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GRILLING★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tips for Grilling

Perfect Poultry

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
poultry suitable for any occasion.
Many cooks now favor tender
boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

g ood times once meant a

chicken in every pot. Today,
you’ll find chicken on nearly
The reasons are simple. Nothing
rivals the ease of plopping these
ready-to-cook pieces on the grill, nor
every grill. Whether for a fast how quickly they cook.
week-night supper or a casual week- No matter what kind of poultry you
end dinner party, it’s one of the most choose, here are some inspiring
popular foods for grilling. recipes that will bring out the best in
All poultry types and cuts grill up this versatile meat.
deliciously, offering healthful meats
that take to any seasoning and are

Grilled Chicken with Peach Salsa

mastering poultry’s
Poultry is easy to grill, but just as easy to grill
badly. Most of us have encountered charred
pieces of chicken that are still raw near the
bone, or boneless, skinless pieces that are dry
and tasteless. Grilling moist, flavorful chicken
that is cooked through without burning is easy.
■ Bone-in and skin-on chicken pieces grill best
over indirect medium-low heat. This allows slow,
even cooking and helps minimize flare-ups.
■ Debone chicken and flatten it to a uniform
thickness to help it cook more evenly.
■ Set up two heat zones on your grill—one
high, the other medium-low. Grill chicken over
high heat until it is nicely browned, then move it
to the cooler area to finish cooking. That cooler
spot on your grill is a nice safe zone, too, for
placing the meat should flare-ups occur.
■ Select the youngest chickens for grilling
because they’re naturally the most tender,
making them ideal for grilling’s quick cooking.
Look for chickens weighing 1 to 11⁄2 pounds or
broiler-fryers from 21⁄2 to 5 pounds. Larger
chickens need longer, slower moist cooking or
stewing to tenderize their tougher flesh and
aren’t recommended for grilling.
■ Leave the skin on. The fat in the skin of
poultry is disconcerting to some, but it holds a
great deal of flavor and helps to retain the
moistness of the meat while it grills. If you’re
concerned about the fat content, remove the
skin after grilling.
■ When grilling skinless poultry, marinate it
before grilling and take care not to overcook it
because it will dry out quickly without the
protective skin. To retain moisture, turn it with
tongs and baste frequently while it’s on the grill.
■ Cook all poultry to medium. This means the
juices should run clear, not pink, in the thickest
parts near the joints, and the temperature
should register 170° to 185°.
talking with the chef
Oftentimes, the simplest recipes fancy terra-cotta bricks, Folkins chuckles: “Just go to the
provide the most flavorful results. nearest construction yard and pick one up for a quarter.” The
Chef Bruce Folkins has made grilling brick squeezes the fat from under the skin, resulting in a crispy
simple boneless chicken breasts an skin and fat-free meat, while holding in the moistness of the
art form. Since opening Cafe Spoleto in 1995 in an intimate chicken as it cooks, much as clay cookers do. Once the meat
renovated adobe house in Albuquerque, New Mexico, his has cooked three-quarters of the way through (about 5 minutes
Grilled Chicken Under a Brick entrée has appeared on the over his intensely hot wood-burning restaurant grill), he
menu every day. It remains the most sought-after item among removes the bricks and turns the breasts over to cook the rest
his rustic Mediterranean fare. of the way through.
The secrets to this dish, he believes, are the fresh When grilling poultry with skin directly over a hot fire,
chickens he gets from nearby farms and a unique grilling dripping fat can cause flare-ups and result in charred skin.
method. Adopting an ingenious technique popular in trattorias Folkins’ solution is an angled grill with a drip pan along the
throughout Italy, he places chicken breasts that have been lower edge to collect the drips. Some newer grills on the
marinated in a simple mixture of lemon, garlic, thyme, and market are designed to minimize flare-ups, but most people
olive oil onto a fine mesh grill rack, skin sides down, and find indirect grilling a less problematic method. Folkins’ recipe,
weighs each one down with a brick. These don’t have to be adapted for home use on a conventional grill, follows.

Cafe Spoleto’s Grilled Chicken Under a Brick

Courtesy of Chef Bruce Folkins and Cafe Spoleto; 2813 San Mateo, NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110; 505/880-0897.
At Cafe Spoleto, this dish is often accompanied by one of Folkins’ famous risottos and pesto-vegetable dishes. Other days, you
might find it with cranberry beans and fresh chard drizzled in herbed aïoli, or grilled polenta topped with seasonal vegetables.

