It’s grilling season, so fire up the grill for some delicious chicken dishes.
Easy Grilled Chicken Thighs are a flavorful and economical way to serve chicken this summer alongside your favorite Southern sides like pasta salad, sliced tomatoes and fried okra. Or, make your own Shortcut Grilled Chicken Pizza that tastes like it was made at a brick-oven pizzeria. Your friends won’t believe it when you tell them it starts with naan bread. (Find directions on how to make it with store-bought pizza dough at GritsAndGouda.com.)
It’s also peak harvest time for vegetable gardens and many farm crops. Although I have a garden, my squash wasn’t ready to pick yet when I developed this recipe for Easy Yellow Squash Casserole. Luckily, I met some Sweet Grown Alabama farmers recently at a dinner honoring farmers. Mr. White from Ole’ House Farms in Loxley, Alabama, fixed me up with enough summer squash to photograph it just in time to share with you.
Before we can turn around twice, it will be time for the kids to head back to school. If their lunchbox has a cold pack inside, send them off with one of these Best Simple Egg Salad Sandwiches. It also makes for a satisfying after school snack scooped up with crackers.
Easy Grilled Chicken Thighs
Prep: 5 minutes
Marinating time: 30 minutes
Grill time: 12 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3/4 cup bottled chicken marinade or teriyaki sauce, such as Lawry’s sesame ginger
Place the chicken thighs in a large plastic zip-top bag or in a shallow casserole. Add marinade or teriyaki sauce to the chicken and squeeze the bag to coat the chicken. Seal the bag and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours for maximum flavor.
Prepare a gas or charcoal grill according to manufacturer’s directions to achieve medium heat,* about 375-400 degrees.
Remove the chicken from the zip-top bag; discard the marinade in the bag.
Coat the grill grates with oil and immediately place the chicken on the grill. Close the lid and cook for 7 minutes. Turn chicken over with tongs and grill 5 more minutes, or until chicken registers 170 degrees (dark meat) with an instant read thermometer. Remove chicken onto a plate and let rest 5 minutes before serving.
NOTE: Medium heat is the trick to not burning chicken that has been marinated.
Grilled Chicken Pizza
Prep time:10 minutes
Grill time: 4
Yield: 4 servings
4 naan breads*
Vegetable oil for the grill grates
3 tablespoons Thai peanut sauce, teriyaki sauce or spicy barbecue sauce
3/4 cup thinly sliced grilled chicken
1/2 cup thinly sliced red or green bell pepper
1/3 cup matchstick carrots, optional
1 cup finely shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon chopped peanuts, optional
2 tablespoons sliced green onions
1 tablespoon cilantro leaves, optional
Prepare a gas or charcoal grill according to manufacturer’s directions to achieve medium-high heat, 450-500 degrees.
Using a silicone grill brush, brush oil onto the grill grates.
Place the naan breads on the grill. Close the grill lid and grill for just 1 to 2 minutes, or until grill marks start to show on the bottom or the bread is toasted on the bottom.
Using tongs, remove the bread and place on a platter or baking sheet, grilled side up.
Spread peanut sauce evenly over each naan bread, then layer, in order, the chicken, bell pepper, carrot, and cheese.
Slide the pizzas back onto the grill with a long-handled spatula or tongs, untoasted side down. Close the lid and grill for 2 minutes. The bottom side will get toasted, and the cheese will melt.
Slide the pizzas back onto the platter to serve. Sprinkle with peanuts, green onion and cilantro.
Notes: This pizza recipe features Thai flavors. For a Spinach Alfredo Pizza, simply use bottled alfredo sauce, sauteed fresh spinach, chicken and cheese.
For directions to make this recipe with store-bought pizza dough, visit GritsAndGouda.com.
Easy Yellow Squash Casserole
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Yield: 6 servings1 pound yellow squash, sliced (about 4 cups)
1 cup sliced onion
2 medium or large eggs
1/2 cup whole or 2% milk
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs or 2/3 cup dried breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons melted butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook the squash and onion in a small amount of water for 5 minutes, or just until slightly softened. Drain well in a colander and pat dry when cooled to the touch.
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a medium bowl. Gradually stir in the milk, then cheese and salt.
Stir in 2 tablespoons of the breadcrumbs. (This helps slightly thicken the “sauce” mixture.) Add the squash and onion to the egg mixture.
Pour the squash mixture into an 8×8 inch or 1 ½-quart casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
Add butter to the remaining breadcrumbs and gently combine. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture on top of casserole.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is crispy and bubbly around the edges.
NOTE: This small-batch recipe is perfect for a family meal and easily doubles for a potluck.
The Best Simple Egg Salad
Prep time 5 minutes
Yield: 1 ⅔ cups (4 to 6 servings)
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 large hard-cooked eggs, peeled Combine mayonnaise, mustard and salt in a medium-size bowl.
To save washing another bowl, mash the eggs with a potato masher in the same bowl. If you prefer larger pieces of egg, chop eggs on a cutting board.
Stir eggs into mayonnaise mixture. Serve between slices of bread or with crackers.