There were a lot of good reasons for me to make this meal. Most of the cooking is done outside on the grill – no need to heat the house any further on an already steamy day. The dish is relatively healthy and super colorful too. The tomato and cucumber salad calls for a mix of fresh herbs, which presents the perfect opportunity to use some of my mint and parsley. Normally this late in the summer I’ve managed to kill my herbs, but they are inexplicably thriving this year!
All of those things drew me to this recipe, but at the end of the day my primary motivation was really the purple baby potatoes. I only discovered them in my grocery store in the past few months, but I’m completely obsessed with them. Are they not one of the most stunning foods ever? They don’t taste any different (a fact Shane is skeptical about, he refuses to try them), but their vibrant color is just so much more fun on the plate than their red or white counterparts. It’s the little things that excite me sometimes 🙂 And obviously if you can’t find them, no biggie – just use whatever is available to you.
My other favorite thing about this dish is the bright, fresh lemony vinaigrette. It’s not just used to dress the tomato and cucumber salad – it also serves as a marinade and sauce for the chicken and is tossed with the warm potatoes so they absorb its flavor as well. As a result, this meal tastes as good as it looks! A welcome addition to our summer meal rotation for sure.
Grilled Chicken and Potatoes with Tomato and Cucumber Salad
from Fine Cooking
1 1/2 lb baby potatoes, halved (or quartered if large)
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 anchovy fillets, rinsed and minced
1 large clove garlic, mashed to a paste with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 lb total)
1/2 large cucumber, peeled in stripes, seed core removed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mixed herbs (I used chives, parsley and mint)
Preheat your grill to medium-high. Oil the grates lightly (I use the tongs to hold a paper towel that’s been dipped in oil and rub it over the grates).
Add the potatoes to a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Season the water well with salt. Bring to a boil, then continue cooking until the potatoes are nearly cooked through, about 5 minutes – they should retain a little of their firmness (otherwise they’ll fall apart when you put them on the grill).
Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette: Combine the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, anchovies, garlic paste, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a jar with a lid. Shake well to combine.
Drain the potatoes, then transfer them to a large bowl. Add three tablespoons of the vinaigrette, and gently toss to combine. In a second bowl, toss the chicken with three tablespoons of the vinaigrette, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper.
Transfer the chicken to one side of the grill. Place a piece of foil on the opposite side of the grill, and transfer the potatoes to the foil. Grill the chicken for 10-12 minutes, or until cooked through, flipping once. Stir the potatoes occasionally, and cook them until they have browned (they should take roughly the same amount of time as the chicken). Remove the chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Transfer the potatoes back to the bowl you drained them in.
While the chicken rests, toss the cucumbers, tomatoes, herbs and two tablespoons of the vinaigrette in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Plate the chicken, potatoes and salad, drizzling the remaining vinaigrette over the chicken.