lemon thyme chicken

Lemon Thyme Chicken with Roasted Red Pepper Orzo

This Lemon Thyme Chicken with Roasted Red Pepper Orzo exemplifies the tastes of Summer in a mouthwatering recipe ready in 30 minutes or less.

This recipe was made and written for SABER Grills by Chris Grove of Nibble Me This.

Spring and Summer bring brightly flavored dishes using bold citrus and fresh herbs.  This Lemon Thyme Chicken with Roasted Red Pepper Orzo exemplifies those tastes in a mouthwatering recipe that is ready in 30 minutes or less.

No one wants bland and dry chicken breasts. The SABER® Grills unique infrared grilling system ensures juicy grilled meats.  Basting the chicken with a lemon and thyme butter just makes them that much better!

Lemon Thyme Chicken with Roasted Red Pepper Orzo

Ingredients

  • 3-4 chicken breast halves, boneless, skinless, and butterflied
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 1.5 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • For the Lemon Thyme Butter Baste

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • For the Roasted Red Pepper Orzo

  • 1 cup orzo, not cooked
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 2" pieces
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced parsley

Directions

  • Preheat your SABER® Grill. Set one burner to medium-high and two/three other burners to medium.
  • Use your side burner to cook the orzo according to package directions.
  • Prepare the chicken breasts. Butterfly them if your butcher has not already done so (see notes below). Stuff each breast with about 1 ounce of goat cheese and 1/2 teaspoon of fresh thyme. Close the breasts and seal them with toothpicks. Lightly oil the outside of the breasts and season with the garlic salt and white pepper.
  • Roast the red bell pepper. Lightly oil the red pepper pieces and grill them skin side down until charred and blistered, about 5 minutes. Place them in a zip top bag for 5 minutes to allow them to steam. Scrape off most of the charred skin and finely dice the pepper.
  • Grill the chicken breasts "pretty side" down for 6 minutes over medium heat.
  • Meanwhile, combine the Lemon Thyme Butter Baste ingredients in a small grill safe pot and heat until the butter is melted and the ingredients combined.
  • Transfer the chicken breasts "pretty side up" to a half-sized steam pan or stoneware dish with the cup of chicken stock. Baste with the Lemon Thyme Butter, close the grill lid, and allow them to cook until the breasts reach an internal temperature of 160°f, about 10-12 minutes. Baste them several times during this period until all of your butter baste is used up.
  • Meanwhile, combine the hot cooked orzo with the butter, finely diced red pepper, salt, pepper, and garlic.
  • Remove breasts from the grill and carefully take out all of the toothpicks that you used to seal the breasts.
  • Plate the chicken breasts with a mound of the orzo and drizzle a little of the steam pan juices over the chicken and orzo.

Notes/Substitutions

If your butcher doesn’t offer butterflied chicken breast halves, don’t panic.  You can do it yourself at home.  First, place a breast on a cutting board and firmly press down on the chicken to secure and compact it.  Use a very sharp boning knife to slice in from the side.  Notice the green cut resistant glove worn underneath the black food safe glove. Safety first people!

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Next, lift up on the top half and keep slicing through with repeated, shallow cuts along the seam that you have started.

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Finally, open the breast up like a book and firmly press down in the middle to flatten it out.  Your breasts should end up looking like one of the ones here.

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A small sauce pot is a perfect tool for melting the butter baste.  I threw the lemon rinds in there, after squeezing them.

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Once you have everything prepped, you can pull this whole meal off on a SABER® Grill in about 30 minutes.  Cooking the entire dinner on the grill in the evening sunlight has to be some kind of antidepressant.

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Zonal cooking comes in handy since you roast the peppers at a higher temperature than the chicken.

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This is a two-step cooking process, starting off with grilling the chicken and finishing it by fire-braising the breasts in a buttery bright chicken stock.

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There are two rules when cooking with toothpicks.

  1. First, carefully count the toothpicks that you put into chicken and pork chops.
  2. Second, carefully count the toothpicks when you finish, making sure that you get them all removed.  You don’t want one of your guests to choke on one.

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The chicken is juicy and the goat cheese makes it burst with flavor. The orzo pasta with freshly roasted pepper and homemade lemon-pepper biscuits are ideal accompaniments.

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