Grilled Chicken 3 ways

Plated chicken

Grilling dinner is one of the things that we dream about during long Cleveland winters.   We’ve even been known to fire our Weber back up on some February nights (“It’s above 30 today?  PERFECT!  Let’s grill some pizza!”).  Now that it’s summer, we’re using our grill almost every weekend.  Veg, pizza, protein….you name it and we’ve probably tried to grill it.   We even use it as a smoker for brisket, chicken, pork, fish, and vegetables (Which just reminded me to post our recipe for smoked corn on the cob. Stay tuned).  

I work most weeknights coaching a running group, meeting with clients, or as sports medicine staff at a local high school.   Once I get home, I don’t have much of an opportunity to cook dinner those evenings.  Grilling a large amount of protein like chicken allows us to freeze the leftovers for weeknight meals.  This gives us a portion-controlled, healthier option for dinner instead of the carry-out we’d otherwise be eating.  

We often buy a pound of chicken tenders at Cleveland’s West Side Market and pick 3-4 different marinades for them.   Here’s our favorite summer varieties-  enjoy!

Chimichurri is a sauce traditional to Argentina or Uruguay made of fresh herbs.  It’s used as a marinade in this recipe, but also makes for a fantastic fresh topping for practically anything. In fact, the first time I had it was as a side for my Happy Dog tots. 

Chimichurri chicken grilling

This marinade packs a flavor punch from the fresh herbs, garlic, and lemon.  You can use it on literally any protein, but the chicken pairs nicely on the grill.   

*Note-  We used avocado oil for both the chimichurri and the tomato basil marinades.  That’s because both will be heated on the grill with the chicken. 

Olive oil is a source of healthy fats; however cooking it removes some it’s benefits.  In fact, cooking with olive oil at a temperature over 220 degrees can be harmful. 

Avocado oil is also a healthy fat that has a higher smoke point (520 degrees) and can be used safely on the high heat of the grill. 

Olive oil has better flavor and would be a much better choice if you are making the chimichurri as a fresh (raw) dipping sauce.    

Tomato basil is a flavor that screams summer.  We used fresh herbs from our garden in this one.  If you have oregano, rosemary, or thyme on hand, use them to add depth to this marinade.  If you don’t- no worries – perfectly ok to let the basil be the star of this show. 

Lastly, this cayenne and sugar combination is the perfect sweet and spicy mix.  The sugar caramelizes on the grill perfectly.  Eat this chicken by itself or in a recipe that our friend calls the “ultimate summer sandwich” with sun-dried tomatoes, pesto, goat cheese, and arugula – coming soon to the blog.

 

sugar cayenne chicken plated

 

Always remember to try to choose organic when buying chicken or any type of meat.   Organic means the animal was raised on a farm without pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or other forms of poisonous substances/pollutants.   It’s also important to choose meat that is antibiotic and hormone free as those substances will be passed to you or whoever is eating your food.  

Sometimes buying organic is not always possible, but it’s important to do it as often as you can.   If you can’t buy organic or hormone/antibiotic free meat, buying local is another great option.  Often, local or smaller-scale farmers don’t go through the process to be certified organic due to the cost, but they still raise their animals organically and humanely.  Plus, buying local means a decreased carbon footprint from decreased mileage your food has to travel.  It also helps to support responsible use of land in your own hometown-  something that we Clevelanders try to do at every chance.   Because Northeast Ohio is a pretty awesome place to live and many of us would like to keep it that way 🙂

 

These foods are good sources of: 

  1. Lean protein 
  2. Potassium  
  3. Lycopene 
  4. Vitamins A, B, K

*Scroll down for to learn why these vitamins and minerals can help you feel your best!

 

Grilled Chicken 3 Ways


Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting time 5 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

Chimichurri

  • 1/2 cup fresh packed parsley (we used 1/4 cup flat leaf and 1/4 cup curly)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano
  • 3 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil if not using this recipe for cooking sub olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp red wine vinegar (start with 1 tablespoon, add second to taste)

Tomato Basil Marinade

  • 2 medium sized tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 2-3 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil

Sugar and Cayenne

  • 1/2 cup sugar in the raw sub coconut sugar if needed
  • 1 tbsp cayenne powder

Instructions

Chimichurri

  1. Combine ingredients except oil and vinegar in a food processor; blend until smooth

    Chimichurri chicken marinade
  2. Add half of the oil and 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar; taste and add more as needed for flavor and/or consistency

Tomato Basil

  1. Combine ingredients except oil and vinegar in a food processor; blend until smooth

  2. Add 1 tablespoon oil; taste and add more as needed for flavor and/or consistency

  3. As with chimichurri recipe, add extra salt and or herbs to taste

    Tomato basil chicken

Sugar and Cayenne

  1. Combine ingredients in bowl

Grilling

  1. Prepare marinades as above

  2. Divide chicken into three, gallon-sized sealable plastic bags or large bowls

  3. Pour one marinade into each bag/bowl; refrigerate at least 30 minutes

    chimichurri chicken marinading 2
  4. Grill 3-5 minutes on each side or until no longer pink in the center 

    Chicken on grill

THE GOOD STUFF :  nutrients your body needs to be it’s best

NUTRIENT WHAT IT DOES… INGREDIENTS
A Eye health and vision

Immune system support

Wound healing

  • Basil
  • Tomatoes
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Mint
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
B Vitamins (either B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, or B9) Energy production

Antioxidation

DNA repair

Skin, digestive system, nerve, GI tract health

Toxin breakdown in liver

Red blood cell production and health

Immune system support

Many other body functions

  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Garlic
  • Cilantro
  • Mint
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
C Antioxidant

Immune system support

Wound healing

Collagen production

Skin health

Iron absorption

  • *note: vitamin C chemically decomposes with cooking.  These foods are good sources of C when eaten raw:
  • Tomatoes
  • Lemon juice
  • Parsley
  • Garlic
  • Cilantro
  • Mint
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
E Antioxidant

Control of immune system and inflammation

– Cilantro
K Blood clotting
  • Tomatoes
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
Calcium Muscle function

Nerve signal conduction

Hormones

Teeth, bone health

  • Garlic
  • Cilantro
  • Mint
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
Iron Oxygen transport/storage

Red blood cell function

Anaerobic energy

Numerous body functions

  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Mint
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
Lycopene (Phytonutrientwith antioxidant properties) Improved cardiovascular function

Antioxidant

Bone health

  • Tomatoes
Potassium Electrolyte balance
  • Basil
  • Tomatoes
  • Cilantro
  • Rosemary
Insoluble fiber Intestinal tract movement

Supports good gut bacteria

  • Oregano
  • Cilantro