It's #FoodCrushFriday! I love to grill year round, but in the summertime I live at the grill. I will grill everything from salad greens to fruit for dessert. Not only does it keep my kitchen cool during hotter months, but there's something about grill marks on my food that makes my heart sing.
Here's a recipe for Tuscan Grilled Chicken and Grilled Baby Artichokes. It's the perfect meal for eating outdoors, too! There's just a hint of spice to go with all the delicious flavor, but feel free to add a little more heat if you dare. Just add your favorite hot sauce to the sauce (or you can do like I do and add it to the marinade, too!)
Just serve with a refreshing white sangria or if you have any extra basil, infuse it in simple syrup to make Erika Preval's Homemade Basil Lemonade. Click here for the recipe.
Tuscan Grilled Chicken with Rosemary and Lemon
1 whole chicken (either cut in parts or whole with backbone removed & flattened)
lemon (for serving)
- 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
- 2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- juice from one lemon
- 1/4 c. sun-dried tomatoes (use variety that's packed in oil)
- 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 tsp. honey
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- oil from sun-dried tomatoes (as needed)
- salt and pepper
- vegetable oil for brushing grill grates
To prepare marinade, combine all marinade ingredients (oil, garlic, rosemary, red pepper flakes and lemon juice) in a small bowl and whisk. Place chicken in a shallow baking dish or in a large gallon-size freezer bag and pour marinade all over chicken. Turn or shake chicken several times to coat and rub marinade all over the sides of the chicken. If baking dish is used, cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate marinated chicken for an hour.
To prepare sauce, add sun-dried tomatoes, red wine vinegar, tomato paste, honey, garlic and red pepper flakes in food processor. Process until it becomes a smooth paste, adding small amounts of oil from sun-dried tomatoes as needed. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Prepare grill (gas: medium heat, charcoal: moderate fire, or stove top: large grill pan over medium heat). Brush grates or pan lightly with vegetable oil. Place chicken skin side down on grill. If using a whole chicken, flatten with grill press or heavy weighted skillet. Cook until skin is browned, about 15 to 20 minutes (or 10 to 15 minutes if using parts). Remove weight and baste chicken with grilling sauce. Flip chicken using tongs baste again, flatten with press, and continue cooking until well browned and cooked completely, another 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from grill and let chicken rest on cutting board. Tent with foil to keep warm.
Serve whole chicken in quarters and squeeze lemon juice over each piece.
Grilled Baby Artichokes with Basil Aioli
8 baby artichokes
1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
salt and pepper
Basil Aioli (recipe makes 1 1/3 c.):
- 1 c. loosely packed fresh basil
- 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 c. vegetable or canola oil
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 tsp. dry mustard powder
- 1 tsp. water
- ground white pepper
- zest of half a lemon
- fresh squeezed lemon juice, as needed
To prepare artichokes, squeeze juice from lemon half into a large bowl of cold water. Cut stem off an artichoke. Snap off several of the bottom three rows of leaves until you reach the more tender leaves. Cut off artichoke tip to remove the pointy leaf tips (approximately one inch). Halve artichoke lengthwise. Using a spoon or melon baller, scrape out the small, inner choke. Place artichoke half in lemon water. Repeat with remaining artichokes.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add artichoke halves and boil until tender, about 5 to 6 minutes. Drain in a colander and pat dry with paper towels. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil and garlic. Add the warm artichoke halves, tossing well to coat with marinade. Set aside for at least 30 minutes.
Prepare to grill (charcoal fire: medium, gas: preheat to medium, stovetop: large grill pan over medium heat). Remove artichokes from marinade, remove excess liquid and reserve the marinade. Season with salt and pepper and place on grill. Cook until distinct grill marks develop, turning once, about 7 to 8 minutes total.
Serve grilled artichokes drizzled with the reserved marinade and basil aioli (recipe below). Serve immediately.
To prepare aioli, bring a medium pot of salted water to rolling boil. Add basil and blanch just until wilted, about 20 seconds. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool. Squeeze as much water as possible from basil leaves. Place basil in blender and add oils. Process to a smooth mixture and set aside.
Whisk together the egg yolks, mustard powder, and water in a medium mixing bowl. While whisking vigorously, add basil oil in drops to form an emulsion. Continue whisking and slowly drizzle in the remaining oil to form a thick sauce. (Instead of whisking, can also be prepared in a food processor fitted with metal blade. Must add the oil slowly while the motor is running.) Taste and season with salt, pepper, lemon zest, and juice. Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to use.