Grilled Velvet Chicken
A Cooking with Kids Original Recipe
Prep time: 12 minutes if making the dressing from scratch; 2 minutes if using pre-made Cool-as-a-Cucumber Dressing.
Marinate time: 30 minutes, preferably longer
Cook time: 7 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
I discovered this dish quite by accident. While creating the recipes for this book, I found myself with a surplus of Cool-as-a-Cucumber Dressing—the dressing tastes so good that I hated to waste it. When a heat wave hit, I fled from the kitchen to the outdoor grill. Killing two birds with one cucumber, so to speak, I quickly thawed some ice-glazed boneless chicken breasts in the microwave, poked them several times with a fork to marinate them more quickly, and heavily doused them with the Cool-as-a-Cucumber Dressing before grilling. What a success! The chicken came out tasting smooth as velvet, with a subtle mouth-watering sweetness, faint hints of cucumber, and a lovely smokiness from the grill. It also couldn't be easier. My family calls this the best chicken that 'I've ever made. Of course, I told them, I'd planned it that way all the time.
Ingredients and Steps
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
- 1/2 cup Cool-as-a-Cucumber Dressing
- Poke chicken pieces with fork about 7 to 10 times on each side.
- Coat with Cool-as-a-Cucumber Dressing in a shallow dish or plastic bag and refrigerate from 30 minutes to overnight.
- When ready to cook, heat the grill or broiler until very hot. Lightly coat the grilling surface with vegetable oil.
- Grill or broil chicken pieces for a few minutes on each side, until the flesh is firm, not rubbery, and just barely pink inside, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees. Be careful not to overcook, or the chicken will dry out. Flip to Chapter 13 for tips on grilling and broiling.
Vary It! This recipe uses pineapple, but experiment with your own favorite fruits and flavorings. Indians may sweeten this drink with sugar, fruit, or fruit juice, and enhance the taste with cardamom, nutmeg, mint, or rose water, among others. For a savory lassi, blend in chiles, ginger, cumin, salt, or garlic. Use the Cool-as-a-Cucumber Dressing as the basis of a refreshing non-fruit lassi, thinning it as desired with more yogurt or ice.
Piercing the chicken pieces before marinating, a technique practiced in India, allows the dressing to penetrate better. Don't pierce the meat after it begins to cook though, or the juices run out and the meat becomes dry.
Recipe © 1999, 2007 by Kate Heyhoe
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