After the wettest winter in California history—at least my seven-year California history—I’m glad to finally have some sunshine! Warm weather means getting outside, soaking up some Vitamin D and, most importantly, putting some food on the grill.
The first grill of the season is important for a number of reasons. It not only signifies longer, warmer days to come, but also means farmer’s market runs are on the horizon and refreshed dinners, taking them from a tired kitchen table to a backyard in bloom. And, it’s a lot easier to throw together an entire meal using little-to-no cookware, which means little-to-no dishes! Win-Win-Win-Win.
This recipe is a cinch to put together: prep a few hours prior to dinnertime, or even the night before, and 15 minutes to grill and serve. Garlic Pepper Chicken’s flavor bomb comes from two roasted heads of garlic and an additional five minced cloves on top of that! No wonder it’s loaded with delicious garlic flavor, which also adds depth to the marinade. Using just raw garlic would have been too pungent, and using just roasted garlic would be too sweet. But, when mixed together, the two garlics created a balance between tangy and sweet with a hint of butter. Lots and lots of coarsely ground black pepper and just a pinch of cayenne, brings a nice, smoky heat to round the whole thing out. After marinating at least four hours, the chicken grills up in a flash because the breasts have been butterflied and halved into perfect quick-cook cutlets. This is my little secret for any weeknight chicken dinner.
Grilled Asparagus makes the perfect side show when you add a few ingredients and a step or two. Sure, simple olive oil, salt and pepper would be totally fine, and that is exactly what I did with the cauliflower. But this grilled asparagus takes a leap out of the mundane with a quick marinade in red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, extra-virgin olive oil and a good amount of dried dill. The marinade also serves as a simple sauce for the finished product.
So get outside and have your first grill of the season! This dinner on the grill is a sure fire way to get you excited about all that is to come this grilling season, and will no doubt be the first of many delicious nights outside.
- 3 chicken breasts, butterflied and halved into 6 cutlets
- 2 heads of garlic, plus 5 cloves
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for roasting garlic
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 bunch asparagus
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon dried dill
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 head purple cauliflower
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Trim ¼ inch off the top of each garlic head. Place both garlic heads on a sheet of aluminum foil large enough to fully wrap around both of them. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, covering exposed garlic cloves. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and wrap up into a little aluminum foil package. Place on the oven rack and roast for 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile prepare chicken marinade. Combine ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, juice of one lemon, one teaspoon Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Whisk to combine.
- Mince the five remaining garlic cloves and remove the roasted garlic from the oven once completed. Using tongs to keep from burning your hands, squeeze the entire head of garlic and the cloves will slide right out. Add minced and roasted garlic to the marinade. Stir to combine and pour over chicken inside a gallon-sized zip-top bag. Chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Just before grilling, wash and prep the asparagus and cauliflower.
- For the asparagus, trim the ends and place in a shallow casserole dish. Whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over asparagus. Set aside.
- For the cauliflower, cut the entire head in half and then cut into ½ inch thick steaks. Drizzle cauliflower steaks with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- To grill chicken, first spray the grates of the Char-Broil Signature™ 3 Burner Gas Grill with nonstick cooking spray and preheat to medium-high for 5 minutes. Place each chicken breast on the grill and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and repeat. These cutlets cook quickly since they are so thin, so be careful not to overcook. The internal temperature should reach 165 degrees. Remove from grill and set aside.
- Carefully place the asparagus and cauliflower on the grill. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes, turning approximately halfway through. Veggies should be tender, but not limp.
- Remove asparagus and drizzle with remaining dill vinaigrette.
- Remove cauliflower to the cutting board and cut into florets.
- Serve garlic pepper chicken with grilled veggies and ENJOY!