Braly: A delicious way to use herbs from my garden

Braly: A delicious way to use herbs from my garden

August 26th, 2009 by Anne Braly in Blogs

I'm not much of a gardener and I really am ashamed of the fact. I have four acres of land and mint, basil and chives are the only consumable foods I have, other than the dandelions which I always wait too late to pluck.

They say the young leaves are the best. Still don't know that I'd try them.

Nonetheless, I love my mint, basil and chives and am always looking for a different way to use them.

Here's a recipe from the National Chicken Council that I plan to try very soon. It sounds like a delicious way to use herbs from the garden. And the cost comes to just $1.77 a serving. Can't beat that.

Grilled Butterflied Chicken with Basil and Mint Vinaigrette

1 (3- to 4-pound) chicken


4 quarts water

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup salt


2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 teaspoons honey

1 clove garlic, chopped

2 teaspoons fresh ginger, chopped

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

Make brine by combining water, sugar and salt in large stockpot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes, or until sugar and salt are dissolved. Remove from heat and cool completely. Butterfly chicken by removing backbone by cutting down either side of the backbone with a sharp knife. Remove the backbone. Turn chicken over so that rib bones are facing up and cut out breastbone. When brine is cool, add chicken to stockpot and refrigerate at least one, and up to five, hours. Do not brine longer as chicken will become too salty. Remove chicken from brine and pat with paper towels to dry.

Heat grill to high, or, if using coals, heat and arrange with more coals on one side of grill than the other. (This creates two areas of heat - one high and the other cooler.) Place chicken over high heat and grill about 4 minutes per side until nicely browned.

Turn off middle burner of gas grill (or one burner if there are only two) and move chicken over the area that is turned off. Or, if using a charcoal grill, move chicken to cooler area of grill. Grill chicken for another 18 - 20 minutes, turning often, until chicken registers 180 degrees F when a thermometer is inserted into the thickest part of the thigh.

While chicken is grilling, make vinaigrette by combining all ingredients except the oil in a food processor. Pulse to combine. With motor running, slowly pour oil into mixture; continue pulsing until well-incorporated. Remove chicken to a platter and pour vinaigrette over hot chicken. Turn chicken to coat in sauce.