4 chicken breast halves with ■ To debone, place the chicken breast halves on a cutting board with the bone sides
skin and bone down and debone. (Starting at the center of the breastbone, cut the meat away from
2 tablespoons olive oil
the bone using a sharp knife. Cut as close to the bone as possible, leaving the skin
5 sprigs fresh thyme
3 cloves garlic, sliced intact.) Place the boned chicken breasts in a plastic bag set in a shallow dish.
1 lemon, thinly sliced ■ For the marinade, combine the olive oil, thyme sprigs, garlic slices, and lemon
⁄2 teaspoon kosher or regular salt slices. Pour over the chicken; seal bag. Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight, turning
⁄2 teaspoon coarsely ground
bag occasionally.
black pepper
4 bricks, each wrapped in two ■ Remove chicken from marinade, reserving lemon slices; discard marinade, thyme
layers of foil sprigs, and garlic slices. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place chicken, skin side
down, on the grill rack above a drip pan and top each piece with a foil-wrapped brick.
Nutrition facts per serving: 186 cal., Grill, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes or till chicken is tender and no longer pink.
10 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 59 mg choles- Carefully lift off bricks using an ovenproof mitt or pot holder and move the chicken,
terol, 321 mg sodium, 2 g carbo., 0 g
dietary fiber, 22 g pro. using tongs, directly over the coals, skin side still down. Place lemon slices alongside
chicken, if desired. Grill, covered, 2 to 3 minutes more to crisp and brown the chicken
skin and lightly brown the lemon slices,
turning the lemon slices once. GRILL Indirect, followed
■ To serve, slice the chicken and serve by direct, covered
with the lemon slices. Makes 4 servings. HEAT Medium-hot
TIME 17 to 23 minutes

Chili-Mustard Turkey Breast
Turkey breasts can sometimes taste ho-hum. Tucking a flavorful spice paste under the skin allows intense flavor to penetrate
both the skin and the flesh during grilling, while developing an irresistible crunchy crust.

Cooking oil or nonstick spray ■ Lightly oil a small skillet or spray with nonstick coating. Cook onion in prepared
coating skillet over medium heat till tender. Stir in brown mustard, brown sugar, chili powder,
2 tablespoons chopped onion
cumin, and pepper. Cook 1 minute more. Make a pocket under skin of turkey breast
2 tablespoons brown mustard
2 teaspoons brown sugar with your fingers. Spread onion mixture evenly under skin.
⁄2 teaspoon chili powder ■ Sprinkle about 1 cup of the wood chips onto preheated coals. Insert a meat
⁄8 teaspoon ground cumin thermometer into the thickest part of turkey. Place turkey in a roasting pan; place pan
⁄8 teaspoon pepper
on the grill rack. Grill about 11⁄4 hours or till thermometer registers 170°, adding
1 2- to 21⁄4-pound turkey breast
half with skin and bone additional coals and wood chips every 20 to 30 minutes or as necessary to maintain
3 cups hickory or mesquite wood medium heat. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
chips, soaked 1 hour and Nutrition facts per serving: 137 cal.,
drained (optional) GRILL Indirect, uncovered
3 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 55 mg cholesterol,
120 mg sodium, 2 g carbo., 0 g dietary fiber, HEAT Medium
24 g pro. TIME 11⁄4 hours

Grilled Citrus Chicken and Vegetables
Besides tenderizing the chicken, this marinade keeps the chicken and vegetables moist while on the grill.
Feel free to substitute any seasonal vegetables for those we chose.

