Grilled Marinated Chicken Breast with Courgette Ribbons

This grilled marinated chicken, served with courgette ribbons, is a fresh and light recipe that takes moments to make. Finish with garlic, basil and olive oil.

Simple French Cookery
From the book Simple French Cookery


I do urge you to try this dish. Although it looks quite long it is very simple. It can be prepared a day in advance and then takes only a few minutes to cook. You could experiment with other herbs in the marinade, or even spices if you wish.

Serves 4


For the grilled chicken:
4 boneless, skinless organic or free range chicken breasts
6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
½ tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper
For the marinated courgettes:
4 large but firm courgettes, cut lengthways into slices 3mm (⅛in) thick
½ garlic clove, crushed
8 fresh basil leaves, torn
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the tomato dressing:
4 tomatoes, seeded (but not skinned) and cut into 5mm (¼in) dice
1 shallot, finely chopped
8 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 tbsp water
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1-2 pinches of sugar (optional)
Sea salt

Essential kit

You will need a ridged griddle pan.


Preparing the chicken breasts:
Slice each chicken breast horizontally in half, leaving it joined at one side, so you can open it up like a book. Place between 2 sheets of clingfilm and flatten with a meat mallet or rolling pin (be careful not to do this too forcefully or the texture of the meat will be ruined and it will taste dry).

Marinating the chicken:
Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, crushed garlic, thyme, rosemary and 4 pinches of black pepper together to make a marinade. Put the chicken breasts in a large shallow dish, cover them with the marinade, then cover the dish with cling film and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours.

Marinating the courgettes:
Mix the courgette slices with the garlic, basil, olive oil, 6 pinches of salt and 4 pinches of pepper. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 6 hours.

Making the tomato dressing:
Whisk the tomatoes, shallot, oil, water and vinegar together with 4 pinches of salt. Taste and correct the seasoning, adding the sugar if necessary. Set aside in a small saucepan.

Grilling the chicken:
Season the chicken breasts with 4 pinches of salt. On a very hot ridged griddle pan, cook 2 chicken breasts for 2 minutes on each side, then remove and set aside. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts.

Finishing the dish:
Transfer the courgettes and their juices to a large saucepan. Cover and cook over a high heat for 2 minutes, until just tender. Meanwhile, gently heat the tomato dressing; don’t let it boil or the flavour will be spoiled. Remove the courgettes from the pan with a slotted spoon. Put them on 4 plates with the chicken, spoon over the dressing and serve.

Preparation time: 25 minutes, plus at least 6 hours' marinating. Cooking time: 6 minutes. 

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