So, with my last post, I promised a great grilled chicken recipe…one that would be the perfect protein-rific addition to that strawberry spinach salad.
And as your faithful blogger, I set to marinating and making it the very next day…quite jubilantly, in fact. See, when I was working, marinating meat meant making that night’s dinner, doing that night’s dishes, then making tomorrow’s marinade (and more dishes), so that the meat of choice could marinate all night and the next work day and be ready for dinner the following night.
Not so with my new life of not working: I got up, had my breakfast, and made the marinade, and then spent the rest of the day cleaning the house, including the kitchen floor, which, quite honestly, might be the worst job on the planet (besides cleaning blinds…which I also did that day).
That night, Eric came home to a sparkling house. Feeling pretty good about my work for the day and the meal we were about to eat, I opened up the fridge to take out some cold lemonade and proceeded to drop the bottle, spilling it all over the floor…..my previously clean kitchen floor. Eric and I feverishly worked to keep the spill from going under the fridge, but to no avail. So we pulled the fridge out into the middle of the kitchen, and I started to clean up the sticky juice mess as he started the grill.
As I continued to sop up lemonade from only the most inconvenient corners of our kitchen, I began to boil the marinade so he could use it to brush the chicken. For one brief moment I stepped out of the kitchen to get more rags, when I heard the angry hisssssssssss of a neglected syrup-marinade boiling over. I rushed back into the kitchen to stop it, only to be thwarted by the all-too-narrow opening between the fridge and our kitchen cart. Prego-Belly! I couldn’t. get. through.
Eric (from outside): What is going on?!
As the marinade continued to boil over, coating my range top with a maple-ey, sticky, mess, I, with a ladylike grunt, pushed the fridge back, got my belly through the opening, and turned off the burner.
And that’s when Eric came back in looking for the chicken, and found me in my now extraordinarily messy kitchen, looking hot, sweaty, and annoyed.
Please tell me your life looks like this sometimes too.
Tuesday night? Complicated and messy. This chicken: the opposite. The marinade is so simple – 6 ingredients and a winning combination of sweet and savory. The chicken, after its maple syrup bath, comes out tender, with just a touch of sweet hiding behind that smoky grilled flavor. We ate it with mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus, but the leftovers, we cut up and put in that strawberry spinach salad, which, as previously promised, was delicious.
(recipe from Simply In Season)
(yields 6 servings)
My only change to this recipe was to double the marinade. The marinade, once boiled, doubles as a sauce to serve with the chicken, so doubling it ensures that you'll have enough to serve with dinner.
1 1/2 c. maple syrup
6 tbsp. cider vinegar
4 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tbsp. onion (minced) OR 1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
6 chicken breasts, thighs, or legs (I used a combination of boneless, skinless breasts and 2 bone-in breasts, skin removed)
Combine all marinade ingredients in a tight-sealing container and shake until blended.
Pour into a larger bowl (microwave-safe to save yourself dishes) and add chicken pieces, turning to coat.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour; all day or overnight is even better.
Remove cover from your microwave-safe bowl of chicken + marinade. Microwave chicken and marinade together for 5 minutes.
Remove chicken and pour marinade into a small uncovered saucepan. Bring to a boil (this will happen quickly!) and let boil for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Grill chicken over medium heat, brushing with the boiled marinade and turning occasionally. Continue to turn, brush, and grill until chicken is no longer pink in the middle.
Serve chicken with remaining boiled marinade.
(Don't have a grill? Try baking this chicken: Place chicken in a greased pan. Pour marinade on top and bake at 350*, basting every 15-20 minutes, until done (about 1 hour with bone-in, less if boneless.)
(Don't have a grill AND it's too hot to turn on your oven? Try pan-frying: Remove chicken from marinade and cook in a greased frying pan. When nearly cooked through, pour in some marinade, which will caramelize. Add about 3 tbsp. of water to the pan, stir, and serve glaze over meat.)