When we go upstate to the country on weekends, I love stopping at our friends’ farmer’s market to buy a fresh, delicious chicken. Here’s one of my favorite recipes. Not only does it feature a zesty lemon ginger sauce, but it also incorporates sage, an herb that pairs wonderfully with chicken.

You’ve probably seen sage in everything from soaps, to shampoo, to incense. The herb is recognizable by its grayish, green color and silvery buds, and has a distinctively sweet and soothing fragrance. Sage has been used throughout history for its natural medicinal properties. Its scientific name, Salvia officinalis, in Latin actually means “to be saved”! The herb is known for being a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent. Additionally, it is also known for serving as a powerful memory enhancer, so eat sage and become a sage!

Grilled Chicken with Sage and Garlic and Lemon Ginger Basting Sauce – serves 6

One 5.2 lb chicken, washed, thoroughly dried with backbone cut out and breast flattened with your hand
4 full stems of fresh sage
4 larges cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
Fine sea salt
Fresh ground pepper

Stuff one stem of sage and one clove of garlic, sliced, under the skin in each of the breasts and thigh sections. Salt and pepper your birds all over on both sides. Spray your grill with oil. Grill at 425 degrees basting with the Lemon Ginger sauce, turning twice, until your instant read thermometer registers at 155 degrees. Let it rest for 10 – 15 minutes before carving.


Lemon Ginger Basting Sauce

1.5 tbs. unsalted butter
1 tbs olive oil
1 bay leaf
5 tbs. finely minced onion
4 tbs. minced ginger
6 tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 tbs. Dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
1 tsp. light brown sugar
1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
10 grinds of black pepper
¾ tsp. Sriracha sauce
3 tbs. water

In a small saucepan, melt the butter in olive oil over low heat. Add bay leaf, ginger and onion, cover and sweat for 10 – 15 minutes. Check often, stir and do not let it brown, but you want it to be meltingly soft. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the water, stirring well. Raise heat to medium-high and whisk in water. Stir until mixture boils and then remove from heat. This can be made a couple of hours before you’re going to use it. Keep it at room temperature.

Serve with LOVE and enjoy!


About The Author

My name is Mary Frances. I am a designer, creative director, painter, wife, mother and cook. I own an internationally recognized, award-winning brand development and marketing communications firm in New York City, and am a graduate of Parsons School of Design. I especially love to cook and serve great food to make people content and happy. Hearing mmmm’s makes my heart soar. I grew up in suburban St. Louis, in Webster Groves, the youngest of six and the only girl. (Yes, that’s FIVE older brothers!) My mom was a great home cook, and she made sure that I could make a mean pie from scratch. After Parsons, I married, had two boys and moved from NYC to the NJ suburbs where I threw myself into cooking and entertaining. Now it’s time for me to share the great recipes, tips, stories and LOVE with you. The inspiration for LOVE – the secret ingredient www.lovethesecretingredient.net came from our youngest son when he wrote in a gift cookbook that the one ingredient that was ever-present in my meals was love. When you cook with LOVE, everything just tastes better.

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