My mother didn’t learn how to “cook” until I was in middle school. My maternal grandmother, with whom I share few, but fond, memories, barely knew how to boil water. So it was no surprise she passed on few recipes or culinary skills to my mother. On top of that, my maternal grandfather owned a restaurant, which meant take-out and food made-to-order was readily available during my early childhood years.
After we moved to California and my mother became a stay-at-home mom, she took up cooking in earnest. One of her simplest recipes, which I adore, is a flavorful, herbaceous chicken. For ease, I typically cook it stovetop, but it is great for the grill and ideal for picnics and BBQs. You can vary the herbs depending on what you have on hand. No matter, though, you’ll be left with a flavorful, moist dish – all in a matter of minutes.
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil or flavored oil (I’ve been using a citrus oil)
1/2 cup minced parsley or cilantro
2 tbsp minced rosemary
2 tbsp minced thyme
1 tsp crushed red chile flakes
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenders, pounded to ¼” thickness
- Mix oil, parsley or cilantro, rosemary, thyme, chile flakes, garlic, and lemon juice and zest in a gallon-size resealable plastic bag; add chicken. Seal bag, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour (or overnight).
- Heat a grill pan or regular pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook chicken, turning once, until browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. (Chicken may take longer or shorter depending on how thin you pound it out.)