Grilled Chicken with Lemon Salsa and Mint Pea Puree

Grilled Chicken with Lemon Salsa and Pea Purée  (adapted from Bon Appetit June 20114 Servings  


  • 4 cups hot water
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 2 tbs garlic powder
  • 1 tbs black pepper
  • 4 6-ounce chicken breast
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
Pea purée
  • 2 cups fresh shelled peas (from 2 lb. peas in pod) or frozen peas, thawed
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 1/3 cups (packed) fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/3 cup (packed) fresh mint leaves
  • 4 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • Pinch (generous) of sugar
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 preserved lemon, fresh Meyer lemon, or regular lemon
  • 4 teaspoons finely chopped shallot
  • 1 tablespoon (scant) Champagne vinegar
  • Pinch of kosher salt plus more for seasoning
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for brushing
  • 4 teaspoons thinly sliced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3/4 teaspoon (scant) honey
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup fresh shelled peas or frozen peas, thawed


Combine first 6 ingredients for brine into a large bowl, whisk until well combined.  Remove from heat and let cool. Once brine has cooled submerge chicken breast in brine and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove chicken from brine, pat dry with paper towel and set aside.

Pea purée

Cook peas in a large pot of boiling salted water for 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a large bowl of ice water. Boil spinach and mint in same pot until wilted, 5-10 seconds. Transfer to bowl with peas. Reserve 1/2 cup ice water. Drain pea mixture well. Purée in a blender, adding reserved ice water by tablespoonfuls if mixture is too thick. Add oil and sugar; purée. Season to taste with salt and pepper; set aside.


Prepare a grill or grill skillet to medium-high heat.  Use a vegetable peeler to remove the peel without the pith. Thinly slice peel. Put shallot, vinegar, and pinch of salt in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Add peel, 1/3 cup oil, parsley, and honey; whisk to blend. Season lemon salsa with salt and pepper.

Brush grill rack with oil. Brush chicken with a little of the lemon salsa.  Grill chicken until an internal temperature of 165 degrees , about 5 minutes per side.

Rewarm pea purée over medium heat. Stir in peas; cook until tender, about 5 minutes.  Divide pea mixture among plates. Top with chicken and spoon lemon salsa over.

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