The Contessa is in charge of dinner tonight. It's Barefoot Thursdays, so grab a fork and join in. This week, our job was to butterfly a whole chicken and smother it with lemon, garlic, and rosemary. The first problem for me was that I had just done about the same thing only a couple nights before, only with chicken tenders and sweet little slices of grilled lemon to squeeze atop. Should I have made it again for authenticity????
Between you and me, I don't relish the idea of butterflying a chicken. It sounds like something you might get arrested for doing. I've done it before, but I was younger and invulnerable then.
Since I'd already made some sensible and sumptuous chicken tenders, I'd already made a perfectly companionable side dish, too. The marinade for the chicken will do double duty as a dressing for a tri-colored roasted bell pepper salad, sprinkled with feta and a smidge of fresh basil. Roasting peppers is a snap; peeling them is another story. It's not pretty or fun, but the reward is a toasty, smoky sweet bell pepper. Check out the real chicken recipe here; for my version, boogie on down.
Money Saving Tips: Late summer is the best time to find a good deal on bell peppers. If you can find them for less than a dollar a piece, buy up the lot. Use any boneless, skinless chicken you can get for a good price. You should be able to find great meat and poultry deals this week for Labor Day. Swap out fresh basil for extra rosemary, or feta for parmesan, according to what you have on hand.
Garlic, and Rosemary Chicken Tenders with Grilled Lemons
and Roasted Bell Pepper Salad
Estimated Cost: $10.00
Notes: I estimated the cost a bit high, but that's assuming you have to pay for your fresh rosemary or can't get peppers for a great price. Hopefully you can get these items from the garden for free.
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons lemon juice, plus one lemon, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1 lb. chicken tenders or other boneless, skinless chicken
10 small fresh rosemary sprigs, plus more for garnish
3 bell peppers, preferably of different colors
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or flat leaf parsley
1-2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
In a small bowl combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt and pepper. Set aside 3 tablespoons of olive oil mixture in a small bowl. In a pie dish, place chicken. Pour marinade over the top. Poke in sprigs of rosemary all around the chicken. Cover and refrigerate, turning often, for at least one hour and up to 24 hours. Prepare grill for medium hot cooking. Grill chicken tenders for about 3-4 minutes per side. Grill lemon slices also, for about 1 minute per side, until slightly charred in places. Let chicken rest for five minutes before serving. Serve with fresh rosemary sprigs and grilled lemon slices. Meanwhile, char peppers over gas flame or broil in the oven on foil lined baking sheet until mostly blackened. Place in paper sack for 10 minutes to steam. (This will make it easier to remove the skin.) Peel peppers as best you can, scraping with a paring knife, discard seeds and core and slice into thin strips. Toss with reserved 3 tablespoons lemon dressing and chopped basil; season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with feta before serving.
I know they look a bit homely, but these ugly ducklings grow up delicious.
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