Chicken thighs in a herb-lemon-garlic marinade, with griddled asparagus and cherry tomatoes

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I have been restraining myself from splashing out on asparagus for a while. I inquire, hopefully, as to the cost of a bundle every time I see some good specimens at the shuk and so far this year have always had those hopes dashed by the response – usually in the area of NIS 35 shekels for a relatively small bundle. I’ve continued to check just in case the price drops but to no avail.

This evening, I treated my 3 year old to her dream dinner of pizza and ice cream. On our way, we popped into the local greengrocer to pick up some cherry tomatoes and cucumbers and I was greeted by some good looking asparagus for a “mere” NIS 23. Well – what the hell – I figured that if I was treating her then I could also treat myself!

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After my daughter was fed, watered and tucked up in bed, I pulled out some chicken and made a speedy marinade of all the things that I love most and keep around the kitchen or garden: rosemary, thyme, lemon zest and juice, garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper. Give me any of these, in any sort of combination and I’m a happy camper! I beat these all up a bit in my pestle and mortar and threw the resulting mixture into a ziplock with chicken thighs and drumsticks. Ideally these should be left for as long as possible to soak up flavours but I was short on time – the result was still pretty good!

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The chicken can either go in the oven to roast or on the grill – I love going out on our porch and fulfilling that primal urge to cook meat with fire – preferably with a beer in hand but in this case I opted for the inside option as I had other stuff to do around the kitchen.

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The asparagus was pretty skinny so I opted to simply cook them on a hot grill pan, together with some of the cherry tomatoes. Straight into the hot pan, turning occasionally – all cooked in 4 or 5 minutes. I decided to pep it up with a little dijon vinaigrette but it would have been marvelous as is or with a little sea salt scattered over. A very delicious and attractive plate.

Ingredients

2 chicken leg sections, divided into thigh and drumstick (or whatever part of the chicken you prefer)

1/2 a bundle of asparagus (or however much you think is good for 2 people)

12 – 16 cherry tomatoes – on the vine is great for presentation

Marinade

Zest and juice of 1 medium lemon

leaves from 2 branches of rosemary

leaves of 2 sprigs of thyme (if using fresh rosemary and thyme, run your fingers down the branches, the leaves should come off easily and your fingers will smell good!)

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed

good lug of olive oil

salt and pepper

For the dijon vinaigrette:

1/2 tsp grainy dijon mustard (I usually add more)

1/2 tbsp vinegar

1 crushed garlic clove

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

Method

Make your marinade by pounding the herbs together with the other ingredients in a pestle and mortar. Alternatively, chopped everything finely and mix.

Put your chicken pieces in a zip lock or other sealable plastic bag together with the marinade and leave for as long as you have – overnight is ideal.

Bake in a hot oven for 30 – 40 minutes depending on the size of your pieces of chicken – it should take a little less on a grill.

Shake the vinaigrette ingredients together in a glass jar.

Heat a grill pan, grill or broiler and add the asparagus and tomatoes. Cook, turning occasionally for 5 – 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate and dressing with the vinaigrette

 

 

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3 responses to “Chicken thighs in a herb-lemon-garlic marinade, with griddled asparagus and cherry tomatoes

  1. Love dinners like this. Few ingredients that work hard and taste fabulous! Just googled the conversion rate for shekels to pounds and yes, I can see that those asparagus were a treat!! It’s almost double the price of the supermarket here but yours do look lovely!

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