While we were in Tenerife, one of our greatest pleasures was cooking and eating fresh food that we bought locally, at the cottage on the hill we were able to rent. I especially loved all of the citrus and fresh herbs that were available, along with summer crops like red peppers and eggplant! Here is a meal that we really loved– it was simple to prepare, and I was able to make it without any kitchen gadgets– just a mortar and pestal! By the way, my daughter named this dish– “Spring to Life” is how she felt about the zesty lemon and the wonderful herbs! I think you’ll love this recipe because it’s so simple and fresh. We really enjoyed the leftover Spring to Life Chicken the next day, too.
Spring to Life Grilled Chicken
What You’ll Need:
- 1 1/2 C fresh herbs– can be any combination of parsley, cilantro, fresh mint, or oregano– I used the first three.
- 4 cloves fresh garlic (more if your cloves are very small)
- coarse sea salt
- 1/4 C olive oil
- juice of one lemon
- cayenne pepper or chili flakes, optional
- 6 chicken legs, skin-on. (Of course, you can also use a whole chicken broken into parts, or whatever you like. But the legs are the most flavorful.)
- a mortar and pestal or a little food chopper or blender. An immersion blender like this would also work well.
What to Do:
- Roughly chop the herbs, and put them into the mortar bowl. (To be honest, I should have chopped my herbs more– but didn’t have a chopping board!) Add the garlic cloves and salt, and mash them well. Sideways movements will help turn them into a paste.
- Add the lemon juice and olive oil, and incorporate them, making a marinade. Add the chili or cayenne, if using.
- Coat the chicken pieces with the marinade, and leave for several hours– overnight is best. I usually like to do this in a ziplock bag.
- Grill the chicken, or broil in your oven, until golden and crispy, juices running clear when pricked.
We ate ours with grilled peppers and eggplant slices. I also made a fresh herb salad– I chopped the same type of herbs I used for my marinade and tossed them with lemon juice, olive oil and a little salt– it was the perfect, bright compliment to the marinated chicken– I guess you could say those flavors sprang to life!
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