Grilled Lemon Chicken

So it’s rather funny to me looking through pictures of the delicious grilled dish I’m blogging about today – as it has been pouring on and off all day. Listening to loud claps of thunder and rain against the window is quite relaxing – but it is certainly not grilling weather!

Good thing it’s supposed to be gorgeous out this weekend though – not to mention my husband takes his exam on Saturday so we get to celebrate with friends on Saturday night  at our favorite watering hole!

Anyways, I often get wrapped up in making an elaborate meal with lots of ingredients or that requires a lot of time to marinate when it comes to grilling.

But this recipe? This is a piece of cake. Well, not really – it’s chicken people. See the title?

I served this with my Feta Mac n Cheese and some green beans – but next time, when I actually have groceries in my house, I’m definitely going to throw this together with some potatoes and a crisp green salad!

Oh and if there are any of you out there afraid of your grill – don’t be! Embrace it – there is no better time to learn than right now and I promise you, it’s kind of addictive once you’ve learned the ropes. This is a great “starter” recipe…and it’s only 6 WW points per serving!

Grilled Lemon Chicken (serves 2)

2 thin cut chicken breasts (about 4 oz. each)

3 Tbsp. reduced-calorie margarine

2 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce

1/4 tsp. honey

1/4 tsp. Dijon mustard

1/4 tsp. minced garlic

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Pinch of salt

Preheat your grill to about 375 degrees.

In a small saucepan, heat your margarine. Add your lemon juice, soy sauce, honey, mustard, garlic, salt and cayenne pepper.

Whisk ingredients together until well incorporated.

Now, arm yourself for grilling! Take your chicken, some tongs, your sauce and a basting brush.

Place chicken on the grill and brush the top with your sauce.

Close cover and cook 3-4 minutes. Flip and brush other side with sauce.

Once you have cooked another 3-4 minutes, reduce heat to about 350. Flip chicken every 2 minutes or so, basting with the sauce.

Once your chicken is cooked through and you have some nice grill marks (not char marks, mind you) you are ready to plate. I added one last brush of sauce once it was on the plate to ensure all of the flavor was there!

Just so your chicken doesn’t feel left out, make sure and add some delicious sides to your plate too…

Now this recipe made a ton of sauce which is why I lowered the heat on the grill and kept flipping, to get as much sauce on there as I could. But you could just add a chicken breast or two – I’m sure it would be great for leftovers…

Have a great weekend everybody!

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Spicy Sauteed Triggerfish with a Lemon Wine Sauce

Happy Thursday everybody!

Normally, Thursday isn’t all that exciting – but this is the Thursday before a long weekend! While I might not have incredibly exciting plans, it’s still a long weekend. Which means next week is a short week.

Next week is also the final week of my husband’s incredibly demanding and strict study schedule. So on Saturday afternoon – I get him back. So I get to be excited that it’s Thursday!

Can I get an “amen”?

…crickets…

Okay then, moving right along!

So I know I have mentioned to you several times how much I love seafood. Well my parents discovered a great little place to get fresh seafood – a man and his wife drive up to Memphis each week from the Mississippi coast with a big trailer full of lots of good, fresh stuff. Even selections that are hard to find in grocery stores!

Well, my dad stopped by to grab some smoked tuna dip (Y-U-M) and the man was packing up to leave. So he just “donated” a few items to him. Fortunately for me, my parents were leaving town, so I inherited some fresh, delicious fish to play with.

Like Triggerfish. Crickets again? Exactly.

Now, it’s tough to find Triggerfish recipes out there. But I did read that it’s a meaty, rich fish – similar to Grouper, but with a buttery flavor, like Lobster.

So you know what that says to me? Butter. Wine. Capers.

Do we really need more in life? I honestly think I could eat capers out of the jar…oh wait, I already do. And wine…well, really people?

If you can’t find Triggerfish – I think that Grouper would be a great fish substitution for this recipe – perhaps adjusting for cooking time.

Now this is a little higher in WW points for the main dish (about 9 – guess-timating since I couldn’t locate nutritional info.), but I just paired it with a few slices of bread and some brown rice and it made for a light and luxurious weeknight meal.

