Sunday, May 8, 2011

First Farmer's Market of the Season

The local farmer's market had its opening day on Saturday. There wasn't much fresh produce yet, but I was able to get some asparagus and mushrooms along with some chicken breasts and sourdough bread. I also found a booth selling wood grilling planks and decided to try an oak one since it was only $1. It didn't seem to give the chicken a smoky flavor at all, but it did help slow down the cooking time and reduce the grilled char that is sometimes unappetizing. You can also use them in your oven.
Servings: 4
Total time: 30 minutes, 2 hours to soak the wood plank

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 2 lbs
1 wood grilling plank, such as oak, cedar, or hickory
1 lb asparagus
1 lb baby bella or crimini mushrooms
1/2 c white cooking wine
Cooking spray and/or olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
Sourdough or other fresh bread
Soak the wood grilling plank for about 2 hours by submerging in a tub of water. You can season the water with salt, herbs, or wine which will absorb into the wood. Follow any other instructions that came with the board, possibly including "seasoning" it by grilling it on each side for a few minutes to keep it from warping and oiling the side the food will be placed on in order to reduce sticking.

Place the plank with the chicken breasts on the grill over medium heat, as far away from the flames as possible. You want to cook it slowly and leave the lid closed to lock the heat in. Be sure to keep a water bottle or bucket nearby in case it catches on fire.

While the chicken is cooking, place the asparagus on a sheet of tin foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray and season with a bit of sea salt. Put this on the grill after the chicken is mostly cooked through, about 25 minutes.

Slice up the mushrooms and place in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the white wine, salt, and pepper to taste. Cook until the mushrooms release their liquid and most of it evaporates. The mushrooms will change to a brownish-gray color.

Serve with a slice of fresh bread!

Michael ate all the mushrooms before I could get a picture of them!

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