You know you've been there before. -(Insert name of your boss/parents/in-laws/health and/or junk-food loving friends)- are coming over for dinner, and it's been on the calendar for weeks. You have absolutely no excuse for being caught off guard by this, and the thought of putting together an entire meal for grown-ups is enough to make you spend an hour Googling believable get-out-of-plans diseases.
No? Doesn't sound familiar? Oh...
Well I'm sure you can still agree that, simply put, planning a full meal for company can be daunting. Solution: a solid recipe and a plan of attack.
Me, I need to write everything down, such as what I'm making, what I'm making to go with it, and where/when I need to buy the ingredients. You should see my lists. Yes. Plural. And cross-referenced, beat that.
I also like to keep it as simple as possible, and make as much as I can ahead of time, because 1) no one wants to be slaving away in the kitchen not having fun, and 2) no one wants to WATCH you slaving away in the kitchen not having fun.
Unsolicited tips now shared, this is my idea of a solid summer time company-pleasing recipe: Grilled Lemon Chicken.
But wait! This recipe is not your average lemon chicken recipe, which really has gotten a bad rap over time, don't you think? To me, it seems like lemon chicken is misunderstood. I think it means well, but really it's tired of being breaded, it's had enough of being oiled and pan-fried, and I think it's sick of being, well, blah. No wonder it hasn't really inspired any cook lately.
This recipe is a nice change-up from the same-old lemon chicken. It's fresh and light, a snap to prepare, and it's actually *special*. Serve it on a bed of long-grain rice with a salad on the side, open up a bottle of white wine, and enjoy your company!
Oh yeah, and don't forget to clear your Google search history.
Grilled Lemon Chicken
adapted from Fitness Magazine
yields 4 servings
2-3 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tbs white vinegar
2 tbs fresh dill, chopped
2 tbs fresh basil, chopped
1 tbs honey
1 tbs dijon mustard
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 lb chicken breast (either thin sliced or pounded thin)
1 lemon, sliced
1/3 c kalamata olives, sliced
2 c cooked long-grain or wild rice (optional)
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, dill, basil, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper. Slowly whisk in the oil to combine.
Place your chicken in a plastic zip-lock bag, and add 1/3 cup of the prepared marinade and half of the lemon slices. Refridgerate the chicken for 2 hrs, and reserve the remaining marinade, adding the olives and the rest of the lemon slices.
Place the grill on medium-high heat, remove the chicken from the marinade, and grill 5-6 mins per side. Discard the used marinade.
To serve for company, place the grilled chicken on a bed of long-grain or wild rice. Then drizzle with the remaining marinade, arranging the lemon slices and olives over top to dazzle everyone with your skill and presentation!