Thursday, 2 July 2009

Grilled lemon chicken and courgettes

Well the AGA is now off - phrew! - and we've got our summer cooking kit organised. Last night I gave the Cuisinart grill a run through its paces and was pretty impressed. I've only ever cooked with a George Foreman grill before which is fine for burgers but not much else - this had a much better system of heat transmission and a heavier lid which seems to cook single pieces of meat and veg more effectively.

I simply took a couple of chicken breasts, separated the fillet and sliced the remainder in half lengthwise to create pieces of a roughly even thickness. I marinated them for about an hour in a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, crushed garlic and a teaspoon or so of some particularly nice mixed herbs I brought back from France last month that contained parsley, chives, chervil and tarragon (the classic fines herbes mixture the French use for omelettes). I cut up a couple of courgettes into thick even-sized wedges then rolled them in the marinade too once I'd put the chicken on the grill. Once the chicken was cooked and resting I grilled them too. The whole thing took about 10 minutes (apart from the marinating time, obviously)

I tend to be anti-chicken breasts as a more expensive cut but if you treat them this way - or cut them into strips - you can make two stretch for three people. (Not that we did . . . ) And they do cook quickly, a boon in this sultry weather. You could also cook halloumi cheese this way.

How are you coping with the heatwave? Any tips or particularly successful meal ideas to share?


smilernpb said...

Sounds delicious.

I've just been making fairy cakes for sports afternoon. Phew.

The weather is too hot. Especially being 36 weeks pregnant!

robert said...

Salad and chilled soups are on my menu. Some ideas I have enjoyed is watermelon and feta salad, chilled minty cucumber yoghurt soup and of course the classic Spanish gazpacho.

Bruschettas are ideal too as they just need warming through. Pudding is just chilled fruits such as nectarines. No need to stand in a hot kitchen in this heat.

Fiona Beckett said...

You have my sympathy smilernpb. My daughter was born in mid-July so I know how you feel!

And I love chilled soups like gazpacho, robert but my husband - like most men isn't a fan. Watermelon and feta is a great combination - a few toasted pumpkin seeds are nice too

Andrea said...

I'm surprised that you didn't have more success with your George Foreman - I regularly cook chicken breast, salmon and peppers among many other things on mine and wouldn't want to be without it now.

Fiona Beckett said...

Possibly because we had one of the original models which was nearing the end of its days, Andrea. It never grilled quite as efficienty as this Cuisinart

maggiedon said...

I made a lovely Nigel Slater dish last night (inspired by a dish at Moro) - really quick and easy. Clams with Ham and Sherry. Sauteed garlic and chopped parma ham, 500g of clams thrown in, with a glass of sherry. Clamp the lid on and cook for 2 mins till all open. Add masses of chopped parsley. Serve either with bread or with some linguine. Yum! Minimal time at the stove too

Fiona Beckett said...

That's my kind of food! Hard to track down clams though - where did you get them?

James said...

Really one of my favourite meals. I'd grill or barbecue anything.

The barbecued bananas were great the other day. Couldn't get simpler - they cook in the dying embers while you eat the main course, but you get all those caramelised flavours.

Ratatouille with everything at the moment - trout, grilled chicken, pork chops. Also good with french bread in the middle, topped with cheese and grilled.

Eating at 1am is always good in the heatwave, though probably 1am isn't on everyone's radar. After a day in the kitchen at 40 oC though it works for me.

Foodie Farmer said...

The Grill sounds great and as a fellow Aga cook sometimes you really miss a grill, is it small enough to store away easily?

Sophie said...

WOW (impressed look). Your Lemon Chicken looks so yummy.

Here I bought a sauce pack for Lemon Chicken so as to skip all the seasonings! and i will try this friday after work.