This summer party was a group effort – a beautiful backyard provided by our hosts, menu by A Global Garnish and food/drink contributions from all attendees. Don’t confuse this group effort with a potluck, which has the emphasis on luck. If you’re lucky, a potluck party will have a good distribution of appetizers, main dishes and desserts as well as a mix of ingredients/flavors. But why leave all this to chance?? If you give out menu assignments, you KNOW the final meal will all come together. Further, you save your guests the trouble of wondering: “what should I make?”.
The group effort is what made this party so easy. Since the guests prepared most of the food, the hosts had time to focus on set-up. Their home and garden were both show-stoppers unembellished. But artful party additions and table arranging by the hosts made the final result even more inviting.
The second main course recipe follows, an easy bone-less grilled chicken in a tangy beer-based marinade with ginger, lemon and mustard. One of the guests arrived with the marinated chicken, and our host took over the grilling once all the guests were settled in.
Grilled Chicken Marinated in Beer and Mustard
Recipe By: A Global Garnish, LLC
Serving Size: 4
1 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 tablespoon mustard, whole grain
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper, black
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup beer, good quality amber ale
4 half breasts chicken, boneless breasts, or about 2 -2.5 pounds
1. Mix all ingredients except boneless chicken in an acid-resistant bowl (ceramic, glass or stainless). You may use any type of beer or ale, but I prefer a medium amber ale such as Bell’s (a Michigan brewery) as the color and flavor will carry through to the sauce.
2. Trim chicken. It is not necessary to pound chicken as the chicken will be angle-sliced for service so thick is better.
3. Place chicken in marinade. Marinate 4-8 hours, turning occasionally.
4. Preheat grill.
Remove chicken from marinade (reserving marinade) and grill chicken on a hot open grill. Turn chicken, let sear and then reduce heat (or move off direct heat for charcoal) and cover grill to cook through.
While chicken is cooking, place marinade in small saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook until the marinade thickens slightly and adjust salt and pepper if needed.
Angle-slice chicken, drizzle some sauce over chicken and serve remainder of the sauce on the side.
5. DO-AHEAD DIRECTIONS: This recipe is designed for advance preparation up to the grilling step, which is best done right at service time. If necessary, chicken can be grilled ahead, sauce prepared and both refrigerated separately. At service, reheat chicken in the oven in a sealed container with a bit of water or chicken broth, angle slice chicken and serve with heated sauce.