I don't know where to start. There has been a lot of really great food over here lately. Like fajitas so good you'll want to wear a shirt after that says "Fajitas changed my life." Or something like that. I'm serious, look for the fajita post later this week--it's coming. But for now I'm here to tell you the shirt I've been wearing in my mind lately says "I HATE CHICKEN." Or, "I HATE ORGANIC CHICKEN." Just to make people mad b/c misery loves company I suppose.
I had been miserably bored with chicken for quite some time (except when it's in my favorite salad, but that doesn't count for some reason.) The thought of BBQing some sad piece of chicken only then to have to come up with some chicken-redeeming sauce or marinade to make it worth my while seemed exhausting. I found myself in a chicken rut. A slump. The chicken was not doing it's part in this relationship and it started to feel unacceptable.
Just when I was about to break-up with the bird a few really, really good recipes landed in my lap. Now it's chicken all the time over here. There was this that you already know about, and of course this. And this lemon chicken I found in one of my Tyler books that's so good it will make you want to date chicken again too. Once the chicken is gone you'll seriously start grabbing things in close proximity to soak up the extra sauce on your plate.
Stay tuned cause like I said, there's more chicken on the way. There's those fajitas I mentioned, an Almond crusted chicken that makes my mouth water, and this other reeeeeally good chicken and sweet potato thing that I'll have to explain more later. For now start with this, and, by the way, I don't really hate organic chicken--it's really the only kind of chicken we eat around here:
- 2 heads garlic, cut in 1/2 horizontally
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 whole fresh thyme sprigs, plus leaves from 6 sprigs
- 2 lemons, juiced, plus 2 lemons, halved
- About 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves chopped (I didn't have this so I skipped it.)
- 1 (4 to 4 1/2-pound) organic chicken, cut into 10 pieces (I used about a pound and a half of boneless skinless breasts and it worked great.)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 heads radicchio, preferably Treviso, cut into quarters (didn't have this but wished I did. Will totally do this next time.)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut a piece of aluminum foil about 12 inches long.
Put the garlic on 1/2 of the foil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, drizzle in some olive oil, and add 2 sprigs of thyme. Fold the foil enclosing the garlic, making a pouch, and add a couple teaspoons of water. Fold the foil over the garlic to enclose and fold in the edges 2 or 3 times to seal. Put the package in the oven and roast for 30 minutes, or longer, until the garlic is soft. Open the package and let the garlic cool a bit, then squeeze out the cloves into a food processor or blender. Add 1/2 cup olive oil, the lemon juice, parsley, and thyme leaves and puree to make a thick vinaigrette.
Preheat an outdoor gas or charcoal grill to medium heat.
Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Put the pieces in a bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil; toss to coat with the seasonings and then refrigerate while you get everything else together.
Put the radicchio in another bowl, drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss; set aside.
When you're ready to cook, take a few paper towels and fold them several times to make a thick square. Blot a small amount of oil on the paper towel and carefully and quickly wipe the hot grates of the grill to make a nonstick surface.
Season with salt and pepper and place the radicchio quarters on the preheated grill. Cook the radicchio for about 2 minutes per side until it has a nice char; pull it off the grill, place into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to steam and finish cooking.
Then put the chicken on the grill, skin side down, and grill. Grill the chicken for about 20 minutes, turning once, then baste with about half of the vinaigrette and keep cooking until an instant-read thermometer stuck into the thickest part of the thigh reads 160 degrees F and the chicken is nice and caramelized all over, 15 to 20 more minutes. During the last few minutes, throw the lemon halves on the grill, cut sides down, and cook until just marked and smoky.
To serve, separate the radicchio into individual leaves in a big bowl. Add the chicken and the rest of the dressing and toss well. Serve with grilled lemon halves, squeeze the lemon over the chicken, and top with reserved dressing.