A GRILL'S BEST FRIEND

Chalee Tennison moves up the outdoor-cooking ladder by learning some marinating magic from a pro

Chalee Tennison wants her husband, Mark, to relinquish the throne. "I do all the cooking inside the house," says Chalee. "But when it comes to outdoors, he says he's the king of the grill!"

That may be about to change, as Chalee snags some pointers from chef Brian Mannett -- of Lawry's Live! National 2003 Cooking Caravan on its recent stopover in Nashville – to help her change the grillmaster pecking order. Today she's learning how to prepare Louisiana Red Pepper Chicken with Cucumber Salsa.

As Brian heats up the grill, Chalee chops the onions, cucumber, tomato and cilantro into tiny cubes for the salsa, to be added later. Meanwhile, Brian reaches for a bottle Lawry's Louisiana Red Pepper Marinade with Lemon Juice. "This one is spicy -- just like you," laughs Brian.

After pouring the marinade into a plastic bag, Chalee adds a chicken breast and pops it in the fridge for about a half hour before removing. "Be sure to shake off the excess marinade, or else your chicken will burn on the grill," says Brian.

"I didn't know that!" replies Chalee, as the chicken hits the grill with a sizzle.

As she mixes the salsa, she amazes Brian with a tip of her own: "I've heard that you should cut up the chicken in small one-bite pieces to maximize the flavor of the salsa."

"That's right," Brian smiles. "You obviously know your stuff!"

Chalee -- who will be dishing out new music when her CD, Parading in the Rain, is released in August -- flips the chicken, and adds a sprinkling of salsa.

One taste says it all. "It's yummy! I can't wait to try this at home -- my whole family is going to love it," says the proud mother of children Tiffany, Haley and Tyler.

"Brian taught me a few tricks I didn't know," says Chalee. "Boy, is Mark going to be surprised. Maybe now he'll let me take charge of the outdoor grill once in a while!"

Comments