Enjoy the smokey flavor of succulent grilled chicken

Poultry is a versatile meat that can take on varied tastes depending on the marinades, glazes and rubs used

With Memorial Day in the rear view mirror and graduations, baseball games and more to come, it’s official — grilling season has begun.

Grilled food is delicious year-round, but there’s something about the smell and taste of foods cooked over a fire that evokes summer.

All types of food, from appetizers to desserts and everything in between, can be made on a grill. Vegetables, fruits, meats and cakes can all benefit from a trip to the grill.

Burger and brats may reign supreme, but grilled chicken isn’t far behind. There are many ways to prepare this versatile meat, including using marinades, glazes and rubs to give it a unique flavor.

You can make a simple, and healthy, version of grilled chicken Parmesan by cooking your chicken on the grill, then topping it with tomato paste and a slice of mozzarella. Close the grill until the cheese has melted and you have a delicious dinner at hand.

There are three basic ways to cook on a grill:

Using direct heat – For grilling chops, burgers, tenderloins and kabobs, use direct heat. Place the meat on the cooking grate over the coals. The hottest heat will be found above the center of the coals.  
    For gas grilling, turn all burners to high.  After preheating, adjust the temperature according to your recipe. Place food on the cooking grate and close the lid. Turn food according to the recipe.

Using indirect heat – For roasts and ribs, use indirect heat. Place the coals on one side of the charcoal grate and a drip pan filled with a small amount of water on the other side. Or, arrange the coals on both sides of the grill, with the drip pan in the middle.

On a gas grill, after preheating, turn off burners directly below the food.  The burners on both sides of the food should be adjusted to equal amounts of heat, medium or low, as indicated in the recipe. The heat circulates inside the grill, so turning the food is not necessary.

Using a combination of the two –This method is used to sear foods before cooking them slowly by the indirect method. Place food directly over coals for a few minutes, then move them to the center or other side of the grate to complete cooking. This method is good for extra-thick chops and larger tenderloins, which will be nicely browned on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside.

Use an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into the side of the meat to check if it is done. Thermometers should penetrate the thickest part or center of the meat and not touch bone, fat or the

Following are recipes from www.delish.com.



California Grilled Chicken

3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 slices mozzarella
4 slices avocado
4 slices tomato
2 tablespoons sliced basil
Balsamic glaze, for drizzling

    In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, honey, oil and Italian seasoning. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over chicken breasts and marinate 20 minutes.
    Grill chicken over medium-high heat until the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
    Top chicken with mozzarella, avocado, and tomato. Cover grill and heat two minutes, until cheese is melted. Garnish with basil and drizzle with balsamic glaze.
    Makes four servings.

Jerk Chicken

For marinade:
1/4 cup lime juice
1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
For chicken:
1-1/2 pounds bone-in chicken drumsticks and thighs
Lime slices, for serving
Sliced green onions, for garnish

    For marinade, combine ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until combined. Add chicken and toss to coat. Transfer to the refrigerator and marinate for between 30 minutes and overnight.
    Grill chicken over high heat for 20 to 25 minutes, until charred and cooked through.Serve with lime slices and green onions.
    Makes four servings.


Hawaiian Chicken Skewers

1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 teaspoon honey
Kosher salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups cubed pineapple
2 green bell peppers, diced
1 red onion, diced
White rice, for serving
2 teaspoons cilantro

    In a large bowl, whisk together barbecue sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, oil, garlic, ginger and honey until combined. Season with salt and red pepper flakes.
    Build skewers by alternating pieces of chicken, pineapple, peppers, and red onion. Place on a baking sheet and pour half the marinade over skewers.
    Grill skewers over medium-high heat, brushing with reserved marinade. Cook five minutes and then flip, brushing the other side with marinade as well.
    Cook five more minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
    Serve with white rice and a sprinkle of cilantro.
    Makes four servings.


