Grilled Citrus Chicken, plus leftovers two ways

It’s launch week at Gold’s Gym Corporate locations, and life is getting all crazy!

Say what?

Background: In addition to moonlighting as a food blogger, I also teach several Les Mills group fitness classes. Every three months, we throw a party to introduce a new set of routines — new music and moves to freshen up your workout and challenge you. I love launch week for all the energy and excitement, even if I do tend to overextend myself a bit (ahem).

Our quarterly launches are a great reminder for me to be a conscious eater. The choices you make to fuel your body have a huge impact on your fitness and performance. As much as this girl loves her desserts and wine, they don’t get her through tough workouts. High-protein with lots of vegetables is where it’s at.

The problem? I don’t eat to live, I live to eat. More often than not, the thought of boneless, skinless chicken breast on top of a pile of limp lettuce leaves triggers my gag reflex. I can’t choke down the same food meal after meal. If it isn’t interesting, I will pick at it all morning, then head straight for the vending machine around 3. Like clockwork, I’ll hit a wall about 40 minutes into my workout. No bueno.

The good news: chicken — even boneless, skinless chicken breast — doesn’t have to be boring. Take this “recipe” from this month’s Bon Appetit for grilled citrus chicken: chicken, citrus, oil, salt, pepper. Bam! The flavor is bright, but not overpowering, and it’s versatile enough to get a girl with a short food attention span through several meals. Fresh off the grill, in a salad, as tacos or lettuce wraps, in a sandwich… I won’t have to worry about tossing any unused leftovers.

For example, today’s lunch:

20130716_130915

Skin-on, bone-in meat is best — it’s more flavorful and less likely to dry out. The citrus juices help prevent flare-ups from the fat as the meat cooks. You don’t have to eat the skin if that’s not your thing. If you prefer, you can use boneless and/or skinless breasts or thighs. No grill? Try a grill pan or cast-iron skillet.

I’ve included two “recipes” I have made this week for lunch leftovers. I’d love to hear your ideas, too!

I hope to see your smiling faces at the gym this week. But even more, I hope that no matter what you’re up to this week, you eat well. Cheers.

Photo credit:  Peden + Munk for Bon Appetit

Photo credit: Peden + Munk for Bon Appetit

Grilled Citrus Chicken

Adapted From Bon Appetit
Serves 4

1 chicken (3 1/2-4 lbs), cut into 8 pieces
3 tablespoons your favorite heat-friendly cooking oil (e.g., vegetable, coconut), divided
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 oranges and 2 lemons, cut in half, divided (try substituting limes!)

Prepare grill for medium heat. Rub chicken with 2 tablespoons oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill chicken skin-side down, turning occasionally and squeezing the juice from 2 halves each oranges and lemons over the meat often. Cook until chicken is cooked through and an instant-read thermometer reads 165° in the thickest part of the thigh, about 25–35 minutes.

Meanwhile, brush remaining citrus halves with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. During the last 5-10 minutes of cooking, grill the fruit, cut side down, until lightly charred.

Serve chicken with grilled citrus fruits for squeezing over.

Chicken Club Salad

For each serving:
2-3 cups Romaine or your favorite salad greens
4 oz. diced or shredded grilled citrus chicken meat
1 hard-boiled egg
1 slice applewood-smoked bacon, cooked & crumbled
1/2 avocado, sliced or diced (douse with lemon or lime juice if not eating immediately)

Chicken Berry Spinach Salad

For each serving:
2-3 cups baby spinach or your favorite salad greens
4 oz. diced or shredded grilled citrus chicken meat
1/2 cup seasonal berries
1 T. slivered almonds, toasted if desired

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