Grilled Lemon Basil Chicken Recipe
This simple lemon basil chicken has refreshing flavors and delicious appearance. Light blend of lemon and basil flavors with a touch of lemon zest makes this a perfect summer meal to enjoy with family. It offers taste with a promise of health. It doesn’t let your palates suffer while dieting which just makes everything better. Its simplicity encourages the beginners to try this and the result builds their confidence to continue it. Reinvent the ways to use basil from your kitchen garden with this recipe.
Preparation time: 35 minutes (marinating time included)
Cooking time: 12 minutes
4 skinless and boneless chicken breasts
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil leaves (optional)
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon lemon zest
5 tablespoons lemon juice (freshly squeezed is preferable)
5 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
Rinse the chicken under running water; dry off excess with paper towels.
Cover chicken breasts in a twofold plastic wrap or wax paper; flatten them to ½ inch thickness by pounding them with the flat side of a meat mallet. Repeat the process for all pieces.
Generously season pounded chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.
Combine 1 ½ teaspoon minced garlic in a reseal-able plastic food-storage bag along with ½ teaspoon dried thyme, 1 tablespoon lemon zest, 5 tablespoons lemon juice, ½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves, 5 tablespoons olive oil; mix all the ingredients well.
Add chicken to the marinade and toss to coat; seal the bag; make sure to squeeze out the air before sealing. Keep in the refrigerator and let it marinate for 30 minutes at least.
Preheat grill to high heat; lightly coat the grate with oil.
Take marinated chicken out of refrigerator; reserve the marinade if you want to make sauce. Place marinated chicken on the hot grill; cook for 8-10 minutes, flipping chicken once after 4 minutes until both sides browned and chicken cooked through.
Remove from the grill; arrange them on a serving platter; garnish with fresh basil leaves and lime wedges. Serve hot over a bed of couscous with sautéed vegetables.
For the sauce, add reserved marinade to non sticky skillet over medium-high flame; bring to a boil; adjust heat to low. Let it simmer for 3-4 minutes until thickens lightly. Taste it and add seasonings if needed. Sprinkle a teaspoon of chopped fresh basil leaves if you like. Pour over grilled chicken pieces and serve.
Notes & Tips:
This marinade works exceptionally well with fish.
Grilling time varies according to the thickness of the chicken.
Any part of the chicken can be used for this recipe.
Dried basil can be used as a substitute for the fresh leaves; but it won’t be that impressive.
Adjust spices and its quantities to your requirements.
Use lime as a substitute for the lemon.
To thicken the sauce mix ¾ teaspoon of corn starch in 2 tablespoons of water. Add this mix to the sauce while stirring continuously. Let it cook until you get the desired consistency.