Yay! My brother, Roger, came to visit me! He doesn’t live close so I don’t get to see him (or my sister-in-law or my adorable nephew) as much as I’d like. But Rog is a commercial pilot and he was able to manage a leg of a work trip with a day off not too far from Windsor. So he was able to come spend a day with me lounging by the pool.[hr] [row_fluid][span4]
[/span4][span8] I know Rog likes chicken a lot so when I saw the next recipe in the project was a chicken recipe I knew it would be perfect for us to have for dinner. The recipe came from Bon Appetit’s “The Grilling Book” edited by Adam Rapoport. I have to say out of all the cooking magazines I subscribe to, Bon Appetit is my favorite. I find their recipes to be the most flavorful and I love flavor!
[/span8][/row_fluid] [hr] [row_fluid][span4] [/span4][span8] The recipe was for Mediterranean chicken and I need to make a Za’atar rub. Traditional Za’atar is made from dried herbs including marjoram and thyme. Bon Appetit’s updated Za’atar version is modified to create vibrancy. But making the Za’atar was very easy, I mixed fresh chopped oregano, ground cumin, sesame seeds, sumac, salt and pepper. The Za’atar can be made up to 2 weeks ahead of time, I made mine a few days before.
[/span8][/row_fluid] [hr] [row_fluid][span4] [/span4][span8] The day before my brother’s arrival I roasted 2 heads of garlic. To do this I cut the top third off each head and placed them on a large sheet of aluminum foil and drizzled with 1 TB of olive oil. I wrapped the oil tightly around the heads and put them into a 400 degree oven for 50 minutes.
[/span8][/row_fluid] [hr] [row_fluid][span4] [/span4][span8] Once the garlic was cool enough to handle I went to work on making the marinade for the chicken. I squeezed the cloves of garlic from their skins into a small bowl. I then smashed the cloves into a paste with the back of fork. I whisked in lemon zest, lemon juice, rosemary, Serrano chile, and marjoram.
[/span8][/row_fluid] [hr] [row_fluid][span4] [/span4][span8] I then took a whole chicken and cut out the backbone. Then I cut the chicken in half lengthwise at the breast. I put the chicken in a glass baking dish and sprinkled with some of the Za’atar. Then I poured the garlic mixture over the chicken and turned the chicken halves several times to coat. The baking dish got covered in plastic wrap and placed in the refrigerator overnight.
[/span8][/row_fluid] [hr] [row_fluid][span4] [/span4][span8] The next day (after lounging poolside all day – see first picture in this post) I removed the chicken from the refrigerator and let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. I seasoned it with salt and pepper. The chicken then went on my grill which was set at medium.
[/span8][/row_fluid] [hr] [row_fluid][span4] [/span4][span8] The chicken cooked for 35 minutes, I turned it several times during that time. Then I removed it from the grill and sprinkled it with more Za’atar, let it rest and cut up to serve.
The Verdict: Very good! Al even said later when we went to Kildare House that he was little hungry but didn’t want to eat anything because then he wouldn’t have the taste of the chicken in his mouth anymore. What a compliment Al! I do have to say with all the prep needed for this chicken I probably won’t make it again. I find my brick chicken (read blog post here) is much easier and produces very similar results. But for those die hard garlic fans that want to give this one a try you can grab the recipe here.