Recipes

Jun 12, 2013 7:43 PM

Grilled lemonade chicken

Later this month, Chef Virginia Willis is going to conduct a weeklong culinary and cooking seminar at Rancho La Puerta Spa in Mexico where you can join her for a sensational week of sustainability and Southern sensibility.

Chef Willis, the renowned cookbook author and teacher, is the author of numerous works including one of my favorite cookbooks Bon Appetit Y'all. You might have cheered on as a Chopped Finalist on Food Network. Recently she was at the Busch Gardens food and Wine festival where she "Wowed" guests with her Grilled Lemonade Chicken.

Grilled Lemonade Chicken
Serves 4
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cups lemonade
¼ cup freshly chopped mixed herbs such as basil, mint, and parsley
2 cloves garlic, mashed into a paste
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place the chicken in a medium bowl. Add lemonade, herbs, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate to marinate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare a charcoal fire using about 6 pounds of charcoal and burn until the coals are completely covered with a thin coating of light gray ash, 20 to 30 minutes. Spread the coals evenly over the grill bottom, position the grill rack above the coals, and heat until medium hot (when you can hold your hand 5 inches above the grill surface for no longer than 3 or 4 seconds). Or, for a gas grill, turn all burners to high, close the lid, and heat until very hot, 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove chicken from marinade; place on grill. Discard marinade. Cook, turning once or twice, until the meat is firm to the touch and the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced with the tip of a knife, about 10 minutes.

Summer Succotash
Serves 4 to 6
Succotash has many versions, but all contain corn and beans. If butterbeans are not available, I often substitute shelled edamame or black-eyed peas. Small farm stands, local and state farmer's markets, and even the Whole Foods in my area usually carry shelled peas and butterbeans in the summer. They are both doubly precious-extremely delicious and fairly expensive, the result of the luxury of not having to shell your own.
1 1/2 cups shelled fresh butterbeans (about 1 1/2 pounds unshelled) or frozen butter beans
2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, diced
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
Scraped kernels from 4 ears fresh sweet corn (about 2 cups)
1 yellow squash, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 cup grape, cherry, or teardrop tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup freshly chopped mixed herbs such as basil, oregano, and parsley
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

To cook the beans, place them in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat and season the water with salt and pepper; decrease the heat to low. Simmer until tender, about 30 minutes for fresh beans, less for frozen. Drain well and set aside.
To cook the potatoes, place them in a second saucepan and cover by 1 inch with cold water; season with salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then decrease the heat to low and simmer until the potatoes are just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside. (You can also microwave the potatoes whole, then dice them. They simply need to be parcooked before being added to the succotash.)
In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, heat the oil and the butter over high heat until the foam subsides. Add the drained potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook the potatoes, stirring infrequently, until nicely crusted, 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the onion, corn, squash, and zucchini and cook, stirring, until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the reserved butter beans and cook, stirring, until heated through. Add the tomatoes and fresh basil, stirring to combine. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve hot, warm, or cold.

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