Fire up the grill (even at 9 am)

Hello all!

So after my 6 am workout this morning, I decided to treat myself to something –



Peet’s coffee! My mom is a total Peet’s snob, and has every right to be since she frequented the original flagship store on Vine Street in Berkeley when she went to the UC there. She has passed that taste on to me, but not so much my sister (Heidi loves her Starbucks!)

So I put that extra post-workout energy boost to use for my Thursday Dinners for my clients – allow me to explain: I have two clients, good friends of our family a bit older than my parents, for whom I cook every Thursday. This is an awesome side business because I get a creative outlet for cooking every week to display to outside patrons other then my family!

So today, my clients got garlic artichoke chicken with orzo and Brussel sprouts. Simple ingredients, easy execution, fantastic product. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

3 lbs chicken breast, about 5 breasts

Garlic artichoke marinade, used liberally to your desire

2/3 cup orzo

2 cups Brussel sprouts

1/4 cup Parmesan 

Various spicing (I used 21 Seasoning Salute)



See? Not so many things that come together to make a great meal!

First, get started on that orzo. Like I made in the Southwestern Orzo Salad, it’s a lot like pasta. Cook in water for about 9-10 minutes until al dente –



While that cooks, turn to the chicken and start to marinate it –



Nom! The smell of this sauce was amazing, I’ll tell ya. Pungent from the garlic, but amazing. And then I came out to this bad boy –



Our grill. I love this thing! My dad taught me to cook from a young age (the first thing I learned to make was eggs at age 4) and he made sure that I was grilling before too long as well. By 11 or 12, I had this thing down to a science.

So grilling chicken isn’t hard. Just takes patience, lots and lots of waiting. Start out by lighting the grill and just throw it on –



And wait about 5-6 minutes until the first flip –



Looks good so far, but you can still see the pink so it’s got a ways to go. Now close the top again and wait 8-9 minutes this time until the second flip –



Whew! Look at that bird, it’s a beaut! Now close it once more for 6 more minutes just to get a nice crisp on the outside of your breasts before it comes off the grill –



And this is what you get! Perfect chicken! I wanted to sit down with a fork and carving knife and go to town but had to remind myself of the clients…

So I let that cool down and returned to the orzo, which in the meantime had been drained and cooled. Now I deal with the Brussel sprouts. I start by cutting off the ends and in half like so –



I did this to all of my sprouts and put them into a microwave safe bowl and put some water in for the par-cooking –



Then it goes in the microwave for a ‘fresh vegetable’ cycle, about 3:20. In the meantime, Heat a skillet with some olive oil –



Once it’s heated up and the Brussel sprouts are finished cooking, throw them in –



Stir those around a little and brown them a bit before you throw in the spicing and the cooked orzo –



Once it’s all combined and cooked, I put it in the container for my client with one of the pretty chicken breasts and sprinkled some Parmesan on top –



Ta da! Thursday Dinner by Tessa! This is what the clients got today, and I anxiously await their comments on the meal.

I’m saving my portion for later, but that little bit of chicken I tried was marvelous. So excited!




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