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La Bonne Vie: Fire up the grill and try Rachel Shenk’s chicken marinade recipe this spring

Though there have been many grey skies, the weather is slowly shifting toward summer.

The humidity is rising, the landscape is filling in and my winter boots are going into storage. And there have been enough warm, sunny evenings to put our stoop to full use. Oriented to the west, the late sun’s rays reach our front door and, with just enough room for a couple of wicker chairs, it is a perfect spot to read the paper, watch the neighborhood goings-on and unwind, with or without a glass of wine. It’s one way to soak in what little sun is shining on our world this spring.

Along with the stoop sitting, I am also picking up some other springtime routines. Running at Ox Bow Park is high on the list alongside a couple of runs up and down the park tower stairs. Eating on the deck with family or friends and making food in the wood-fire oven or on the grill soon follow. And we have our bikes ready to go when the weather permits us to use them.

Winter is now just a faint photograph in my mind of stark branches and multiples of black and white. I now embrace the multiples of green and all the bright accents of color. On a walk the other day, I counted 20 new flowering plants, from trillium to redbud and large, tiny and in between.

Something about this weather makes me relax. Maybe, all of a sudden, it feels like I have more hours in my day, and so what was crammed into an eight hour day can now be stretched into 15 hours of daylight. Mornings welcome me with light, and evenings crawl luxuriously slowly until sundown. I find that tasks are a little easier to do. And that there is more time to enjoy.

This past weekend, with Mother’s Day, we put our deck to full use. I pulled out an old recipe for grilled chicken, threw together a salad and topped it out with a new version of my cherry tarts.

I have been waiting for this. And here it is!

Here is the recipe for the grilled chicken that I like to make.


Servings: 3


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cherry balsamic vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • 2 large bone-in chicken breasts, skinned


  1. Mix ingredients in a large glass dish. Put in the chicken and turn to coat, making sure the meaty part is resting in the liquid.
  2. Let marinade for an hour, turning occasionally.
  3. Grill, or roast as desired, brushing occasionally with the marinade as it bakes.

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