Grilled Lemon Tarragon Chicken

A simple summer weeknight meal. Chicken marinated in a tangy/sweet lemon tarragon sauce, and then grilled to perfection. Top with grilled lemon slices and squeeze the juice from them over the chicken just before serving for an extra boost of lemon flavor. 

While this blog will mostly highlight my favorite small batch treats, I’ll also share a few of my favorite healthy eats. Let me tell you a brief version of my weight-loss story, which inspired me to bake small batch treats and start this blog! Rewind three years; I had just had my first baby. I had only gained 26 lbs when I was pregnant with him, which if you know anything about pregnancy is pretty normal. However two months after having him, I was at the highest non-pregnancy weight I had ever been at: 190 lbs (12 lbs above my pre-pregnancy weight of 178 lbs). With the eating habits I had and my couch potato life-style, I knew this number on the scale would just continue to climb.
Grilled Lemon Tarragon Chicken // bakingyum.com
Maybe it was just having had a baby, or the humiliation I felt for being so heavy, or the fact that I desired a much healthier relationship with food; but whatever the reason, something was driving me daily to get fit and eat a healthier diet. Instead of having a goal to be thin, my goal was to take care of myself and live a healthy, long life. Becoming thin was just a biproduct of that goal. My weight loss wasn’t easy. It didn’t come off fast. I lost 60 pounds gradually; it took close to 18 months. There were ups, downs, and plateaus. Learning to eat and live healthily was a major learning curve for me. I had been very thin during my teen years but that was because of an eating disorder, not because of instinctively healthy habits.
Grilled Lemon Tarragon Chicken // bakingyum.com Just after reaching my goal weight, I got pregnant again! But thanks to my new healthy habits I gained within the recommended amount for pregnancy weight gain (27 lbs). And, after having our baby girl the weight came off relatively fast.

Now, I’m no dietitian. I don’t consider myself any sort of expert when it comes to health, nutrition, or fitness. But I do know that on a daily basis I strive to find balance in my diet and my daily activity, and what I’ve been doing has worked for me for three years now. I have maintained a weight loss of sixty pounds, and I think that is pretty impressive! I accept that I’m still learning, every day, how to take better care of myself.Grilled Lemon Tarragon Chicken // bakingyum.com
A lot of people have asked me recently, “why small batch treats?”. The answer for me is simple. We’ve all heard the phrase, “have your cake and eat it too”. After starting to live a more healthy lifestyle and still LOVING to bake, my motto has become “have your cake and bake it too” (and baking includes eating that cake or sweet too)! Of course, since the batches are much smaller, I end up eating one cookie instead of say… a dozen. All the while I still get to maintain the healthy, active lifestyle I love so much. I’m experiencing the best of both worlds.

I’m just now realizing that I’ve gotten this far into a post and I haven’t even talked about today’s recipe yet! It’s delicious. It’s healthy. It’s Lemon Tarragon Chicken, and you should all go make it ASAP. Dinner tonight, yes? We served ours with Seeds of Change Brown Rice and Quinoa with Garlic, and peas and thyme from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. Enjoy!

Grilled Honey Lemon Tarragon Chicken
Recipe Type: Dinner
Author: © Amanda Jenks
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice, [i]from about 1 large or 2 small lemons[/i]
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried tarragon [i]or[/i] 1 tbsp fresh tarragon leaves (coarsely chopped)
  • zest of 1 lemon, peeled off with a vegetable peeler*
  • 4 (6 oz) boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • additional lemon slices for grilling, if desired
Instructions
  1. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, honey, salt, onion powder and garlic in a blender. Mix on high speed until light yellow in color (about 30 seconds-1 minute).
  2. Pour into a bowl and stir in pepper, tarragon, and lemon peel. Place chicken in marinade, cover, and let marinate in refrigerator for 4-8 hours.
  3. When ready to grill, preheat grill to medium-high. Oil the grill grates. When preheated, grill chicken for 6-8 minutes on first side, keeping covered while cooking. Flip and continue to grill until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 155˚F (it should take about 4-6 more minutes depending on the size and thickness of your chicken breasts). Grill the lemon slices during the last few minutes of cooking time, and baste with boiled marinade if desired (see recipe notes). Remove chicken from heat and cover with foil. Let rest 5-10 minutes before serving.
Notes
Peel the zest off of the large lemon before juicing it. Make sure you’re peeling off just the yellow zest, not the white pith, which tastes bitter. [br][br]If desired, bring the leftover marinade to a boil while the chicken is cooking. Once it has come to a full rolling boil, you can use it to baste the chicken in the last few minutes of cooking. This makes the chicken absolutely divine, and since the marinade has come to a boil it is completely safe to use as a basting sauce. However the chicken is also fantastic if you don’t do this. It really depends on your personal preference.

 

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