Tonight we had chicken on the grill, Houdyshell style, topped with Andrew’s amazing Chimichurri Sauce and a Citrus Vinaigrette Salad. It was like the culmination of all things friends and family and the beginning of summer. I’ve made a pact to start using our grill more; we’ve taken an unacceptable hiatus due to an empty propane tank. We feared the worst from our relatively new grill, as we’ve had terrible luck withgrills, but it turns out, yep out of propane. Someone in this house (dear husband) is claiming that someone (yours truly) left the propane on all night to cause it’s sudden death. Could be, but I don’t remember being responsible for that. I grew up with the awesome gas hookup in the back yard, so there was never a previous need in my life to exchange these dang propane tanks. We have a charcoal grill, too, and I know true grillers tout the extreme superiority, but this is one category where I vote for ease of use. Even after finding the charcoal starter I inevitably leave the charcoal somewhere it gets wet or run out entirely or just forget to start in time to have a decent temperature going.
Our friend Andrew  had us over for dinner awhile back and no one could stop raving about his chimichurri recipe. It’s the perfect combination of light and fresh and spicy enough to make the little segment under your eyes feel like it’s sweating but not enough to make you cry, kind of like the way I want horseradish, kick your dog hot . Andrew  matriculated from south Louisiana, home of all things amazing in the shellfish arena and has a wonderful business bringing crawfish equipment to you and yours anywhere in the country. Come to think of it, the best kiddo birthday I ever attended was a 7 year old’s crawfish boil, perhaps I should rethink the bowling party and see about a crawfish boil… but that said Andrew and Darcie will be expecting their first baby right around then so maybe next year will be a better bet.
We grill the chicken on a grill of course, Mama Houdyshell style. When my first baby was a mere 3 weeks old, we had a rockin’ 4th of July party/sip ‘n’ see. If you’re not from the south, I highly recommend you adding these parties to your repertoire. This blog  has almost my exact experience when first hearing about these events. But Lord knows I love a party, so heh? Mine consisted of a keg of Miller High Life Light on the front porch, 2 watermelons infused with vodka, chicken sandwiches and burgers from the grill, friends, family, a whole lot of fun, and my induction to parenthood. I will note, mine was *not* a gift-giving exchange like a typical shower. I get so uncomfortable in the gift giving process. Mine was a, Hey y’all! We just had a baby, come try out our Baby Bijorn and meet our party girl who went for margaritas on the way home from the hospital! Back to topic, Mama Houdyshell brought the chicken for the sandwiches, and perhaps the watermelons, too. Her way of doing it was so much better than mine that I’ve stuck with it and run.
I also love the live butter lettuce , pre-kiddos, this was our staple. I’ve fallen prey to simplicity now, so we have an awful lot of bagged or containered pre-washed salad. I’ve made the switch by promising myself that these bagged salads contain more dark greens and are therefore healthier. But especially cause it’s summer, I had to bring this back. Light, fresh, and happy!
Mama Houdyshell’s marinade
3 split breast chickens
1 c. olive oil
3 whole lemons
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
Place chicken breasts in a large ziplock or bowl. Add oil, garlic and spices. Half lemons, then squeeze the juice into bag, place rinds in bag. Let marinate 6-8 hours, shaking occaisonally.
1 c. flat leaf parsley. Finely chopped and lightly packed.
5 Cloves garlic, Minced.
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp chili pepper flakes
2 tbsp onion. Finely chopped.
3/4 c. Olive Oil
3 tbsp Red wine vinegar
3 tbsp Lemon Juice
5 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp shallots, finely chopped
1 tsp Murray River Pink Salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Mix, whisk with fork and pour over a butter lettuce salad with your choice of addatives. I did green onions, grape tomatoes and blue cheese. Pine nuts or toasted almonds would have been lovely.