Grilled Chicken with Fresh Herb Salsa


Smoky grilled chicken is brightened up with a salsa made from fresh picked garden herbs. photo by Nancy Duran

When I haven’t got the time to marinate chicken for the barbecue, I like to serve it with something flavorful drizzled on top. That something usually involves lemon juice, garlic, herbs, and plenty of good olive oil. This fresh salsa was inspired by the abundance of herbs that are growing like weeds in my garden right now. It took me about 5 minutes to blend this salsa together and the result was so tasty it had my kids eating this chicken right down to the bone.

Serves 4 to 6

4 bone-in chicken thighs
6 chicken drumsticks
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Herb Salsa
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons sugar
Handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Handful of fresh basil leaves
Juice of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  1. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel and place in a large bowl. Add the 2 tablespoons oil and salt and pepper to taste and toss to coat all over. Set aside at room temperature while you make the salsa.
  2. In the bowl of a small food processor, add the garlic, sugar, parsley, and basil. Pulse until roughly chopped. Add the lemon juice, vinegar, and oil and process until the sauce comes together. Season to taste with salt and pepper and transfer to a serving bowl. Chill in the refrigerator until the chicken is done.
  3. Prepare a grill for medium heat and lightly oil the grate. When hot, add the chicken (skin-side down for the thighs) and grill for 8-10 minutes, moving the chicken pieces around the grill if flare ups occur so that they are golden and lightly charred. Turn the chicken pieces and grill for a further 5 minutes, again moving them around the grill when flare ups occur.
  4. Serve chicken drizzled with some of the salsa, and pass excess salsa around at the table.

Nutritional analysis based on 6 servings (does not include salt and pepper to taste):
Calories 310, Fat 26g, Sodium 67mg, Carbohydrate 3g, Fiber 0g, Sugar 2g, Protein 15g

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