Innkeepers are surrounded by temptation daily. Freshly baked cookies every day make it hard to keep in shape and sumptuous breakfasts that you made way too much of add to the problem. At the end of a busy day after checking in late guests we don’t have a lot of time to prepare dinner for ourselves either. Summer grilling season makes it a lot easier though! Here are three of our favorite ways to turn boneless chicken into a healthful and delicious meal in no time. Now, Bill is a purist about grilling. He’s strictly a hardwood charcoal with mesquite in a Webber Grill kind of guy. Clearly, if you use a gas grill dinner will be on the table even sooner!
Fresh luscious mangoes pair beautifully with chicken. Creamy avocado is the perfect foil for the sweet mango. In this variation we start with a simple marinade. The chicken doesn’t need to be marinated for long- 1/2 hr or so while you prep the rest is fine.
In a plastic zip lock bag mix:
- ¼ tsp. salt,
- ¼ tsp. fresh ground pepper,
- ¼ tsp.dried oregano
- ¼ tsp. ground cumin.
- 1-2 crushed or minced garlic cloves
- Add 1 tsp. fresh squeezed lime juice and
- 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil.
- Add two boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 5 oz each, and squish around to coat the chicken evenly. Let sit while you prepare the grill and the salad.
For the dressing, whisk 1 Tbs. Balsamic Vinegar, 1 Tbs. fresh squeezed lime juice and 1 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Combine 1 peeled and chopped mango, 1 chopped avocado and 2 Tbs. chopped red onion and toss with the dressing. Wash and spin two generous handfuls of mixed greens. We use 50% spinach 50% spring mix. Arrange on two plates.
Grill the chicken for a total of 7 minutes, turning once. Top the greens with ½ cup of the mango, avocado mixture. Slice each chicken breast and splay across the salad.
In our next two recipes the marinade makes a juicy teriyaki type chicken with just 2 Tbs. tamari (we use Kikoman) and 2 Tbs. honey. If you need to watch your sodium levels you can use low sodium tamari. Mix well in a glass bowl, add chicken breasts and cover.
Peel and cube a fresh ripe mango and combine with 2 Tbs. chopped onion, 1 tsp. lime juice and 3 heaping tsp. of ground coriander. You’ll swear the coriander was brown sugar when you taste the result!
Grill the marinaded chicken for 7 minutes turning once. Reserve the marinade.
While the chicken is grilling reduce the marinade in a very small saucepan until it forms a syrup. Drizzle over each chicken breast and top with mango mixture. We usually serve this with a mixed salad on the side.
In our third recipe we pair the chicken with a salad of fresh grilled pineapple. Prepare the marinade as above and add the chicken to the glass dish and cover.
Slice a fresh peeled and cored pineapple into slices ½ to ¾ inch thick. On a plate lined with aluminum foil, place the slices and spray with Olive Oil cooking spray. Turn over and spray the other side. In a small bowl whisk together 1 Tbs. fresh squeezed lime juice, 1 tsp, sugar, 1 crushed or minced clove garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Reserve.
Grill the pineapple for 10 minutes turning once. Next grill the chicken for 7 minutes also turning once. While the chicken is cooking chop the grilled pineapple into bite size chunks and in a medium glass bowl combine with ½ cup diced red bell pepper, 1/2 cup diced yellow bell pepper, ½ diced jalapeño, 2 Tbs. chopped red onion and ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro. Pour lime juice mixture over the salad and toss. Wash and spin two generous handfuls of mixed greens. Divide between two plates. When chicken is done spoon ½ of the pineapple salad onto the greens on each plate, slice the chicken and arrange on top of the salad. Optional: reduce the marinade as described in the previous recipe and drizzle over the top of the chicken.
I can think of three more variations that will have to wait for a future blog. In one we will combine fresh juicy Watermelon and avocado, then we go Greek and Southwest too! Happy grilling!