Grilled Chicken With Fresh Herbs & Tomato Compote
(Makes 6 servings)
(Zov’s Restaurant, Tustin, CA)
This is a very simple recipe, yet the dish has such bold flavors. Cinnamon
is the secret ingredient that lends a unique taste. Serve with classic rice pilaf,
roasted potatoes with parsley or buttered pasta alongside.
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
3 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh oregano
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp. lemon pepper
½ tsp. sweet paprika
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Nonstick cooking spray
2 Tbs. olive oil
12 oz. tomatoes, cut into ½-inch pieces
¼ cup finely chopped red onion
3 Tbs. finely chopped fresh Italian Parsley
3 Tbs. finely chopped fresh oregano
2 tsp. minced garlic
½ tsp. ground black pepper
½ tsp. salt
½ cup pine nuts, toasted
To cook the chicken: Whisk the lemon juice, oil, parsley, oregano, salt, black pepper, lemon pepper, paprika and cinnamon in a 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 1 day, turning occasionally.
Spray the grill rack with nonstick cooking spray. Prepare the barbecue for medium-high heat. Grill the chicken breasts until they are just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. The chicken should still be firm to the touch; if it’s too firm, it is overcooked and will be dry. So watch it carefully.
Meanwhile prepare the tomato compote: Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes, onion, parsley, oregano, garlic, pepper and salt. Saute just until the tomatoes are heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in the pine nuts.
Transfer the chicken to a platter, spoon the warm tomato compote over the chicken and serve.
COOK’S NOTES: Make sure you use fresh herbs as their oils will infuse the chicken with flavorful nuances. If desired, you can substitute fresh thyme or rosemary for the oregano.
The tomato compote compliments grilled salmon or halibut as well.