4 medium skinless, boneless ■ Place chicken in a plastic bag set in a shallow dish. Add 1 cup of the Citrus-Spice
chicken breast halves Marinade and the orange slices. Refrigerate remaining marinade. Seal bag; turn to
(about 1 pound total)
Citrus-Spice Marinade
coat chicken with marinade. Refrigerate 6 to 24 hours, turning bag occasionally.
1 medium orange, sliced ■ Remove chicken from the bag, discarding the marinade. Grill chicken for 12 to 15
1 small sweet onion, cut into minutes or till tender and no longer pink, turning and brushing with the remaining
⁄2-inch-thick slices marinade halfway through grilling. Grill vegetables for 8 to 10 minutes or till tender,
1 small eggplant, cut crosswise
brushing occasionally with the marinade. Before serving, season with salt and pepper,
into 1-inch-thick slices
1 large red sweet pepper, cut into if desired. Makes 4 servings.
1-inch-wide strips Citrus-Spice Marinade: Combine 3⁄4 cup orange juice; 1⁄4 cup lemon juice;
1 medium zucchini or summer 3 tablespoons cooking oil; 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce; 2 cloves garlic,
squash, quartered
minced; 3⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin; 1⁄2 teaspoon onion powder; 1⁄4 teaspoon salt; and
lengthwise 1
Salt and pepper (optional) ⁄4 teaspoon pepper in a screw-top jar.
Cover and shake well to mix. Makes GRILL Direct, uncovered
Nutrition facts per serving: 304 cal., about 11⁄3 cups. HEAT Medium
14 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 59 mg choles- TIME 12 to 15 minutes
terol, 268 mg sodium, 22 g carbo., 5 g
dietary fiber, 24 g pro. Daily Values: 147%
vit. C, 15% iron.

“Grilling gives us a respite from the kitchen, offering us a new kind

of hearth around which to gather family and friends.”—A. Cort Sinnes
From The Gas Grill Gourmet by A. Cord Sinnes (Harvard Common Press; 1996)
Southwest Chicken Breasts

Many chefs look for chickens that
have been allowed to roam
outdoors while they were raised,
crediting them with more flavor
than their factory-cooped cousins.
Whether they’re called free-
range or field-grazed, the result
isn’t always premium chicken.
Sometimes they’ve had little more
than a glimpse of sunshine. Ask
your butcher how they were raised
before paying extra for them.

Southwest Chicken Breasts
Transform these into delicious burritos by wrapping the sliced chicken in soft flour tortillas and topping
them with the avocado salsa, lettuce, and dollops of sour cream.

⁄4 cup dry white wine ■ For the marinade, combine wine, olive oil, tarragon, and salt. Place chicken in a
2 tablespoons olive oil plastic bag set into a shallow dish. Add marinade; seal bag and turn to coat chicken
2 teaspoons snipped fresh
tarragon or 1⁄4 teaspoon
with marinade. Refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours, turning bag occasionally.
dried tarragon, crushed ■ Meanwhile, for the avocado salsa, peel, pit, and chop the avocados. Combine
⁄4 teaspoon salt avocados, tomato, garlic, jalapeños, green onions, cilantro, honey, and lemon juice in
6 medium skinless, boneless a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate up to 2 hours.
chicken breast halves (about
11⁄4 pounds total)
■ Remove chicken from bag, reserving marinade. Grill chicken for 5 minutes. Turn
2 avocados and brush once with marinade; grill 7 to 10 minutes more or till chicken is tender and
1 tomato, chopped no longer pink.
1 clove garlic, minced ■ Serve with avocado salsa and, if desired, lettuce leaves. Makes 6 servings.
2 jalapeños, seeded and finely
Nutrition facts per serving: 239 cal.,
chopped (2 tablespoons)
16 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 50 mg choles- GRILL Direct, uncovered
2 green onions, finely chopped
terol, 130 mg sodium, 5 g carbo., 9 g dietary HEAT Medium
1 tablespoon snipped fresh
fiber, 20 g pro. Daily Value: 24% vit C.
cilantro TIME 12 to 15 minutes
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Lettuce leaves (optional)

Apricot-Stuffed Turkey Breast
Stuff the turkey lightly right before grilling, and be sure it gets cooked through.
The stuffing should register 165° on a meat thermometer.