Crack Barbecue Chicken

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cups water
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup barbecue sauce
Juice of 2 limes
2 cloves garlic, minced

    Place chicken in a large zipper-top bag and pound until 1/4-inch thick. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together water, salt and sugar until combined. Pour brine into bag, seal and refrigerate for between 15 minutes and two hours.
    Remove chicken from brine and discard liquid.
    Season chicken with salt and pepper.
    In a medium bowl, whisk together barbecue sauce, lime juice and garlic for glaze.
    Grill chicken over medium heat for six minutes per side, basting with glaze and flipping occasionally, until caramelized and cooked through.
    Makes eight servings.



Greek Salad Pita Pockets With Grilled Chicken

1 pound chicken breast cutlets
Juice of 1/2 lemon
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 small garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt
Black pepper
1 cucumber, seeded, quartered, and thinly sliced
1/2 pint yellow grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1/2 pint red grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced into half moons
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint or parsley
1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved, optional
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 whole-wheat pitas, halved and lightly toasted

    Place chicken cutlets in a shallow baking dish. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, oregano and 2 cloves garlic. Pour over chicken cutlets and let marinate 10 minutes.
    Remove cutlets from marinade and season on both sides with salt and pepper. Grill  over high heat for three minutes per side, until cooked through. Let rest 5 minutes, then thinly slice.
    In a large bowl, toss together cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, feta, mint and olives, if using.
    In a small bowl, whisk together red wine vinegar and remaining garlic clove. Slowly add remaining olive oil in steady stream, whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper.
    Drizzle vinaigrette over salad and toss gently to combine.
    Stuff each pita pocket half with grilled chicken and top with Greek salad.
    Makes four servings.


Balsamic Grilled Chicken and Zucchini

1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
2 medium yellow zucchini
2 medium green zucchini
Kosher salt
1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
Extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Sea salt, such as Maldon

    Combine honey and balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower temperature and simmer about 10 minutes, until slightly thickened. Turn off heat and stir in orange zest and oregano. Reserve 1/4 cup for serving.
    Trim both ends of each zucchini. Using a mandoline or vegetable peeler, create long flat noodles by running the blade against the length of each zucchini. Season with salt and set aside.
    Drizzle chicken breasts with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place chicken on grill over medium-high heat and cook four minutes on each side. Brush glaze onto chicken and cook two to three more minutes, until lightly charred all over and the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees. Transfer to a clean plate and cover loosely with foil.
    Bring an eight-quart stock pot of water to a boil and generously season with salt. Cook zucchini two to three minutes, until al dente, then drain.
    Slice chicken against the grain. Serve over zucchini noodles with a drizzle of balsamic-honey glaze and a sprinkle of sea salt. Serve immediately.
    Makes four servings.


Barbecue Chicken With Sweet Chili Peach Glaze

5 peaches, sliced in half and pitted
1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
Juice and zest of 1 lime
8 green onions
2 red onions, sliced into 3/4-inch rings
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds bone-in skin-on chicken thighs

    Roughly chop one peach and place in a blender with sweet chili sauce and lime juice and zest. Pulse and blend until smooth, then transfer to a small bowl.
    Place remaining peaches, cut side up, on a rimmed sheet pan with three green onions. Skewer red onions through center and place on sheet pan. Lightly drizzle with olive oil and toss until coated. Season with salt and pepper.
    Rinse chicken and pat dry thoroughly. Place chicken on a second rimmed backing sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
    Place chicken on medium-high grill and cook, covered, for 10 minutes. Flip chicken and add peaches, green onions and onions to sheet. Cover and cook five minutes, then flip peaches and vegetables.
    When chicken reaches an internal temperature of 150 to 155 degrees, brush glaze on chicken. Flip chicken and continue grilling until glazed and browned on both sides and internal temperature is 165 degrees.
    The total cooking time for the chicken is about 25 minutes. The peaches and vegetables should have dark grill marks and be slightly charred — their cooking time is eight to 10 minutes.
    Transfer food to a large platter and serve with remaining glaze.
    Makes four servings.




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