Spiced and Grilled Chicken

2016-04-11 17.30.47RECIPE #224, DAY #290


ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Israeli Spice Chicken,” from Rachel Ray’s 30 Minute Meals 2*

TIMING: 30 minutes

DIFFICULTY: Easy, unless you count trying to tell when your chicken is cooked perfectly without burning it

TOOLS: An outdoor or counter-top grill, a grill pan, or a skillet

COOK TYPE: Grill or stovetop

HEALTH: It’s pretty much just chicken. And then some spices (which actually, tend to be healthful). Don’t over-salt or eat everyone else’s chicken skin, and you’ll be all good.

EXPERIENCE: I just needed something simple to do with the drumsticks I had purchased at the store. I turned to one of my favorite, all-time recipes. Here is what I said about it on the old food blog, RealisticChef:

Those summer nights… Okay, so maybe I mean more summer afternoons or evenings, but there is no Olivia Newton John song to reference that way. But no matter, we are talking grill foods and picnics, here.

In North Carolina, we have hit our stride with the warm weather, it seems, and we ate outside for dinner last night and have already attended a couple picnics. In celebration of the season and the wonderful tradition of cooking and eating in the open air, I wanted to share our family-wide favorite for this year’s grilled food. ….

And while I am aware that food char (on grilled foods, or even toast) is considered a carcinogen, I am not opposed to eating it in moderation, especially in the context of an otherwise healthy lifestyle. If you have other carcinogenic habits (like smoking, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle), you may want to reconsider.

Together, this makes a great summer dinner with… [a pasta salad and] a green salad. In our house, I make the Summer Spaghetti Salad in the morning and then whip up the chicken 1/2 hour to 45 minutes before we want to be on a blanket in the back yard, with burnished oil on our fingers and grins on our faces.

NOTES: You could use just about any cut of chicken here, including chicken breasts, but I think that buying skin-on and bone-in is optimal for the grill (to protect the moisture of the meat, if for nothing else). Actually, you could also use beef, lamb, or pork, and kebabs would be nice. The bone-in chicken just reminds me of my childhood summers in the Midwest.


  1. On a large plate (not too flat a plate), combine 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon sweet paprika (aka. not smoked or spicy), 1 tablespoon ground cumin, and red pepper flakes to taste.
  2. Set 6-8 chicken drumsticks and thighs on top and drizzle generously with safflower (or peanut) oil. Rub oil and spices into the chicken until chicken is well coated on both sides and your hands are a complete disaster. (Then wash.) (At this point, I would imagine you could set the chicken aside, refrigerated, until your friends have arrived, etc.)
  3. Heat a grill to high heat (which you will need to adjust according to your grill. An indoor grill works great, too). Cook chicken for 10-20 minutes per side, just until done and juices run clear. Serve hot.

Serve with a pasta salad and a slaw. I love Spaghetti Salad and Broccoli Sunshine Salad. Cooled baked beans are also welcome.

*Recipe has been changed from the original.


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