1 2- to 21⁄2-pound turkey breast ■ Remove bone from turkey breast (see page 78 for how to debone poultry). Cut a
half with skin and bone horizontal slit in the thickest part of turkey breast to form a 5x4-inch pocket. Set aside.
11⁄2 cups soft bread crumbs
■ For stuffing, combine bread crumbs, apricots, pecans, margarine or butter, sherry
(2 slices)
⁄2 cup snipped dried apricots or apple juice, rosemary, and garlic salt in a medium mixing bowl. Spoon stuffing into
⁄4 cup chopped toasted pecans pocket. Securely fasten opening with water-soaked wooden toothpicks or tie with
2 tablespoons margarine or heavy string. Stir together mustard and olive oil; set aside.
butter, melted
■ Grill turkey for 1 to 11⁄4 hours or till meat is no longer pink, brushing with mustard
2 tablespoons dry sherry or
apple juice mixture during the last 15 minutes. Remove turkey from grill and cover with foil. Let
⁄4 teaspoon dried rosemary, stand for 15 minutes before slicing. Makes 8 servings.
crushed Nutrition facts per serving: 208 cal.,
⁄4 teaspoon garlic salt 9 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 46 mg cholesterol, GRILL Direct, covered
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard 231 mg sodium, 8 g carbo., 1 g dietary fiber, HEAT Medium
1 tablespoon olive oil 21 g pro.
TIME 1 to 11⁄4 hours

grill your turkey Apricot-Stuffed Turkey Breast

Grilling is a great way to cook a whole
turkey without taking up oven space
or heating up the kitchen. For success:
■ Use a gas rather than a charcoal grill
because it is easier to maintain a
constant heat for the time necessary to
cook a turkey to proper doneness.
■ Grill only unstuffed turkeys because
they cook more evenly than if stuffed.
■ Grill turkeys that weigh less than
16 pounds. These smaller hens are
usually less than 14 weeks old and
have tender, moist meat that cooks well
in grilling’s drier heat.
■ Don’t try to grill larger birds or stuffed
turkeys because the inside meat and
stuffing will take too long to heat to a
safe temperature, which could allow
food-borne pathogens to breed and
cause illness.
■ Don’t rely on the thermometers that
come with turkeys. Check doneness
with a meat thermometer inserted into
the deepest section of the inside thigh,
but not touching bone. The temperature
should register 170° to 185°.

Main Dishes ● 82
Simply Perfect Grilling 1999

Orange-Dijon Chicken
Because of the oil in this marinade, stand vigil over the grill, watching for flare-ups.
Accompany this entrée with couscous or salad greens, and utilize the glaze as a dressing.

⁄2 cup olive oil ■ For the marinade, combine the olive oil, garlic, salt, and the 1⁄8 teaspoon pepper in
3 cloves garlic, minced a small bowl. Place the chicken in a plastic bag set in a shallow bowl. Add marinade;
⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 seal bag and turn to coat chicken with marinade. Refrigerate for 4 to 8 hours, turning
⁄8 teaspoon pepper
4 medium skinless, boneless the bag occasionally.
chicken breast halves ■ Drain chicken; discarding marinade. Grill chicken, boned side up, for 12 to 15
(about 1 pound total) minutes or till no pink remains and the juices run clear, turning once halfway through.
Orange-Dijon Glaze
■ Meanwhile, heat the Orange-Dijon Glaze in a saucepan till the mixture is warm.
Coarsely ground pepper
Shredded orange peel ■ Transfer the chicken to four warm serving plates and, if desired, cut into slices.
(optional) Spoon Orange-Dijon Glaze on top and sprinkle with the coarsely ground pepper.
Herb sprigs (optional) Garnish with orange peel and herb sprigs, if desired. Makes 4 servings.
Orange-Dijon Glaze: Combine 1⁄4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed; 2 to
Nutrition facts per serving: 249 cal.,
14 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 59 mg choles- 4 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard; 2 tablespoons water; 1 tablespoon balsamic
terol, 310 mg sodium, 7 g carbo., 0 g vinegar, if desired; 1 tablespoon olive oil; 1 teaspoon snipped fresh basil; 1 teaspoon
dietary fiber, 23 g pro. Daily Value: 45% snipped fresh mint; and 1⁄ 2 teaspoon
vit. C.
snipped fresh rosemary in a small mixing
bowl. The glaze can be prepared up to one GRILL Direct, uncovered
HEAT Medium
day ahead and kept, covered, in the
3 TIME 12 to 15 minutes
refrigerator. Makes ⁄4 cup.

Grilled Chicken with Peach Salsa
Juicy ripe peaches and tender avocados lusciously meld with a citrus-herb Wine Marinade in this enticing
grilled chicken dish. It’s perfect for a casual summer dinner party. Pictured on page 76.

