Tonight for dinner we had a few chicken breasts left over from the BBQ last night. Instead of the rich and bold taste of BBQ sauce I took the chicken in a different direction…Garlic. With the ribbons of zucchini and garlic on the chicken it has a hint of fall flavor.
Chicken: I butterflied each breast open to decrease grill time and create more flavor from the seasoning through each bite. I sprinkled a generous amount of salt, pepper, and garlic seasoning on each breast right before grilling. When you butterfly chicken the risk of over cooking and drying out definitely increases, so watch closely while grilling. These took 4 minutes on each side on a high heat grill, then let them rest for 10 minutes before eating .
Zucchini Ribbons: I read a recipe today that make the zucchini similar to this but then covers it all with an alfredo sauce. I didn’t want such a heavy dinner, so I skipped that part entirely and added Parmesan instead.
2 medium zucchini (I used a large yellow and small green one)
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil (infused with garlic, pepper, and red chili peppers)
Parmesan cheese, grated
1. Using a vegetable peeler I sliced the zucchini into very thin ribbons length wise and gathered them into a bowl. I drizzled olive oil, salt, and pepper onto the ribbons and mixed together with my hands to coat each ribbon.
2. In a cast iron skillet on medium heat I coated the skillet with olive oil and added the cloves of garlic and a crushed red pepper flakes. I let this cook for 2-3 minutes, until I could smell the fragrance of garlic before adding the zucchini. The zucchini cooks quickly and I didn’t want it to burn, so I tossed it with tongs every minute or so until the ribbons started to soften trying to be careful not to let them turn to mush. Total cooking time was 8-10 minutes. Finally I topped it off with some grated Parmesan cheese and cracked pepper.
On the side I made a small Caprese salad with a huge tomato from the farmers market and fresh basil. I drizzled infused olive oil on it with fig balsamic from Old Town Oil.
Infused Olive Oil
Making infused olive oil is a way to add more flavor to dishes without so much effort or cooking time. Right now I have a garlic, pepper, and red chili pepper infused oil that is really complementary to cooked vegetables or even for dipping bread or pizza crust in. I found this jar at Marshalls for just a few bucks, the stopper/latch combo is really a nice feature.
To make, I put a few cloves of garlic (cleaned and sliced in half), a table spoon of pepper corns, and 2 whole dried chili peppers into the jar. Fill with a good quality olive oil and close the jar, done. The flavor gets better over time, but I try to make sure to use it in a few weeks in case the garlic starts to turn bad.