This is a weekly (or darn close) staple at our house, and as I was making it yesterday it occurred to me – anything this SUPER EASY and SO GOOD should be shared. It can hardly be called a recipe, because it only has 3 ingredients. Instead, think of it as your quick fix solution to what to make for dinner/lunch at least 3 times a week!

Ingredients

Boneless Chicken Breasts with the skin on

Lemons

Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

Step 1.  Prepare chicken breasts.  {You can buy them boned, but it's easy once you get the hang of it. The difference in price between boned and boneless is substantial and plus you can save the bones for soup.}

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Take one boned chicken breast with skin still on and put it between two pieces of wax paper and pound it to a half inch thickness.  **Most important part of whole recipe **

{If you don't have wax paper, you can use plastic wrap or even parchment paper.  It doesn't matter what you pound it with as long as you end up with the entire piece being the same thickness}. 

This is essential because the chicken will cook evenly, instead of drying out on the thinner parts as is often the case when cooking boneless chicken breasts. Also, pounding tenderizes, making the meat denser and more flavorful.

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Step 2.  Make marinade.  I like to use one lemon per breast or less, for a light and not overpowering lemony flavor.  Sometimes I mix in a lime or two or you could even try a citrus combo of lemon, lime and orange.  

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Today I used 2 regular lemons and 2 meyer lemons from my little tree.

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Squeeze lemons into a receptacle like a ziplock bag, non-reactive bowl or what I use – a lasagna pan. Add some olive oil – the ratio I like is about half the volume of citrus juice.  Just eye ball it. A little more or less won't make a difference.  Add an herb of choice (optional – I used thyme), a big pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Tilt pan back and forth to swirl it all together.

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 Step 3.  Marinate.  Chicken can marinate in the fridge for up to 4 hours, or on the counter for an hour.

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Step 4. Grill (or broil) chicken skin side down for 5 mins or so, then flip and repeat.  Check for doneness and if needed, put back on grill.

I use a cast iron grill pan that goes over 2 burners.  It weighs a ton, but it's one of the most used items in our kitchen.  The reverse side is a griddle – perfect for making pancakes for a crowd.

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And that's it!

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The 20 minutes of prep/cooking time it takes, will save you hours during the rest of the week when you're frazzled, tired and tempted by high calorie take-out.  

This post could easily have been called 'Chicken a Bazillion Ways'.  Make a large batch on Sunday afternoon to use throughout the week. Here are some of our favorites:

*Fajitas – Serve with sauteed red and green peppers and red onion. Rice, beans and avocado wedges on the side.

*Chopped into a green salad. My daily lunch.

*In a Caesar Salad.

*Quesadillas – kids can make them themselves.  So much more satisfying than with just cheese!

*Sandwich with pesto mayo and arugula. Or with caramelized onions and brie. Or with barbecue sauce on a soft roll. Or warmed and open faced with marinara sauce and provolone.

*In pasta tossed with broccoli and lemon oil.

*Pot-luck showstopper – sliced with spicy peanut sauce for dipping.  

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This is my go-to party dish. I make it ALL the time. It will win rave reviews for taste, but even better, it will more than likely be the only protein among a sea of carbs.  The best peanut sauce recipe I've found is Ina Garten's. I think it's in her first book.. but email me if you want it.

I hope you try this and I'd love to hear about your variations!

Have a great week!

 

 

 

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