It is time for another Food Network #SummerSoiree and today is all about chicken – America’s favorite food! It is the most versatile meat and you won’t believe how creative everyone is – there are 14 recipes at the bottom of the page and more over on the Food Network’s blog page, FN Dish.
When I was in my twenties, I needed a quick dinner idea when my co-workers decided they wanted an impromptu dinner party at my house after work. I assigned each of my friends a different item to bring to the dinner – salad, bread, dessert, wine, etc. I would make the main course. What could I throw together in the time it would take everyone to assemble at my house?
It was a hot summer night and using the barbecue would free up my kitchen for people to put together the rest of the courses. Chicken cooks quickly and isn’t expensive – I could feed everyone without having to take out a loan. But what could I do to give it a lot of flavor really quickly?
I discovered the power of simple bottled Italian dressing that night. It packs all the flavors we love without having to mix a bunch of different herbs and seasonings yourself. Everything is already blended for you. Even people who think they cannot cook can make barbecued chicken everyone will love!
The longer you can marinate the chicken in the dressing, the more flavor penetrates the meat, but even 20 minutes will give you a delightful entrée.
This is the perfect recipe for anyone – even non-cooks – to make. Beyond simple, it is easy, fast, and absolutely delicious! The only thing you need to remember is to pat the chicken mostly dry before putting it on the hot grill. I made the mistake of skipping this step once and nearly burned down the house when all the oil in the marinade caught on fire!
Have a wonderful weekend and I hope you give this super easy BBQ chicken a try soon!
- Boneless chicken breasts and thighs
- Your favorite Italian salad dressing
- Kosher or fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- A bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce, optional
- Place the chicken pieces in one or two resealable plastic bags (depending on how many you are serving; plan on 1 breast or 2 thighs per serving or more if they are big eaters) and pour in enough dressing to cover about 1/3 to 1/2 of the chicken. Seal the bag, pressing out most of the air. Massage the chicken with the dressing, making sure all the surfaces are coated. Place in the refrigerator to marinate for 30 minutes or up to 3 hours, flipping the bag(s) occasionally so all the chicken gets equal time in the marinade.
- Build a medium-heat two-tiered fire in the barbecue or heat half the burners on a gas grill to high and the others to medium-low. If using charcoal, make sure the coals are covered with ash for the most consistent heat. Preheat a gas grill for about 15 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and place on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Pat dry with additional paper towels. Discard the marinade. Sprinkle both sides of each piece of chicken with salt and pepper.
- Brush the hot grates clean and lightly oil with a paper towel dipped in vegetable oil (or use the paper towels with the marinade on them). Place the chicken on the hotter side of the grill and cook a few minutes until the first side is golden brown and has nice grill marks. If you try to lift it and it sticks to the grate, leave it for another minute before trying again. Flip all the pieces and brown the second side.
- Check the internal temperature by inserting an instant read thermometer in the center - chicken is done when it hits 155°F. Remove the pieces as they finish, the smaller ones will be done first. If the chicken is fully browned and not quite done, move to the cooler side of the grill to finish cooking more gently.
- If you want, you can brush the chicken with a little of the BBQ sauce during the last couple of minutes or brush it on when the chicken is done. I don’t normally use the sauce, but many people won’t consider it “barbecued” without it.
- Set the chicken aside, loosely tented with foil, to rest for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Serve while hot.
Create a New Tradition Today!
This recipe is part of Food Network’s weekly Summer Soiree celebration. See the links below for inspiration and great recipes and check out our Pinterest page for even more!
- Feed Me Phoebe: Gluten-Free Healthy Chicken Parmesan with Fresh Cherry Tomato Sauce
- The Lemon Bowl: Za’atar Spiced Grilled Chicken
- The Heritage Cook: The World’s Easiest BBQ Chicken
- Creative Culinary: Smoked Chicken with Chipotle, Peach and Bourbon Barbecue Sauce
- Homemade Delish: Thai Chicken Lettuce Cups
- Daisy at Home: Perfect Fried Chicken with 5 Dipping Sauces
- Healthy Eats: 6 Reasons Not to Write Off Chicken — Summer Soiree
- Red or Green: Spicy Pesto Chicken Bruschetta
- Napa Farmhouse 1885: “Buffums” Chicken Salad Sandwiches
- TasteBook: Asian-Style Grilled Chicken Thighs
- Domesticate Me: Chicken and Goat Cheese Burgers with Peaches, Corn and Cherry Tomatoes
- Taste with the Eyes: Gochujang Chicken Adobo
- Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Tandoori Chicken
- Bacon and Soufflé: BBQ Chicken Pizza
- FN Dish: The 6 Essential Chicken Recipes of Summer
Let’s connect! If you ever need any entertaining or cooking advice, need to alter a recipe for gluten-free, or want recipe suggestions, don’t hesitate to contact me. Thanks for reading!
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As always, a great idea complete with great technique tips!
I had to go even easier tonight and bought a rotisserie chicken but following your excellent advice, it will be soup soon!
I should have included that as an option Karen – glad you improvised and were happy with the results! 🙂