Grilling

Citrus-Marinated Chicken Thighs

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Chicken thighs are the unsung heroes of economical, healthy cooking, and this simple citrus marinade makes them really shine. I come back to it again and again.

This dish is fairly quick, flavorful, and versatile. I’ve used this recipe with both bone-in and boneless varieties, although bone-in hold up a bit better — especially if you decide you’d rather grill outdoors than broil, which works well too!

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A few tips for marinading: you want both an acid (citrus) and an oil. Use a glass container or plastic bag, not metal, and keep the meat in the refrigerator. With chicken, don’t marinade longer than 2 hours.

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The chicken and reserved sauce are fantastic served over roasted spaghetti squash or pasta and  a large helping of broccoli, or try it with a bed of your favorite greens. Next time, try a double batch of the marinade and use it for grilled or roasted vegetables.

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Citrus-Marinated Chicken Thighs

From Bon Appetit

Makes 4 servings (2 thighs per person)

1 bunch scallions (green onions), white and light green parts only
1/2 bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems only
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp finely grated lime zest
1 tsp finely grated orange zest
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
8 chicken thighs, preferably bone-in, skin-on (about 2 pounds)

If you like raw scallions, finely chop them and set aside 1/4 cup.

Place all ingredients except chicken into a food processor or blender and pulse until a coarse purée forms. Set aside 1/4 cup marinade; place remaining marinade in a large resealable plastic bag. Add chicken, seal bag, and turn to coat. Chill at least 20 minutes, but no more than 2 hours.

Preheat broiler. Line a broiler-proof baking sheet with foil. Remove chicken from marinade and place skin side down on baking sheet; discard marinade. Broil chicken until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Turn; continue to broil until cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of thigh registers 165°, 12–15 minutes longer.

Serve chicken with reserved marinade and scallions, if desired.

Smoked Sausage, Onions & Peppers

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When the weather gets warm, my thoughts turn to baseball and grills. And while hot dogs are my quintessential baseball food, brats and sausages rank pretty high up there.

I’m between business trips this week, and I wanted something quick and light to throw together after teaching at the gym. This is a high-protein, lower carb meal that comes together quickly, with minimal cleanup. Not bad for a Tuesday night. :)

Smoked Sausage, Onions and Peppers

Inspired by Bon Appetit
Serves 3-4

1 small onion, cut into 1/2″ slices
5-6 sweet peppers, seeded and cut into 1/2″ slices (or substitute your favorite peppers)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
12 oz. smoked sausage or kielbasa, cut on a diagonal into 4″ pieces and halved lengthwise
Mustard and sauerkraut for serving, if desired

Place a 16×12″ sheet of heavy-duty foil on a large rimmed baking sheet. Toss vegetables and oil in a large bowl; generously season with salt and pepper.

Mound vegetables in center of prepared baking sheet; top with sausages. Place another large sheet of foil over. Fold and crimp all edges tightly to form a sealed packet. Make ahead: Can be made 4 hours ahead. Chill. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before continuing.

If using a grill, heat to medium-high. If using an oven, adjust oven racks to the top third and bottom third; preheat oven to 350°. Grill or bake packet until onions and peppers are softened (carefully open the packet to check; steam will escape), about 25 minutes.

If grilling, remove sausages from packet and grill until browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. If using an oven, turn on broiler. Carefully cut open packet. Arrange sausages on top if necessary. Broil until sausages are browned and crisp, about 5 minutes.

Serve with mustard and sauerkraut.

Marinated Pork Tenderloin

???????????????????????????????Pork tenderloin might be one of the most underrated proteins. It’s versatile, cooks quickly, and is relatively inexpensive.

Yet growing up, I don’t remember ever eating it — and my dad raised hogs. When I moved out on my own, I would see recipes for pork tenderloin, but get frustrated when I went to buy the meat. I’d never bought meat from a grocery store before — a topic for an entirely separate blog post — and the way tenderloins were packaged threw me.

A typical recipe calls for a 1 lb. tenderloin, but I could only ever find it in one of two ways: 1 lb. tenderloins pre-marinated or sealed in a “pork broth solution,” or huge packages of 3 or more pounds. Surely those big packages weren’t the right cut, were they?

It was only later that I realized the larger packages at standard grocery stores were actually multiple tenderloins packaged together. A couple years later, I moved to a neighborhood with a Trader Joe’s, which does sell plain 1 lb. tenderloins.

The bigger packages aren’t necessarily a bad thing. This recipe is easy to scale if you’re feeding a crowd. Or, make a second batch of marinade in a separate bag, and throw it into the freezer. Put the extra batch in the refrigerator the night before you want to serve it, and it will marinade as it thaws.

Avoid the versions packaged in a marinade or broth solution. It’s way more sodium than you  need, and not that great.

This recipe is best on the (outdoor) grill, but it works well in the oven, too. When I’m grilling, I like pairing it with whatever seasonal vegetables I can throw on the grill, maybe some sweet or fingerling potatoes, and cinnamon applesauce. If I’m indoors, I swap in steamed green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, or whatever else I have on hand.

Marinated Pork Tenderloin

Adapted from Cooking Light

Yield: 3-4 servings

1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup orange juice
1/2 tsp black pepper, plus more to taste
1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1 lb pork tenderloin

Preheat grill to medium-high, or preheat oven to 400°.

Remove pork from bag and discard marinade. Lightly season meat with salt and pepper.

If grilling, place pork on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill for 20 minutes. If using the oven, roast for 35 minutes. Cook until a thermometer registers 160° (slightly pink). Let stand 10 minutes before slicing thinly.