Triggerfish with a Spicy Lemon-Wine Sauce (serves 2)

2 Triggerfish filets, about 6-7 oz. each (mine had skin on – so I left it and it was fine)

1/8 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. Tabasco sauce

4 Tbsp. reduced-calorie margarine

1/4 cup white wine

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 Tbsp. capers

Heat 2 Tbsp. margarine in a large skillet over medium heat.

Salt and pepper your fillets. I scored the skin (just a few little superficial slices) to prevent curling.

Add fillets to melted butter and saute about 3-4 minutes, skin side up. Flip and sprinkle “meat” side with a few dashes Tabasco.

Cook another 3-4 minutes, and flip once more. Cook 2-3 more minutes until fish is cooked through and both sides have a light brown color. Set in a medium baking dish and add to oven on low heat to keep warm.

Add remaining margarine (if needed) to skillet and melt. Reduce heat to medium low.

Add white wine, garlic, caper and lemon juice.

Cook for about 2 minutes, until simmering lightly and sauce thickens a little.

Oh and if you have to open a whole bottle of white wine and don’t know what to do with some of the “excess” – I’m sure I can help you think of something…

Now, remove fish from oven. Plate your fish and pour sauce on top of each fillet.

 

Now, dig in! The rice and bread did a great job of soaking up the excess sauce…which was total yumminess…

Thanks Mom and Dad – next time you should get your new buddies to “donate” four fillets and maybe you’ll get a free dinner out of it…

Thanks for reading – and just a reminder, if you have tried any of the recipes on my blog, please leave me a comment with your raves/rants/thoughts – I’d love to hear feedback!

Shrimp Scampi

Once upon a time, when we weren’t married and didn’t own a home, the husband (previously “the boyfriend”) and I would spend time at each others residences. I lived in an apartment and he shared a house with 2 other guys, which was surprisingly way cleaner than you would ever imagine.

So, I loved going over there and cooking! We’d rotate weeks – particularly when our favorite show “24” came on each Monday night. It was fun – I loved that he could cook. And as I said before, he loved that about me as well – in fact, I think that’s how I tricked him into marrying me! 😉

We were craving something with seafood and pasta one night – but something that just tasted light and was easy. So, I introduced him to Shrimp Scampi. Now, back then – we were okay loading up on the pasta and the butter. Obviously, that’s not so WW friendly. But have no fear my followers (or people who I guilt into coming here by posting my recipes on Facebook!) – this one was easy to lighten up. And it’s easy to make. And, of course, it’s totally delicious.

Shrimp Scampi (serves 2)

8 oz. cooked shrimp, tails removed

4 oz. whole wheat spaghetti

2 Tbsp. reduced-calorie margarine

2 tsp. olive oil

1 clove minced garlic

Lemons – (1/2 of one lemon zested, 1/2 Tbsp. juice, 1/2 a lemon sliced)

2 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

2 Tbsp. parsley

Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan for the pasta. Add pasta to water and cook according to directions.

Melt butter and olive oil in a medium skillet and add garlic. Stir until melted and cook about 1 minute.

Remove tails from shrimp and pat dry. Add to skillet along with salt and pepper. Cook about 3 minutes, then flip and cook an additional 3-4 minutes until cooked through.

On the side, prepare your lemon zest. I find it’s easiest to zest over wax paper. I have to say that my zester is my favorite kitchen gadget – you just move it back and forth over the lemon and collect the zest on the wax paper.

When shrimp are done cooking, remove from heat and add parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon slices and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine.

Drain cooked pasta and add back to pot. Pour shrimp and sauce over pasta and toss to coat.

And voila, dinner is done in less than 30 minutes! Goes great with some crusty bread or a crisp salad.

Thanks for reading!

Roasted Chicken

I have been a bad, bad blogger. I am so sorry that my last post was what, a week ago?

Last week I came down with something awful and was at home sick for 2 days. No fun. I had to have my finger pricked – and I absolutely hate all shapes and forms of needles. The nurse asked if my blood pressure was usually low, because where mine was – apparently people are about to pass out. It’s not the sight of blood I promise – it’s more the foreign object drawing it out of me.

Ummm, I bet you really want to see pictures of food right now huh?

Anyways, I apologize for being a bad blogger. Saturday I was feeling much better – enough to go see “The Hunger Games” with the husband. Love. I’m ready for the second movie like, now.

