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Crusty Herbed Chicken
“A crunchy crust of crumbs and minced herbs seals in the natural juices.”
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons black peppercorns, cracked (see Tip)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 pounds bone-in chicken pieces, skin removed
2 cups fresh whole-wheat bread crumbs, toasted (see Tip)
⅔ cup minced fresh herbs, (approximately 6 tablespoons chopped scallions or chives, 1 tablespoon rosemary, 1 tablespoon sage)
1Using a vegetable peeler, remove half the rind from the lemon and cut it into strips. Juice the lemon. Combine lemon rind, juice, oil, pepper and garlic, and place the mixture in a large plastic bag. Shake to blend seasonings. Add chicken, squeeze out excess air, seal and marinate in the refrigerator at least 2 hours, or until cooking time.
2Preheat grill to medium-high.
3Combine crumbs and herbs in a large, shallow dish. Remove chicken from the marinade, brush off lemon rind and peppercorns, and roll each piece in the crumb mixture. Coat each piece as thickly and evenly as possible.
4Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Grill the chicken, turning every 10 to 15 minutes, until juices run clear, about 30 to 40 minutes.
To crack peppercorns, place whole spices in a plastic bag and crush with the bottom of a heavy skillet or pulse in a spice grinder.
To make fresh breadcrumbs, trim crusts from firm sandwich bread. Tear bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. One slice of bread makes about ⅓ cup crumbs.
To oil the grill rack, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.) When grilling delicate foods like tofu and fish, it is helpful to spray the food with cooking spray.