balsamic basil grilled chicken
sandwich and/or salad!
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George and I just got home from an absolutely epic trip to Vancouver Island and Vancouver. We hiked, surfed, fished, had a spa day (OK I had two spa days), slept late (8 a.m.!!), and ate so much incredibly delicious food.
Like, so, so much incredibly delicious food. So much. So, so, so much.
We are both feeling a little softer around the edges than we did ten days ago (yeah, yeah, I know I’m pregnant, that’s certainly also helping), so I wanted to come up with a kick ass, non-boring grilled chicken recipe that could be served as a salad or sandwich for all of your backyard barbecue needs this summer.
A good old hot dog and burger party rocks, but next time, throw this chicken into the mix, too. It’ll kick your barbecue up a notch, and everyone will be asking for the recipe.
tell me more about this sando/salad situation
Chicken thighs are the hero of a good chicken sandwich (but don’t worry, thigh haters, there’s a breast sub for you in the notes below the recipe). We’re marinating them in an herby balsamic honey marinade — but before we do that, we’ll pull some of that marinade out of the bowl to dilute and use as our salad dressing later! I love a good two-recipes-for-the-work-of-one hack, and this is a delightful one.
While the chicken marinates, we’ll whip up a beautiful, simple summer salad and some sun-dried tomato and basil mayo.
When it’s grub time, we’ll quickly cook up our chicken, which will get beautiful char marks on it thanks to the sugar in the balsamic vinegar and honey. (A bit of sugar in a marinade helps the meat to brown really beautifully, as well as get a nice crisp sear!)
No grill? No problem. Roast those thighs in the oven! Easy!
A slice of havarti or white cheddar melted over the thighs during the last 30 seconds of cooking is truly delightful, then we toast our buns and are ready to chow down.
I like to serve this meal family style or buffet style — letting everyone build their own sandwich or salad.
My favorite part about this is that there is no loser. Usually if you’re eating the “healthier option” you’re sacrificing some delicious part of the meal, but that really isn’t the case here. The sandwich and salad are both equally delicious in their own way, and if you go the sandwich route, you get to enjoy the same salad as a side dish, just without the chicken on top!
as a reminder: these are the only grill tools you need
We discussed this last time we made grilled chicken sandwiches (oh picky chicky sandos, how I love thee!), but it’s worth a reminder:
Silicone tongs: I freaking hate those gigantic, unwieldy, stainless steel grill tongs. They are so unnecessary. I just use long silicone tongs, which can fit in a normal drawer easily and can also be used indoors in your nonstick skillets.
Grill brush: I have tried many grill brushes and this is my current fave.
Meat thermometer: I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: You do not have x-ray vision! You cannot cook perfectly cooked meat without a meat thermometer.
balsamic basil grilled chicken (sandwich and/or salad!)
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