Sunday I was feeling SO much better that I was told to decided to do some much-needed yard work! Our incredibly mild fall/winter had a bunch of leaves falling quite late, meaning it was way too cold to get out there and scoop the remainder of them up. Well, no excuses anymore. And I have the sore muscles and sunburn to prove it. I even got a funny sunburn – I blame my pants being too large (hey, I told you the stuff I cook for you is usually good for you, right?) so bending down and scooping up leaves allowed me to get a glorious sunburn on my lower back. Yes, these kinds of random  things happen to me.

ANYWAYS – Friday night, I was trying to figure out some meal plans for the remainder of the month that would fit our grocery budget and realized I had a whole frozen chicken hanging out in the freezer since like, before our wedding. So I decided that would be dinner on Sunday. It’s frozen, so the expiration date which had passed didn’t really mean anything…right?

Now, I have made Cornish Game Hens before – and they were cute and fun. I roasted and stuffed a turkey years ago for my roommates in college – but that was for Thanksgiving and I had step-by-step instructions from my dad. (Thanksgiving dinner for 8 people with plastic utensils and no dishwasher…I can’t believe I survived.)

So I was a bit intimidated by this 5 1/2 pound chicken. But guess what. There was no reason to be! (Other than learning that next time I will try to find a chicken with the “innards” bagged up and stuffed inside rather than “going fishing”.) It really was quite easy and for just two of us, it made a LOT! So pick up a chicken, don’t wait for a year to roast it, and enjoy!

Roasted Chicken – Serves 4-6

1 whole, frozen chicken

Olive oil

Minced garlic (or fresh)

1-2 lemons

Rosemary

Sage

Thyme

Kosher salt

Black pepper

1-2 Tbsp. butter

Veggies, if you choose

Heat your oven to about 425 degrees.

I had about 1/2 pound of green snap beans, so I decided to use those, half an onion and 1  russet potato to make a complete meal in 1 dish. I chopped it all up, seasoned it with salt and pepper, and threw it in the bottom of a medium roasting pan. Feel free to do the same, modify, or leave this step out completely.

Next, open all of your spice containers (I would have LOVED to use fresh herbs, but I didn’t have any on hand – still tasted great) and pour some spices into prep bowls so you don’t get raw chicken over everything. I found myself juggling and using my teeth to open things. I blame the antibiotics for my lapse in judgment.

Run your whole chicken under cold water and rinse well. Get inside the cavity too. Drain what you can. Remove the “innards” – again, next time I will look to see if there are some that have this step done and have it all in a nice neat little bag to pull out.

Pat dry with paper towels. Lots of paper towels. Seriously.

Sprinkle the inside of the cavity with kosher salt, black pepper, sage and thyme. Add some garlic and spread around with your fingers. Cut a lemon or two in half and shove those up there as well. The chicken will forgive you.

Now, drizzle about 1 tsp. olive oil on one side of the chicken and rub on the skin with your hands. Add some kosher salt, black pepper and rosemary. Rub that in as well.

Using a sharp knife, make 2 incisions in the skin (about 1/2 inch wide) and smear a little softened butter in there, along with some garlic, rosemary and kosher salt.

Flip the bird (hee hee) and repeat, making sure the skin has a nice coating of olive oil and seasoning.

Place chicken in the roasting pan breast side up (I placed mine on top of veggies – if you don’t, maybe add just 1-2 Tbsp. liquid like chicken broth) and cook according to directions on the chicken. Mine took about 1 1/2 hours to cook through. Baste every 20-30 minutes. If your chicken starts browning, make a little tent with aluminum foil to prevent it from burning. A nice crispy skin is good, but burnt skin is not. (Says the girl with bright pink shoulders).

Remove chicken from oven and let sit 10 minutes before carving. You can test to see if it is done by cutting the base of the leg – if the juices run clear, it’s ready!

Carve the chicken and serve with your delicious roasted veggies which have absorbed all of the citrus-herb-butter-olive oil liquid.

For me, this is a great weekend dish because I can get a few things done while it’s cooking – but I’m not rushed like I would be during the week. And this was just for two of us – so we had some great leftovers to work with…

Sorry again for being M.I.A. the past week – I promise I’ll make it up to you with some more delicious recipes this week!