It’s funny, but chicken breast for me has become a seasonal food. It’s not until the weather warms up that I find myself craving some simply grilled, flavorful, juicy chicken, atop a fresh summer salad. And this preparation of herb-marinated grilled chicken is one of my absolute favorites. It makes a fantastic accompaniment to endless salads, pastas, grilled vegetables and sides. On it’s own, it’s great topped with a fruit salsa or pesto. Here I pair it with a farro salad that includes green beans, fresh corn and goat cheese.
Giving the chicken a nice long bath in a mix of freshly chopped herbs, minced garlic and olive oil does wonders in keeping it moist and flavorful. I pound out the chicken breasts to an even thickness so they can cook through in the same amount of time, and so they cook in less time, ensuring the inside is done before the outside would get too charred. I love to let this marinate a good 24 hrs overnight, but don’t sweat it if you don’t want to manage that. Even a good 1-hr soak still lends a lot of flavor. And you can use whatever mix of fresh herbs you have on hand.
Farro is one of my favorite whole grains and it’s got a lovely nutty, chewy texture with a lower glycemic index than regular rice. This salad highlights much of summer’s produce at its’ best, including green beans and fresh shucked corn. Corn is one of those items that’s truly best fresh-picked. Once harvested it’s sugars start turning to starch, which is why corn loses it’s sweetness within a couple days. So try purchasing corn as close to when you’ll be eating it as possible. The warm farro helps to melt the soft goat cheese, giving you wonderful flavor throughout every bite.
Hope you’re staying cool and eating well!
herb-marinated grilled chicken with farro, corn, green bean salad
- 3 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
- 1 Tbs chopped fresh thyme + 1 tsp, divided
- 1/2 Tbs chopped fresh rosemary
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp kosher salt + 1/2 tsp, divided
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/3 cup olive oil + 3 Tbs, divided
- 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts pounded with a meat mallet’s flat side between 2 sheets of plastic wrap or inside a freezer ziploc to 1/2″ thick
- 1 cup farro
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 8 oz green beans, end trimmed and cut in half
- 3 ears fresh corn, husked and kernels shucked
- 1/2 cup chopped scallions
- 2 Tbs white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 4 oz fresh goat cheese, crumbled
- 2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup baby spinach or salad greens (optional)
1. Combine parsley, 1 Tbs thyme, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper in small bowl. Add olive oil and mix to combine. Lay chicken in baking dish or medium bowl and cover all over with the garlic-herb oil. Refrigerate and marinate 1-24 hours. Remove from fridge 30 minutes prior to cooking.
2. Empty chicken broth into medium saucepan. Add farro and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, partially cover and cook until farro is tender but still chewy, about 20-25 minutes. Drain and put farro in medium serving bowl.
3. Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add green beans and cook 4-5 minutes, until tender but still firm. Remove with a slotted spoon, rinse under cold water and add to farro. Return water to a boil and add corn kernels. Cook 2 minutes. Drain. Add to farro and green beans. Add scallions and remaining tsp thyme to farro.
4. Whisk remaining 3 Tbs olive oil, white wine vinegar, dijon, and 1/2 tsp remaining salt in small bowl. Drizzle over farro and mix to combine.Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Drizzle additional olive oil over if desired. Crumble goat cheese over. Drizzle fresh lemon juice over goat cheese.
5. Using an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan, grill chicken 4-5 minutes per side until chicken is just cooked through. Slice on the bias and serve over farro salad, atop baby spinach or salad greens.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine