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Recipe: A platter of grilled chicken breasts with fresh mint salsa verde will wow your party guests

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Mint Salsa VerdeKaroline Boehm Goodnick

Serves 8

Salsa verde here does not refer to the Mexican condiment made with tomatillos, chiles, and cilantro, but instead to the herby olive oil sauce traditionally used to garnish the famous Italian Florentine steak dish. This bright sauce elevates and balances anything cooked over an open flame. Pulse garlic, capers, and anchovies with handfuls of fresh mint and parsley in a food processor. Unlike pesto, this sauce does not emulsify; keep it loose -- and deliciously piquant -- with a dash of caper brine, if necessary. Let the chicken breasts rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling so the thickest part cooks through before the skin burns. This is especially important when dealing with the large breasts we find in today's supermarkets. Start the chicken over a medium-hot fire, and finish them in a cooler spot on the grill. Carve them off the bone into thick slices and top with spoonfuls of salsa verde on individual plates or, for a real party showstopper, present a large platter of slices and sauce and garnish with more fresh herbs and lemons.

CHICKEN

8 bone-in, skin-on, split chicken breasts (7 to 8 pounds)
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Vegetable oil (for the grill)
2tablespoons olive oil

1. Sprinkle the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

2. Prepare a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to medium-high on one side and low on the other. Brush the grill rack to clean it. With a wadded paper towel, quickly brush the grill grates with vegetable oil.

3. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Brush both sides of the breasts with the olive oil.

4. Place the chicken, skin-side down, on the hot side of the grill. Close the lid and grill for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the skin is lightly charred and no longer sticking to the grates. Turn the breasts and set on the cooler part of the grill. Close the lid and continue cooking for 10 to 15 minutes more, or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reads 165 degrees. Transfer the breasts to a cutting board and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

SALSA

2cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
¼cup capers, drained
3 anchovy fillets
½teaspoon crushed red pepper
Salt and black pepper, to taste
3cups fresh Italian parsley leaves
2cups fresh mint leaves
1cup olive oil
Grated rind and juice of 2 lemons
Extra caper brine, if needed

1. In a food processor, combine the garlic, capers, anchovies, red pepper, salt, and black pepper. Pulse 2 to 3 times, or until finely chopped.

2. Add the parsley and mint. Pulse 2 to 4 times, or until the herbs are finely chopped but not a paste.

3. Add the olive oil, and lemon rind and juice. Pulse again until just combined; do not let the mixture emulsify (become completely blended like a vinaigrette). If the sauce is too thick to be spooned easily, add a splash of caper brine.

4. Cut the breasts off the bone in large pieces. Carve the breasts into thick slices and top with spoonfuls of salsa.

Karoline Boehm Goodnick

Serves 8

Salsa verde here does not refer to the Mexican condiment made with tomatillos, chiles, and cilantro, but instead to the herby olive oil sauce traditionally used to garnish the famous Italian Florentine steak dish. This bright sauce elevates and balances anything cooked over an open flame. Pulse garlic, capers, and anchovies with handfuls of fresh mint and parsley in a food processor. Unlike pesto, this sauce does not emulsify; keep it loose -- and deliciously piquant -- with a dash of caper brine, if necessary. Let the chicken breasts rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling so the thickest part cooks through before the skin burns. This is especially important when dealing with the large breasts we find in today's supermarkets. Start the chicken over a medium-hot fire, and finish them in a cooler spot on the grill. Carve them off the bone into thick slices and top with spoonfuls of salsa verde on individual plates or, for a real party showstopper, present a large platter of slices and sauce and garnish with more fresh herbs and lemons.

CHICKEN

8 bone-in, skin-on, split chicken breasts (7 to 8 pounds)
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Vegetable oil (for the grill)
2tablespoons olive oil

1. Sprinkle the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

2. Prepare a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to medium-high on one side and low on the other. Brush the grill rack to clean it. With a wadded paper towel, quickly brush the grill grates with vegetable oil.

3. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Brush both sides of the breasts with the olive oil.

4. Place the chicken, skin-side down, on the hot side of the grill. Close the lid and grill for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the skin is lightly charred and no longer sticking to the grates. Turn the breasts and set on the cooler part of the grill. Close the lid and continue cooking for 10 to 15 minutes more, or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reads 165 degrees. Transfer the breasts to a cutting board and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

SALSA

2cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
¼cup capers, drained
3 anchovy fillets
½teaspoon crushed red pepper
Salt and black pepper, to taste
3cups fresh Italian parsley leaves
2cups fresh mint leaves
1cup olive oil
Grated rind and juice of 2 lemons
Extra caper brine, if needed

1. In a food processor, combine the garlic, capers, anchovies, red pepper, salt, and black pepper. Pulse 2 to 3 times, or until finely chopped.

2. Add the parsley and mint. Pulse 2 to 4 times, or until the herbs are finely chopped but not a paste.

3. Add the olive oil, and lemon rind and juice. Pulse again until just combined; do not let the mixture emulsify (become completely blended like a vinaigrette). If the sauce is too thick to be spooned easily, add a splash of caper brine.

4. Cut the breasts off the bone in large pieces. Carve the breasts into thick slices and top with spoonfuls of salsa.Karoline Boehm Goodnick