Dr. O’s brother and his girlfriend came to stay with us this past weekend (our seventh set of houseguests in under three months!). I planned a barbecue for Sunday afternoon, knowing that we had family and friends who would want to see them before they left that evening. The challenge, though, was in the timing… Every minute of their visit was scheduled until Sunday morning. What kind of menu could I put together in a pinch that would still allow me to spend time with my guests?
Our friend Paul made part of the menu planning easy for me. His family owns Gold’n Plump Chicken, so he bought me a whole pile of it at SuperTarget on Wednesday. (He was our houseguest earlier in the week, so I got wine and chicken as my hostess gifts. I’ll take it!) I’m all for supporting his family’s business, but I don’t typically buy Gold’n Plump chicken because I don’t do my grocery shopping at Target. I was curious to see, though, how it would compare to my usual generic grocery store brand.
I wanted to marinate the chicken in something before I grilled it, so I settled on Prudence Pennywise’s recipe for Cilantro Honey-Lime Grilled Chicken. Since I tripled the recipe for my crowd, I combined 1 cup of lime juice, 1 tablespoon of lime zest, 3/4 cup of olive oil, 3 tablespoons of minced garlic, 1 finely chopped jalapeno, 1 tablespoon each coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, 6 tablespoons of honey, and 1 cup of chopped cilantro in a medium bowl. I divided the marinade equally between two large zip-top bags and placed six boneless, skinless chicken breasts in each (about 3 pounds total). (I had pounded the chicken to 1/2-inch thickness for faster and more even cooking.) I stashed the chicken in the refrigerator until it was time to grill it; my marinating time ended up being about six hours.
When we were ready to eat, I heated my gas grill to medium heat and grilled the chicken breasts for 5 minutes on each side and then let them rest for 5 minutes before serving. I rounded out the menu with Hill Country Coleslaw, Southwestern Two-Bean Salad (my next post, promise!), and watermelon wedges.
I adore this recipe. It’s so simple but incredibly delicious! The lime is the predominant flavor, though you can definitely taste the garlic and cilantro as well. I should have been braver with the jalapenos since they didn’t really come through; next time I’ll use two or three. Other than that, though, the flavor balance was spot on; everyone at the table commented on how good the chicken turned out.
As for Gold’n Plump versus my regular grocery store chicken…
I promise I’d never sell out for a freebie (it would take a lot more to buy me off than some free chicken!), but I do think the Gold’n Plump product is superior to the stuff I buy on sale at King Soopers. The breasts I grilled were exceptionally tender and juicy. My cousin and I were talking about it on Sunday, and she said that she likes to buy it occasionally because she doesn’t have to trim hunks of fat or stringy veins off of it. So true. Plus, Gold’n Plump doesn’t add any hormones or fillers, which is a positive in my book. It reminds me a lot of the chicken we used to get at Central Market when we were living in Dallas… It’s more expensive, but you get what you pay for. I will probably start picking it up for entertaining from here on out.
Recipe link: Cilantro Honey-Lime Grilled Chicken