Anyway, now that my grammatical fun is over, I'm going let you in on a family secret...Okay two. But not the secret family recipes for Biscuits & Gravy, or fried chicken. At least not yet. We only just met, let's get to know each other a little better, and then I might be so inclined to share those top secret recipes...Okay, actually I am planning on sharing those here, I just haven't made them this week, and taken any pictures of them!
But, these two secrets are even BETTER! They are my
If you happened to grow up in Chardon, and knew us, you might be surprised to know that my awesome little brother, Chuck (who will always be Chucky to me!), is an absolutely AMAZING cook! Seriously, if he opened a restaurant, I would definitely eat there night and day. Actually, I'd probably beg him to have mercy on me, and hire me, so I didn't go broke eating there every day! Some of my favorite of his specialties are his homemade potato chips, monstrous steaks, and these amazing little ditties, a tribute to a foregone era, homemade french waffles:
Yum, right? And what might surprise you even more, if you knew us growing up, is that there's a good chance he might actually hire me at his hypothetical restaurant, because for all the fighting we did growing up, we're pretty danged close now (dare I say, 'tight,' even...okay, maybe I'm still not cool enough to say tight after all). And adding to his awesomeness, would be his PHENOMENAL choice of girlfriend, Shannon! She is really a part of the family. And she's ALSO a great cook! Among her best offerings are "Uncle Chucky Potatoes," which are actually from Shannon's Grandma Yokum (long story), and the honey dijon chicken I'm going to be making later this week.
Today's recipe, however, is probably the BEST of Chuck's recipes that I've tried yet! And how could it not be, when it involves fresh mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil from my garden? And here it is, photographic proof that I can actually grow something without killing it:
We made this recipe with a Tastefully Simple sauce, called "Bayou Bourbon Glaze." This was my first time using a Tastefully Simple product, and I must admit, I was skeptical in ordering a sauce that cost $9 per bottle. But, my brother's previously mentioned amazing girlfriend was hosting a party, and I really wanted her to get some hostess incentives. What can I say, I'm willing to go to extreme measures for family! And, I must admit, after using the sauce on this chicken, the cost is more than justified. It's delicious. And now, I can't wait to use the Pomegranate Chipotle Sauce, the Smokey Bacon grilling sauce, and the Beer bread I also ordered from her party (told you I go to extreme measures for family!). I'll be sure to feature them here, when I do.
And in case, like me, you must be enticed to read the recipe, by a GORGEOUS final product photo, I'll go ahead, and give you one, now...or at least an ALMOST final product:
Hallelujahs: DELICIOUS, seriously, probably the BEST barbecue chicken I've ever had! Easy to customize (next time I think I'll add sun-dried tomatoes in with the fresh mozzerella), a great way to use all the extra basil in the garden
Hellfires: Honestly, I can't think of any. I was going to say that it used a sauce that cost $9 per bottle, but then I tasted the sauce, and realized it was worth EVERY PENNY! Plus, you could easily make this with any of your favorite sauces, and/or marinades, or with none at all.
Bayou Basil Chicken
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Rosemary (fresh or dried)
1 stick of melted butter
Choice of Marinade/Glaze
-First, take your chicken, and a sharp knife, and butterfly it.
-This is a fancy way of saying cut it in half, through the middle, so that it opens like a book:
-Next, season your chicken, inside, and out, and on all sides with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and rosemary. I used dried rosemary here, but I'm not sure why considering I have a ton of it in my garden.
-Place seasoned chicken breasts in a bowl, and squeeze the juice of one lemon over them.
-Note, I used one lemon this time, but I think next time I will actually use 2-3. Experiment with the amount of lemon juice based on your own taste.
-Pour the melted butter over the chicken, cover with plastic wrap and marinate for one hour.
-My wise brother says it's important to not marinate the chicken for more than one hour, because the lemon juice will "do weird things to the chicken." Don't question the wisdom, just obey!