6 chicken breast halves with

skin and bone (about 21⁄2
■ Place chicken in a plastic bag set in a shallow dish. Add Wine Marinade; seal bag
pounds total) and turn to coat chicken with marinade. Refrigerate about 1 hour.
Wine Marinade ■ Meanwhile, for peach salsa, peel, pit, and finely chop the fresh peaches or
2 medium peaches or nectarines nectarines. Combine peaches or nectarines, sweet pepper, avocado, green onions, lime
or 11⁄3 cups frozen
peel, lime juice, and cilantro in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate till serving.
unsweetened peach slices,
thawed ■ Drain chicken, reserving marinade. Grill chicken, skin side down, for 20 minutes.
⁄2 cup chopped red or green Turn and grill 15 to 20 minutes more or till chicken is tender and no longer pink.
sweet pepper Brush occasionally with marinade up to the last 5 minutes of grilling. Serve chicken
⁄2 ripe avocado, seeded, peeled,
with the salsa. Makes 6 servings.
and finely chopped
2 green onions, finely chopped Wine Marinade: Combine 1⁄2 cup dry white wine; 11⁄2 teaspoons finely shredded
⁄2 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel; 1⁄3 cup orange juice; 2 tablespoons olive oil or cooking oil; 11⁄2 teaspoons
lime peel snipped fresh rosemary or 1⁄2 teaspoon
2 tablespoons lime juice
dried rosemary, crushed; and 1 bay leaf.
1 tablespoon snipped fresh GRILL Direct, uncovered
cilantro Nutrition facts per serving: 264 cal.,
16 g total fat (3 g sat. fat), 57 mg choles- HEAT Medium
terol, 57 mg sodium, 11 g carbo., 2 g dietary TIME 35 to 40 minutes
fiber, 17 g pro. Daily Values: 17% vit. A, 51% vit. C. ❏
more than
Chicken isn’t the only poultry ideal for
grilling. Try other birds such as quail,
duck, and goose. More and more cooks
are discovering that these birds are
more flavorful than chicken because
their flesh is richer and darker. Their
higher fat content means they need
little or no seasoning or special sauces
before grilling, too.
That natural fat, while flavorful, can
also cause problems with flare-ups on
the grill. Alleviate much of this by grilling
duck, quail, and goose indirectly over
low heat, using a drip pan underneath
to collect the fat. This technique will
produce a crackling crisp skin and well-
done, tender meat that’s virtually free of
fat. Pricking the skin before placing it on
the grill will also help drain away the fat
Apple-Glazed Chicken with and improve the crispiness of the skin.
Braised Spinach and Leeks

Apple-Glazed Chicken with Braised Spinach and Leeks

You needn’t stop grilling when the weather turns crisp. Highlight the season’s best apples with this fall favorite.
The lemon-scented apple jelly bastes the chicken while it grills and dresses the warm spinach salad.

Nonstick spray coating ■ Spray a large saucepan or Dutch oven with nonstick coating. Add garlic, leek, and
2 cloves garlic, minced apples; cook over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add 1⁄4 cup of the Apple Glaze and cider
1 medium leek, trimmed, cleaned
or broth; bring to boiling. Add spinach; toss just till wilted. Season to taste with salt
thoroughly, and sliced, or
⁄3 cup chopped onion and pepper.
2 medium apples, cored and ■ Meanwhile, grill chicken on the grill rack for 6 minutes. Brush with the remaining
coarsely chopped Apple Glaze, turn, and grill 6 to 9 minutes more or till chicken is tender and no
Apple Glaze
longer pink.
2 tablespoons apple cider or
chicken broth ■ To serve, slice chicken crosswise into 6 to 8 pieces. Divide greens mixture among
1 10-ounce bag prewashed four dinner plates and top with sliced chicken. Makes 4 servings.
spinach, stems removed Apple Glaze: Heat 1⁄2 cup apple jelly; 1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel; 1 table-
(about 10 cups) spoon snipped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed; 1 teaspoon grated
Salt and pepper
4 small skinless, boneless
gingerroot; and 2 tablespoons soy sauce in a small saucepan just till jelly is melted.
chicken breast halves Nutrition facts per serving: 263 cal.,
(about 12 ounces total) 3 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 45 mg cholesterol, GRILL Direct
654 mg sodium, 42 g carbo., 4 g dietary HEAT Medium
fiber, 19 g pro. Daily Values: 48% vit. A,
TIME 6 to 9 minutes
27% vit. C, 24% iron.