It’s that time of year again when the earth greens up and the sky lures us into long barefoot days under the sun. There’s a specific sort of tiredness that comes with days like these. It’s not that empty type of fatigue caused by burnout or overwhelm; It's physical weariness: chapped lipped, windblown hair, sun-kissed cheeks, and muscles oh-so-tired from the best kind of use. It is a tiredness that fills our bones with groundedness, our lungs with a lot of fresh air, and our bellies full of deep relief laugh.
We’ve been experiencing the former sort of tiredness for much too long. A bone-deep burnout that lingers from too many days of blue light, unrelenting negative news, and prolonged isolation. So, we set out in search of the latter, more gratifying, sort of tiredness.
Somehow we always find ourselves heading for running water and sage covered hills to decompress and reconnect. On this adventure we reconnected with old friends on our favorite stretch of river and crafted up a simple yet delicious late-spring meal around the campfire.
The lemon herb-marinated grilled chicken stole the show with it’s bright flavors and juicy meat cooked to perfection on the Circular Fire Pit Grill Grate and Cowboy Grill Charcoal Tray. We paired this with Lemony Risotto and Spring Greens for a full-bodied meal, minus the fuss.
Just before leaving town I tossed the chicken into a bag full of marinade so it could soak up the flavor for at least 24 hours. When it came time to make dinner all I had to do was toss it on the hot grill. It’s a quick and effortless camp meal (perfect for those long days outside), but boasts flavor that makes a lasting impression.
How to make Easy Lemon Herb Grilled Chicken
Serving: 6 | Prep Time: 5 min | Marinade Time: 1-24 h
Cook Time: 15 min | Total Time: 20 min + marinade
- 6 chicken thighs or 3 chicken breasts, 1 ½ inch strips
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 lemon reserved for garnish
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme, stems removed and chopped
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, stems removed and chopped
- ¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoon chives, finely chopped
- 1 sprig basil leaves, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Slice chicken into 1 ½ inch strips.
- Pat dry with a paper towel and sprinkle salt over all sides of the raw meat.
- Place chicken strips into a plastic bag or marinade container.
- Add all marinade ingredients to the bag.
- Seal the bag and massage it to work the marinade thoroughly into the chicken.
- Store it on ice in your cooler and let marinate for at least 1 hour, but ideally 12-24 hours.
- When ready to cook, heat 30 coals in a coal starter.
- When the coals are mostly white pour them into the coal tray and place the grate on top of the heat.
- Using tongs, place the marinated chicken on the grill grate.
- Let cook on each side for 5-8 minutes or until they are cooked through and the meat turns golden brown on the outside.
- Remove from heat and let the meat rest for a few minutes.
- Just before serving, squeeze a little lemon juice over the top.
- Garnish with fresh herbs and lemon slices.
Brianne Dela Cruz is a master gardener, wild forager, campfire foodie, and acclaimed writer and photographer. From her home in Salt Lake City, she teaches online gardening and foraging courses for modern folks and budding naturalists as well as hosts seasonal community gatherings. Brianne's blog and online school, Gather & Grow, is a community of folks exploring the intersection between nature and personal growth by discovering ways to slow down and nourish themselves with nature.