Grilling Dinner Menu: Cantanzaro Herbed Chicken

I get gifts! One I got this year was a box of assorted large bottles of spice mixes. I’ve enjoyed each unique blend, especially the Peruvian one, since it’s been a while since we have been able to frequent our favorite Peruvian restaurant here.

Tonight’s menu features the Cantanzaro spice mix. Cantanzaro is a city in Italy.  So there are a lot of herbs this Italian girl recognizes: marjoram, basil, thyme, rosemary and oregano. And garlic, lots of garlic. But the kicker is the lemon and lemon peel.

It’s all very fresh for summer and great for grilling.

On the board tonight:

  1. Grilled Cantanzaro Herbed Chicken Breasts
  2. Grilled peppers and onions (toss sliced onions and favorite mix of peppers with olive oil, salt, pepper and grill in a grilling pan)
  3. Cucumber-Tomato Salad (recipe here)
  4. Gelato (recipes here)

Grilled Cantanzaro Herbed Chicken Breast

  • 1 to 1-1/2 lb boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp each: garlic powder, dried marjoram, basil, oregano, thyme and rosemary,
  • 1 tbsp lemon peel
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

grill, marinade container

Butterfly chicken breasts (slicing them open down the center so they lie flat like butterfly wings). Place them in between two pieces of plastic wrap, and pound until they are about 1/2 inch thick – you don’t want them much thinner because they will dry out on the grill.

Crush together the dry herbs. You can do it with your fingers or use a mortar and pestle.  Combine with the lemon peel.

Place chicken breasts in a shallow container with a lid (I love my pyrex containers for this). Sprinkle 1/2 the herbs over the chicken, flip and sprinkle the remaining over the other side. Cover with lemon juice (start with 1/2 cup and use up to a cup to get coverage).

Marinate for at least 30 minutes to an hour.

Grill quickly over high heat to get a good sear on both sides, reduce heat (or remove the chicken from directly over a coal fire, to the side of the grill) and grill over low heat until the internal temperature is about 160 degrees F.  Once removed from the grill, tent loosely with foil and it will quickly reach an internal temperature of 165 without drying out.

Serve with grilled peppers and onions and a cucumber tomato salad.