Few things in your kitchen are as simple as grilling a few chicken breasts and topping them with simple flavours. It’s a basic method, which always inspires improvisation as you create your own toppings with your favourite flavours.
Yield: serves 4
4 chicken breasts
A splash any vegetable oil
1 or 2 sprinkles sea salt and freshly ground pepper
the topping of your choice
Preheat your grill to its highest setting.
Lightly oil and season the chicken breasts. When the grill is hot, position the chicken breasts at a 45-degree angle to the grill’s grates. After a few minutes, rotate the breasts 90 degrees for a perfect steakhouse look. After another few minutes, flip them over and repeat on the second side. Serve immediately with your favourite topping or use one of the following variations.
1. Spicy Fresh Salsa
2. Basil Pesto
3. Chimichurri Sauce
4. Black olive tapenade
5. Sautéed onions finished with a dollop of mustard
6. A chopped tomato or two sautéed in olive oil with a sliced onion and minced garlic, finished with a sprinkling of oregano
7. A handful of sliced mushrooms sautéed in butter, a sprinkling of tarragon and a splash of sherry
8. A spoonful or two of tomato or pizza sauce with a sprinkle of shredded mozzarella cheese and baked or broiled for a few minutes longer
9. A chopped apple sautéed in olive oil with a sliced onion, a sprinkling of cinnamon and finished with a splash of apple juice and a spoonful of mustard
10. A dollop of peanut butter, a splash of soy sauce, a few drops of sesame oil, a spoonful of honey, the zest and juice 1 lime and a few dashes of your favourite hot sauce stirred together
I often braise chicken thighs for dinner; they have infinite varieties of preparation and go well with just about any side dish. They are flavour sponges too! In this version I pair the woodsy aroma of rosemary with the subtle flavour of vanilla. Try experimenting with other seasonings for different flavours.
What’s the secret for your best-tasting, juiciest holiday turkey ever? Brining—a centuries-old trick that the pros use. Soaking the turkey in salt water is simple and it really works. Brining encourages the tightly wound proteins in the meat to uncoil, bump into each other and form a web of sorts that sets in the heat of the oven, trapping flavourful moisture. Don’t worry though, you don’t have to be a scientist to appreciate how tasty this turkey will be.