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You really don’t have to eat boring chicken. Try new ways of preparing chicken and serve it with new and different garnishing ingredients.

Dry chicken isn’t appealing.  To avoid this:

  • Don’t overcook chicken – 155 to 160 degrees F on an instant read meat thermometer is perfectly safe.
  • Cooking chicken for most of its grilling time over indirect heat keeps it tender and juicy and it does not burn.

When I grill chicken, I always make extra because it is so delicious and there are so many other dishes you can make with the leftovers.

I also add vegetables to the grill, if I am grilling the main dish. Saves lots of time and clean up.

Ingredients

  • 2-4 bone-in chicken breasts or 2-4 boneless breasts or/and 2-4 bone-in thighs
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions

Turn all burners to high and heat the grill with the lid down until very hot, about 15 minutes. Scrape the grate clean with a grill brush.

Dip a wad of paper towels in oil; holding the wad with tongs, wipe the cooking grate. Leave the primary burner on high and turn off the other burner(s).

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Grilling bone-in breasts:

Cook the chicken on all sides over the hot part of the grill until lightly browned and the meat has faint grill marks, 4 to 6 minutes. Move the chicken to the cooler side of the grill, with the thicker side of the breast facing the hot side of the grill.

Cover with a large piece of aluminum foil, close the grill and continue to cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of the breast registers 145 degrees, about 20 minutes longer.

Move the chicken, bone-side down, to the hot side of the grill and cook until browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Turn the chicken over and continue to cook until browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 155 – 160 degrees F, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to a plate and tent with foil, for 5 minutes.

Grilling bone-in chicken thighs:

Cook the chicken on all sides over the hot part of grill until lightly browned and the meat has faint grill marks, 3 to 4 minutes. Move the chicken to the cooler side of the grill. Cover with a large piece of aluminum foil, close the grill and continue to cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 145 degrees, about 20 minutes longer.

Move the chicken, bone-side down, to the hot side of the grill and cook until browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Turn chicken over and continue to cook until browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 155 – 160 degrees F, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to a plate and tent with foil, for 5 minutes.

Grilling boneless breasts:

Place chicken on the cooler side of the grill, smooth-side down, with the thicker side of the breasts facing the direct heat. Cover with a large piece of aluminum foil, close the grill and cook until the bottom of the chicken just begins to develop light grill marks about 6 to 8 minutes. Using tongs, turn the chicken and rotate it so that the thinner side faces the hot side of the grill. Cover with the foil and continue to cook until the chicken is opaque and firm to touch and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken registers 140 degrees, 6 to 8 minutes longer.

Move the chicken to the hot side of the grill and cook, without the foil, until dark grill marks appear, 1 to 2 minutes. Using tongs, turn the chicken over and cook until dark grill marks appear and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken registers 155 – 160 degrees F, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to cutting board, let rest, tented with foil, 5 minutes.

With just a change of a sauce, you can create a totally different taste every time. Serve the grilled chicken topped with one of the sauces below.

Spinach Pesto

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I made this sauce last week and it was on my blog for Earth Day. (see recipe here)

Creamy Herb Vinaigrette

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs that are in season
  • 1/2 small shallot, minced

Directions

Add the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, tarragon and shallots to a small bowl and whisk until smooth and emulsified.

Easy Homemade BBQ Sauce

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Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard powder
  • 2 teaspoons all natural hickory liquid smoke
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon celery seed

Directions

In a large saucepan combine all the ingredients and simmer over low heat for 25 minutes stirring occasionally. Let it cool and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Seasonal Fruit Sauce

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I used raspberries because that is what is in season and I had them in my refrigerator. Come summer, peaches would be very good in this sauce. Don’t be afraid to try this sauce, it was delicious on the chicken.

Ingredients

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated
  • 1 small hot pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries, or any fruit in season (peaches, berries, kiwi, pineapple, etc.)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions

Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook until the fruit is soft. Serve warm over grilled chicken or pork chops.

Stuffed Grilled Zucchini

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4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Cut zucchini in half lengthwise; scoop out the pulp, leaving 1/4 inch shells. Brush with 2 teaspoons oil; set aside. Chop pulp.

In a small skillet, heat the remaining teaspoon of oil and saute the zucchini pulp, celery, bell pepper, garlic and onion until the vegetables are soft.

Add bread crumbs; cook and stir.Remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in the mozzarella cheese, seasoning and salt.

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Spoon the filling into the zucchini shells. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Place the zucchini on the cool side of the grill while the chicken is cooking on the hot side.

Grill, covered, over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until the zucchini are tender and the tops are crispy.

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