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June 18, 2007 / Tony

Grilled Chicken with Soy and Honey

The weather was so darn perfect that it would have been a crime not to grill out.  But since I was quite hungry and do not get home from work until around 6:15, I have to content myself with some pretty easy stuff.  So, the entree was just chicken breasts on the grill.  Well, of course, I had to do something than just chicken.  Here’s the recipe.

I marinated the chicken in onions, soy sauce, honey, orange juice, and some olive oil.  (I know the recipe asked for lemon juice but I never feel restricted to a recipe when I am cooking.  Baking is another matter altogether.)  It sat in the marinade for about an hour and after I removed the chicken from the marinade, I reduced what was left by about 1/2.  (Yes, another deviation from the recipe and I admit this one was inadvertent.)  The chicken cooked nicely over my charcoal grill and the reduced marinade made a very nice glaze.  I wasn’t expecting much from the recipe, it being so very, very simple, but I was surprised by the amount of flavor.  The honey added a pleasant but not overpowering sweetness, the soy sauce gave it saltiness and an Asian tang, the onions a little bit of sharpness and earthiness, and the orange juice added both acidity and sweetness.  Overall, it was a very tasty dish that I plan to make again.  When I do make it again, however, I am going to try to incorporate more of the glaze on the chicken by using a terriyaki method.  I’ll just keep putting the glaze on, a little at a time, until, hopefully, a thick layer of the glaze will be present on the chicken.  Also, I may try to add a little heat to the recipe either by Sriracha or red pepper flakes. 

Along with the chicken, I made Basic Rice Pilaf from the Joy of Cooking and green beans.  The pilaf was tasty even though it was only flavored by onions, homemade chicken stock, salt, pepper, and butter.  The ratio of stock to rice was 2:1 and at that ratio, I thought the rice was still a little bit underdone.  It still retained too much “bite” for my taste in rice.  Next time, at least another 1/4 cup of stock and perhaps as much as a 1/2 cup.  The flavor, however, was very good with a nice chicken flavor that was complimented by the onions.  (The onions were only sweated with no caramelization.)   I will try to make again-I should since pilaf is really a basic cooking technique and I have not done enough of it lately-and hopefully, have a much better time of it. 

The green beans were outstanding.  I started with this recipe:

But, I deviated heavily.  I left out the lemon zest, garlic, and chicken stock.  Some of it was laziness but really, I think the less you do to vegetables, the better they taste.  And I really just don’t see the point of adding chicken broth to flavor a side vegetable dish-I want to taste the vegetable not a chicken.  Anyway, so I simply blanched the beans for 4 minutes, didn’t bother to shock in an ice bath, and then kept them warm in a saute pan with the butter and the orange zest.  They were sublime.  They retained their crispness and their green bean flavor while the butter added richness and the zest seemed to heighten the flavor of the beans.  As an added bonus, by just using the zest, I avoided the discoloration of the beans that can occur if you put citrus juice directly on the beans.  Very nice recipe and something I will definitely repeat. 

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