Like burgers and hot dogs or a rack of ribs, grilled chicken is a regular during the summer months. Whether skewered, flattened, brined, spiced or upended on a beer can, there are lots and lots of ways to cook it. However, just putting a breast or leg on the grill and serving it with a couple of sides can get pretty boring. Having a few recipes for how to make that grilled chicken look like a special dish are good to have in your file. When it is hot or you are busy, you don’t want to have to do a lot of preparation, either. You can even grill extra chicken on the weekend and use it up in a number of different recipes during the week – and it won’t even look like the same grilled chicken.
Panzanella Salad with Grilled Chicken
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, divided
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- One quarter of an Italian loaf of bread, cut in 1’2 inch slices
- 2 medium red peppers, sliced
- 1 medium red onion, sliced
- 1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- 2 lb. plum tomatoes, diced
- 1/4 cup small fresh basil leaves
Prepare outdoor gas or charcoal grill for covered, direct grilling on medium. Oil the grill grates.
In a large serving bowl, whisk together wine vinegar, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper and 2 tablespoons olive oil until blended; set aside.
Place bread slices, sliced peppers and sliced onions on a baking pan, brush bread slices, red pepper and onion slices with 2 tablespoons olive oil to lightly coat both sides; sprinkle vegetables with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper.
Brush chicken breasts with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper.
With tongs, place bread slices, red peppers, onion slices and chicken on the hot grill. Cover grill and cook bread about 3 minutes or until lightly toasted, turning over once. Cook peppers and onion about 8 minutes or until lightly browned and tender, turning over once. Cook chicken about 12 minutes or until chicken loses its pink color throughout, turning them over once. As the bread, vegetables and chicken finish cooking, transfer them to a cutting board. Cut bread slices, chicken, peppers, and onions into 1/2-inch pieces.
Add the diced tomatoes, basil, bread, peppers, onion and chicken to the bowl with the vinaigrette; toss to combine. Let rest about 10-15 minutes to allow flavors to blend and serve.
Chicken, Sausage and Pepper Skewers
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 sprig of rosemary, chopped
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 2” pieces
- 2 bell peppers (red and green), cut into 1 1/2″-wide strips
- 1 1/2 lbs. fresh Italian sausage cut into 2” pieces
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat an outdoor grill to medium and oil the grates.
On low heat in a small saucepan, heat oil and the chopped rosemary leaves. Once oil and rosemary start to sizzle, remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. This can be done in advance.
Whisk together 1/4 cup of the rosemary oil and the vinegar; add the chicken pieces and marinate for 30 minutes. Reserve balance of oil for grilling.
Remove chicken pieces from the marinade and lightly season with salt and pepper. Alternate the chicken, peppers and sausage on the skewers. Discard the marinade.
Reduce grill temperature to low and cook the skewers over low heat, turning frequently to avoid burning, about 5 minutes on each side. Brush with the remaining rosemary oil during cooking.
Pizza with Grilled Chicken, Kalamata Olives and Fresh Mozzarella
- 1 portion pizza dough
- 1/2 cup quick tomato basil sauce (recipe follows)
- 1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives , thinly sliced
- 2 ounces leftover grilled chicken breast, cut in julienne strips
- 8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
Quick Tomato Sauce
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh garlic minced
- 8 Roma (plum) tomatoes
- 4 tablespoons basil , chopped
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
Press pizza dough out in a pizza pan. Lightly spread some of the tomato sauce over the dough. Arrange mozzarella slices, olives and chicken on top.
Bake at 450°F for 15 – 20 minutes or until the dough is crispy.
Quick Tomato Basil Sauce
(Makes about 3 cups)
Heat a medium saucepan and the oil over medium-high heat and sauté onion with garlic until the onion is golden, 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Carefully ladle tomato mixture in a blender or use a hand blender and process until smooth. Season sauce with basil, salt, pepper and sugar.
Store any remaining sauce in an airtight container for up to 1 week in the refrigerator or freeze for about 1 month.
Pasta with Grilled Chicken and Spinach
- 1 lb. chicken breasts, skin removed
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 8 ounces uncooked linguine
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for grilling
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh garlic
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup lower-sodium chicken broth
- 3 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 3/4 cup)
- 4 cups fresh baby (small) spinach leaves
Prepare an outdoor grill for medium-high heat. Oil the grill grates.
Brush the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place the chicken on the grill and cook for 8 minutes on each side or until done. Let stand 10 minutes and thinly slice.
Cook the pasta al dente. Drain well; keep warm.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan; swirl to coat. Add flour and garlic; cook until garlic is browned (about 2 minutes), stirring constantly.
Slowly, add milk and broth, stirring with a whisk; bring to a simmer, and cook 2 minutes or until thickened. Add cheese, stirring until cheese melts.
Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper and spinach; stir until spinach is barely wilted. Add pasta and chicken; toss to combine. Serve immediately.
Warm Chicken Salad
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- 1 pound asparagus
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 8 cups salad greens
- 4 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and quartered
Prepare an outdoor gas or charcoal grill for covered, direct grilling on medium. Oil the grill grates.
In a serving bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, salt and black pepper. Remove 2 tablespoons of the dressing and set aside.
Break off the woody ends of the asparagus but leave the rest of the stalk whole for grilling.
Brush the chicken and asparagus with the reserved 2 tablespoons of dressing.
Grill the chicken about 12 minutes and the asparagus for 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the asparagus are tender.
Cut the chicken into ½ inch slices. cut the asparagus into thirds.
Add dill and honey to the remaining lemon dressing in the serving bowl..Add the tomatoes, sliced chicken and asparagus. Mix well.
Line each plate with 2 cups of salad greens. Equally divide the chicken mixture over the greens. Top with quartered hard-cooked eggs and serve.