Marinades also add flavor to the bird. A basic marinade consists of vinegar (or lemon juice), oil, and aromatics and seasoning, much like a French dressing, but not as rich.
Today I used the orange vinegar (Soy Domenico) that I told you about in my article on citrus, with a dash of olive oil, and some extra ground red pepper, and some Kikkoman soy sauce and a dash of mushroom soy. If I had some leftover red wine (ha!) I would have donated that as well. You can add herbs, spices, brandy, and other goodies, ad lib.
Marinades can be very lean, with little or no oil if you choose, for skin on chicken, but for skinless chicken or breasts, some oil helps to keep the flesh from sticking to the grill. The leanest that I use is fresh orange, lime or lemon juice and pepper, and it works well, and needs little time on the bird. There are no hard and fast rules, and this is a good place to play with flavors. Stuff some fresh herbs under the skin, and rub the marinade in well.
A few pots of fresh herbs in the kitchen window will make you look and feel like a real cook. Chef Albert Stockli always had fresh herbs. I know because I used to bring them to him every week from New Jersey. You can get very nice pots of fresh herbs for around $3 in the supermarket today, far less than Chef Stockli paid. Fresh herbs are also very good in salads, and salads are what you want to be eating with grilled chicken, along with some nice crusty bread, brushed with olive oil and toasted along with the bird. Fruit salsas also go well with grilled bird.
© 1997, Steve K. Holzinger. All rights reserved.
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