Sunday, May 10, 2009

Grilled Chicken Tenders with Rosemary/Garlic/Lemon Marinade

A simple and spectacular meal.
Living in the South, I now have abundant, year-round access to one of my favorite herbs: rosemary. Here it grows to the size of a shrub and can actually be a nuisance in the garden. I recently made this marinade for chicken tenders and we devoured each and every one. I'm sure it would work well with chicken breasts, too. Just be sure not to overcook them.

  • 12-16 meaty chicken tenders
  • 1/4-cup soft, unsalted butter
  • 1/4-cup olive oil
  • 1/2-cup fresh rosemary needles stripped from stems
  • 3 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • Zest from one lemon
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Place butter, olive oil, rosemary needles, peeled garlic cloves, lemon zest and lemon juice in a food processor and pulse until fully blended.

Arrange washed and dried chicken tenders on a baking sheet with foil. Place close together. Sprinkle with fresh salt and pepper to taste. With a spoon, spread each tender with herb mixture. Place in refrigerator until butter sets and then cover with another sheet of foil. Allow to marinate for 3-6 hours.

Start grill. Just before cooking, coat grill with non-stick spray. Cook tenders over medium heat, herb mixture side up. When edges begin to turn white, carefully flip over and continue to cook--about five minutes per side. Do not overcook. Remove to a pan and cover with foil. Allow to rest 5-10 minutes before serving. If desired, grill lemon slices to use as garnish.

Note: You can save a bit of the marinade to baste the chicken while cooking or to use as extra sauce for people to brush on their chicken. I serve this with plain white rice and sauteed button mushrooms with green onions.