My husband and I recently refurbished my outdoor gas grill. We’ve done this several times before, opting to install new components rather than trash the whole thing. This time, the overhaul was a little more extensive and took a little longer.
From the time I removed the rusted-out burners until the new firebox was installed, I lost about seven weeks of prime summer grill time. Once everything was finally pieced back together and fully operational, I was gunning to make up for lost time. I started grilling everything. Tomatoes. Salad. Strawberries. Of course, I grilled fish and lots of chicken.
I could eat chicken every day, especially off the grill. It takes on a wide variety of seasonings incredibly well, and there are tons of ways to enjoy it—warm or cold, sliced atop a salad or grain bowl, on pasta or in a sandwich. The key, for me, is to always marinate it. Even a quick 15 minutes is enough to turn plain chicken into perfect poultry.
I start by drizzling my chicken—bone-in or boneless, breasts, thighs or drums—liberally with oil before seasoning to taste with kosher salt, freshly-ground black pepper and just a pinch of white or brown sugar. I almost always use granulated garlic and onion (fresh garlic burns easily), plus some dried oregano or marjoram. From here, I’ll simply add the herbs and spices best suited to my supper. Measuring only with my heart, I’ll add the following to push whatever flavor profile I’m partial to.
Listed in proportional order, from most to least:
Italian: dried parsley and basil, plus crushed red pepper and extra oregano
Mexican or Southwestern: ancho or chipotle chile pepper, sweet paprika, ground cumin and fresh lime zest, plus oregano and sugar
Mediterranean or Greek: choice of dried rosemary, dried thyme or fresh mint, plus dried or fresh parsley and fresh lemon zest
Blackened: dried thyme, smoked paprika, cayenne, ground cumin and a pinch of nutmeg, plus sugar
This same formula works on practically any meat or seafood—salmon, shrimp, pork chops, ribs and even steak. Winter is coming—so get out there, and get grilling!
Rachael Perron is the culinary and brand director for Kowalski’s Markets, where she specializes in product development and selection, culinary education and communications. Find more to eat at kowalskis.com.