Lemon-Basil Grilled Chicken with Fried Green Tomatoes and Horseradish Cream

Oh man, do I love fried green tomatoes. One of my favorite interpretations is from Dinosaur BBQ (yeah Syracuse!) Crispy, tangy and oh-so-summery, fried green tomatoes are the perfect vessel for dipping sauce. Dino does a buttermilk ranch, but I kept it simple with a few staples I had in the fridge.

Get ready to see lots of dishes with basil. I’m not lying when I say I scored a bouquet of the stuff at the greenmarket. As you’ve probably picked up by now, I’m not much for meat, but every so often I like to throw a little somethin’ or other on the grill (or grill pan, let’s be honest here, I live in NYC).  Maybe you want to serve this with sweet tea and perhaps a ridiculous Paula Deen dessert to really channel Southern summer living.

Lemon-Basil Grilled Chicken with Fried Green Tomatoes  and Horseradish Cream 

Yield: 2 servings


  • 1 large green tomato, 1/4 inch slices and sprinkled with salt and peppper
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal (mixed with a dash of salt, pepper and cayenne pepper)
  • 1/2 cup mild olive oil, peanut oil or canola oil (or a combination)
  • 1 tsp. horseradish
  • 4 T. mayonnaise or plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 T. ketchup
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (preferably organic), lightly pounded
  • 2 T. olive oil or canola oil
  • 5 basil leaves, slightly chopped (plus more for garnish)
  • 1/2 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat a grill or grill pan.
  2. Prep chicken marinade: in a large bowl, combine olive or canola oil, basil leaves, lemon juice and zest, garlic, salt and pepper. Add chicken and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and place in oven until ready to grill (can be done a few hours in advance).
  3. Combine horseradish, mayo or yogurt, ketchup and cayenne. Season with salt and pepper and chill until ready to use.
  4. Preheat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil. Place cornmeal, salt, pepper and cayenne in a shallow bowl. Dredge tomato slices in cornmeal and fry in oil until golden brown (about 3 minutes on each side). Drain on paper towel. Keep warm on a baking sheet in a 250 degree oven.
  5. Heat grill or grill pan. Remove chicken from marinade and with drain off excess marinade and wipe off basil. Place chicken on a preheated grill at a 45 degree angle, cook until grill marks appear and turn the opposite 45 degrees to create crosshatch. Flip and repeat on opposite side. Cook until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove from grill allow to rest for a few minutes.
  6. Serve chicken with fried green tomatoes with a dollop of horseradish cream. Sprinkle with chopped basil.

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