC_0341

Pat dry with paper towels.
DSC_0342

Place each chicken breast in a thick bag and pound flat with the smooth side of a meat mallet.
DSC_0348

Marinate pounded breasts in @JudysChickens Salad Dressing with sliced lemons and thyme. You could add a little white balsamic vinegar and Grey Poupon for even more flavor if desired.
DSC_0062

Seal the bag and allow to marinate in the fridge for one or two days.
DSC_0010

Grill for no more than ten minutes. If I’m feeding a large crowd, I usually cut each breast in half before serving.
DSC_0329.jpg

Favorite Flavor-Enhancers: The Acids!

My mother always kept a bottle each of white and red balsamic vinegar in the fridge. She especially loved the white, as do I. Add a few shakes of white balsamic vinegar to the marinade for an extra flavor burst.
IMG_1184

Other Foods That Are Good To Serve At A Cookout
Sliced Beet Salad
String Bean Salad
Amazingly Delicious Sautéed Carrots
Marlin’s Black-Eyed Pea Salad
Grandma’s Italian Fried Cauliflower
“Croatian Cheese” a Flavorful and Exotic Appetizer Made with Feta and Goat Cheese
The Classic Pimiento Cheese Sandwich

© 2016 Judy Wright. All rights reserved. No photos or text may be used without written consent.