Grilled Chicken with Five-Herb Aioli

Grilled Chicken with Five-Herb Aioli is a classic simple and flavorful summer dish. A little advance preparation including an overnight soak in a Buttermilk Brine, a 4-hour marinade, and blending and chilling the aioli, will reduce the actual cooking time to less than a half hour at the grill.

The Buttermilk Brine can, and should, be used with any grilled or roasted chicken or turkey recipe. Different herbs or spices can be added to the tailor the brine to the flavor of the final recipe.

The five herbs, flat-leaf parsley, basil, chive, thyme and rosemary, are present in the marinade and, of course, in the aioli that is served with chicken.

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Grilled Chicken with Five-Herb Aioli
(Mark Kelly, 2013)

Serves 6 to 8

Buttermilk Brine

1 quart buttermilk
4 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Combine the ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add the chicken and refrigerate overnight. Drain brine and pat the chicken dry before preparing to cook.

3 large bone-in chicken breasts with skin and fat removed
5 bone-in chicken thighs with skin and fat removed
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup fresh chives, chopped
2 Tbsp minced jalapeno
1 Tbsp minced thyme
1 Tbsp minced rosemary
1 Tbsp minced garlic
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Grilled bread or crostini for serving

In a food processor, combine the herbs, jalapeno, garlic and a pinch of salt. Pulse until the herbs are finely chopped. Add the oil a couple of tablespoons at a time and pulse to combine.

Pour half of the herb-oil marinade in a large zip-top bag and add the chicken. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Add the mayonnaise and lemon juice to the remaining herb-oil in the food processor and pulse to combine. Refrigerate the Five Herb Aioli until 30 minutes before serving.

Heat grill to medium for indirect grilling.

Grill the chicken until lightly charred and an instant-read thermometer reads 170F, about 35 minutes. Remove and let the chicken rest 5 minutes before serving. Serve with the aioli and grilled bread or crostini.

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