-While the chicken is marinating, take the time to slice 4 rectangles of your fresh mozzarella cheese, like so:
-After marinating the chicken, open each "pocket," and add your fresh basil. Some people like to leave the basil leaves whole, but I'm picky, and weird, and have a thing about biting into a whole leaf, so I choped mine up really fine, like so:
-Place chicken on grill (or delegate this task to your amazing grillmaster, The Husband, like I did!), and grill at about 350* on both sides until chicken is almost done.
Isn't my grillmaster handsome?
-When the chicken has about 10 minutes left, begin basting chicken with the Bayou Bourbon Glaze, or any of your other favorite marinades.
-You could also skip this step, if you don't love saucy chicken.
-The inside of your chicken will look all beautiful, and basil-y, just like this:
-When the glaze has been applied at least once to each side, and the chicken has approximately 5 minutes remaining, place your fresh mozzarella slices in the pocket of your chicken, and close the lid on your grill, allowing it to melt.
-And if, in the process, any of these lovely morsels should get stuck to the grill, and fall onto your plate, sneak in a taste...I won't tell, and I promise you won't be disappointed.
-Once the cheese has melted, remove chicken to a plate, and eat immediately!
And now, for the PERFECT side dish to this amazing chicken, Roasted Corn on the Cob, which my incredibly talented brother, and his beautiful girlfriend also taught us how to do! For a twist, this time, I added some fresh rosemary to the tin-foil packet, and it infused just a tiny hint of rosemary to the corn. Which is how I like it, I don't like to molest my corn too much, there's not much one can do to improve on the simple goodness of ripe, delicious, sweet corn on the cob. If, however, you prefer a stronger rosemary flavor, just add more rosemary to the tinfoil. And, if you don't prefer rosemary at all, leave it out entirely! This could also be done with dried rosemary, I'm sure.
If you've always made your corn on the stove, and are convinced that it couldn't possibly taste any better, let me assure you, it can. This roasting method delivers a MUCH sweeter, more delicious corn on the cob, not to mention that it eliminates the annoying shucking you must do before you boil it.
Hallelujahs: Delicious, Fast, Easy, and dirties one less pan!
Hellfires: None that I can think of, unless you're one of the crazies whose convinced that tin-foil causes cancer. In which case, while you might outlive me, you are going to be missing out on a lot of greatness!
Roasted Rosemary Corn on the Cob
Corn on the Cob (however many ears your family needs!)
Fresh Rosemary to taste (or dried)
-First, fill a large stockpot with water
-Add a couple of handfuls of granulated sugar to the water.
-Submerge the corn, and soak for 30 minutes prior to grilling.
Here's my corn getting ready for its delicious bath:
-After the corn has soaked for 30 minutes, place corn in center of large sheet of tin foil.
-Add a few sprigs of fresh (or dried) rosemary. For a stronger flavor, add more rosemary than I did.
-Roll up the tinfoil, so the corn is completely wrapped in it
-Place on grill, and cook at 350* for about 20-25 minutes, turning occasionally so that all 4 sides receive equal grill time.
-When it's time to eat, simply unwrap, and pull down the husks/silky hairs. Note how much EASIER it is to remove all of the hairs/husks after it's been cooked. Cut off this portion, and slather with butter, and salt, and ENJOY!
-Note: PLEASE, be very careful when shucking the corn after it's been grilled. It will be VERY hot, and VERY steamy. I usually get The Hubster to do this for me, so my delicate fingers don't get burned.
-Seriously, please be very careful here. Don't forget I'm planning on going to medical school, and I need to be able to get malpractice insurance. I don't want to be stuck paying higher premiums because one of you knuckleheads sued me after getting a corn on the cob facial you weren't expecting!
Seriously, these recipes are delicious. I have a VERY talented family, who don't mind sharing their recipes (and their lives) with me, and feel very blessed because of it!
Oh, and I couldn't help but close with a picture of the grillmaster's little helper, beckoning him to get away from that grill, and come back inside and play: