Lemon pepper chicken used to be a regular staple in our grillable favorites. I’ve prepared two variations on this over the past week and both were well received. The first is closer to the original favorite recipe which we lost in our recent move. For this recipe I used three large boneless chicken breast which I halved. I zested and juiced two lemons. Set aside the zest from one lemon for use later. Pour the juice from the lemon into a ziplock bag along with an equal volume of olive oil. Chop the zest from one lemon and drop it in the bag. Add 2 tablespoons of cracked black pepper to the bag. Mix the contents of the bag and then and the six pieces of chicken. You can marinate the chicken from 30 minutes to two hours depending on how much time you have. Juice two more lemon. Place the juice, a dash of lemon zest and 3 ounces of Rosemary simple syrup in a saucepan and reduce over medium heat until it’s the consistency of honey.
After 30 minutes (or more) in the marinade, pat the chicken dry with a paper towel (try to minimize the amount of pepper and lemon zest you remove as you remove some of the excess liquid. Once you’ve patted down the chicken place it on a very hot gas or charcoal grill to sear on one side. After four to five minutes turn and reduce heat (gas) or place on a cooler section of your grill (charcoal).
Unless your working with really large pieces, the chicken should be cooked thoroughly in 11 to 12 minutes. In the first instance I prepared the chicken with grilled asparagus and mashed sweet potatoes. Once everything is plated, add one to two tablespoons of the lemon syrup to the chicken with a few pieces of zest as garnish.
In version two, I prepared the dish with boneless chicken thighs. The prep is the same regardless of whether you’re cooking thighs or breasts. Since I did this at dad’s with no grill, I seared the thighs in a hot cast iron skillet with a few tablespoons of olive oil.
After making sure both sides were browned, I transferred them to a broiler pan. They were cooked though in 12 minutes. With no grill, I opted for sauted brocolli with sliced garlic and black pepper. Since I’m a sucker for sweet potatoes, we went with mased baked sweet potatoes.