So the other day I’m driving Elisabeth home from camp, wondering how I’m going find interesting meals for this kid for the rest of summer vacation, — just like the rest of you, I’m sure. I tell her I have some chicken breast to cook tonight and risk asking her how she’d like it prepared. With my kid, this question is fraught with peril. Elisabeth tells me she wants it marinated in vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper and some fresh herbs. (This is basically an Italian dressing, but she is eleven so she doesn’t’ understand she did not invent this concoction.) And she wants some sugar added as well. With her, salt and sugar will fix everything (thank you Big Agra business). I’m committed to her recipe since I’ve asked for her buy-in, but I try one last tactic. I tell her I have some smoke cured sea salt that she might like the taste of. It’s crafted by a small company in Washington State named Artisan who used various hardwoods to naturally add smoke flavor to sea salt. I had the Alderwood on hand. Elisabeth did not like the taste, it has a unique kind of clean BBQ flavor without all the sauce that clogs your gas grill burners, but at least she tried it several times before making her decision. So it was back to her recipe. I sliced the breasts length wise so they would be a uniform size and marinated the chicken for about an hour. Elisabeth chose and helped harvest the herbs and added them to the meat. Keep in mind that a vinegar bath will start to cook the chicken, so it does not need to marinate very long and when you put on the grill or stove be sure not to overdo it. I used a Champagne Vinegar which had a lot to do with the balance and mildness.
All the ingredients below are of Elisabeth’s choosing. You can substitute any herbs. You will want enough to cover the meat, a few tablespoons of each.
I grilled the meat. Cooking time will vary depending on size and heat. The chicken actually came out quite good, perhaps a tad bit salty but otherwise it was delicious. The sugar added a nice dimension balancing the vinegar. For the correct amount of vinegar to Olive Oil, use just enough of both to lightly coat the meat. Then sprinkle on the seasonings and massage over the pieces to evenly distribute. Then wash your hands. And you kid’s hands. Of course you had them wash beforehand too!
- 1.5 lbs. Chicken Breasts, sliced length wise to resemble chicken fingers
- Sea Salt and Fresh Black Ground Pepper to taste
- 2 Tbs. Sugar
- Champagne or White or Apple Cider Vinegar (to JUST lightly coat)
- Olive Oil (again enough to lightly coat)
- Fresh Herbs; Equal parts Chopped: Oregano, Tarragon, Pineapple Sage, Parsley.