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Heart Healthy Basil Lemon Chicken from Chef Donald at The Hearth!

September 30, 2022

Chef Donald shares a tasty Fall recipe with residents at The Hearth at Drexel

Head Cook at The Hearth at Drexel, Donald, says the best part of his day is bringing smiles to residents’ faces as they delight and enjoy the community’s inspired cuisine. Whether he is serving grilled ahi tuna or residents’ favorite crab cakes, Donald makes sure to bring happiness and health to the people of this community with every meal.

Originally from Jamaica, Donald’s interest for food and cooking began with his family. “It started with my mom,” he says. “Everybody in my family is a cook. That’s really where my background in food comes from.” Growing up eating delicious Jamaican food, Donald got a taste of American cuisine when he moved here 20 years ago.

“I enjoy seeing residents smile and hearing how much they enjoy the food we serve. That’s really what motivates me every single day, putting a smile on their faces with a great meal.” 
Donald, head cook at The Hearth at Drexel

THD Healthy Heart Basil Lemon Chicken Recipe – Chef Donald 

True Lemon Plus Juice                  1-2 Cup lemon juice

Olive Oil                                         1  2/3 Cup Olive Oil

Pepper Lemon with Salt                3  1/3 Lemon Pepper

Basil- Fresh chopped                    13 1/3 Basil      

Chicken Breast Boneless 4 oz       80 Chicken Breasts


1)  Combine oil, lemon pepper, basil,  and lemon juice for marinade. Mix until well blended. 

2)  Pour marinade over chicken, turning to coat evenly. CCP-Hold refrigerated at internal temperature  

     of 40 degrees F. Or below for 1-2 hours to marinate. Do not drain.

3)  Place chicken on a chargrill over medium-high heat. Cook for 2 minutes. Rotate 90 degrees 

     and cook for 2 more minutes to create cross marks. CCP- Turn and cook for 2 to 3 minutes 

     more or until minimum internal temperature is 165 degrees F. (For 15 seconds).

4)  NOTE:  If you don’t have a chargrill, bake in a 300 degree F. standard oven for 35 minutes or 

     until minimum internal temperature is 165 degrees F.( For 15 seconds).

5)  Shelf Life: If left over, do not reuse.

Dining Director Chris with residents of The Hearth

From Jamaica to the U.S., Donald learns American cuisine

“My work in the food industry began when I got hired as a dishwasher in an assisted living community,” he explains. When Donald began working in a nearby community, he gained valuable experience, and his opportunities for growth became abundant. “I started as a dishwasher and worked my way up to become a cook,” he says. “That was really where I learned how to make American cuisine.”

Serving Restaurant-Quality Dishes in a Family-Style Environment

When Donald describes the food he serves at The Hearth, he says it truly stands out from any other senior living community. “The dishes here are restaurant-quality,” he !affirms. “We like to serve seasonal food and we have a great variety. We really get creative with our meals while ensuring nutritional value.” With freshly prepared dishes served from family-style kitchens, on a typical day, residents enjoy gathering around the table for a delightful meal and conversations with friends.

No matter the time of year, “We create high-quality menus, and the residents really enjoy the food we serve here. Our dining team works great together and always makes sure that the residents are happy,” says Donald. With menus that include fresh meat, chicken, seafood and local ingredients, and nutritious fruits and vegetables, The Hearth’s residents can always count on a delicious, healthy meal.