Basil Grilled Chicken

Paula Deen: foodnetwork.com

Another foodnetwork.com favorite, this chicken is absolutely scrumptious: the basil butter – to DIE for!  In fact, since the recipe makes much more of the basil butter than most of us would probably consume with the one meal (although you may just opt to eat the bowl of butter and leave the chicken), I also use it later with corn on the cob, grilled salmon, grilled/broiled asparagus etc.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 4 skinned chicken breast halves
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped basil leaves, plus 2 tablespoons freshly minced basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup (5 tablespoons) butter, melted, plus 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • Fresh basil springs, optional

Directions

Prepare charcoal grill.

Press the coarsely ground pepper into the meaty side of the chicken breast halves. Stir the chopped basil into the melted butter. Brush the chicken lightly with this mixture. In a small bowl, combine the softened butter, minced basil, Parmesan, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Beat at low speed with an electric mixer until smoothly blended. Transfer to a small serving bowl; set aside.

Grill the chicken over medium coals for 8 to 10 minutes on each side, basting frequently with the remaining melted butter mixture.

Serve the grilled chicken with the basil-butter mixture. Garnish with fresh basil springs, if desired.

Balsamic BBQ Sauce (to accompany chicken or steak)

Giada De Laurentis: Food Network.com


So.  Now that I’m an official contributor to Nat’s collection of favorite recipes, I’ll begin with my first favorite that came to mind.  I do this with a plug for foodnetwork.com, without which cooking simply would not happen in my house.  Although quite pungent whilst upon the stove, the final sauce is just heavenly.  I’ve always used it on chicken (Giada’s baked version always comes out moist, though grilled is my preference)  but I’m sure it would accompany a good steak very well.

Ingredients

For the Balsamic BBQ sauce:

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the chicken or steak:

  • 4 pieces chicken (any combination of breast or leg-and-thigh pieces) or 4 pieces of New York strip or Club strip steak
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the BBQ sauce:

Directions

Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and stir until all the ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Simmer over medium heat until reduced by 1/3, about 15 to 20 minutes.

For the chicken or steak:

Place a grill pan over medium heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Lightly coat with some of the BBQ sauce using a pastry brush. Place the meat on the grill. Place the remaining BBQ sauce, still in the small saucepan, over low heat or on the edge of a gas or charcoal grill and allow to gently simmer while the meat cooks.

Cook the chicken about 8 minutes per side. Cook the steaks starting at about 4 minutes per side until a meat thermometer reads the desired temperature, 120 degrees F for medium rare, 135 degrees F for medium (about 6 minutes per side), 155 degrees F for well done (about 9 minutes per side). Continually brush the meat with BBQ sauce every few minutes. Remove the meat from the grill and let rest for at least 5 minutes. Serve with the heated BBQ sauce alongside.

Alternately, the chicken can be baked in the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the chicken skin side up in a baking dish and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the baking dish from the oven and spoon the BBQ sauce all over the top of the chicken. Return the baking dish to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes.