A Lean and Clean Grilling Menu
Taming the Flame: 20 Meals from the Grill by Elizabeth KarmelIn this weekly column, grilling expert Elizabeth Karmel shares menus for full meals cooked on the grill (with occasional allowances for a no-cook or make-ahead dish that's not grilled). In this column, she shares her recipes for Couscous with Grilled Vegetables, Grilled Bone-In Chicken Pieces, and White Peaches Marinated in Balsamic Syrup.
About this Light Grilling MenuLast week was the Fourth of July and if you are like me, chances are that you indulged your craving for hamburgers, hot dogs, wings, barbecued ribs and all your favorite summertime treats. But just because you feel like a little dietary restraint is in order doesn't mean you have to put the grill away. It's just as easy to make great tasting, "lean and clean" grilled foods as it is to make burgers and dogs.
Quick and Easy Grilled Vegetables with CouscousIn the summer, I love making extra grilled vegetables to use in other recipes, such as my Couscous with Grilled Vegetables, all week long. Start with your favorite seasonal vegetables, grill them in larger pieces and when they are nicely marked and cooked through, remove them from the grill and chop them into small enough pieces to mix with the couscous. Once the couscous is done, I let it sit so all the flavors meld. You can also make this the night before but I like to take it out of the fridge for a little while to take the chill off. This couscous also makes a perfect picnic dish -- portable, colorful and delicious
The Secret to Perfect Grilled ChickenI most often pair the couscous with simple Grill-Roasted Chicken. It's easy to prepare and hits the spot on a hot summer's night. Buy the best quality chicken and simply brush it lightly with olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. The oil and salt are essential, the pepper is optional.
Now, here's the biggest secret: Most people cook bone-in chicken pieces over direct heat, resulting in chicken that is burned on the outside and raw on the inside. Use indirect heat and you won't even need to turn the chicken. Put them on about an hour before you want to eat. Depending on the size of the pieces, they will take between 35 to 55 minutes to cook through. (According to the USDA, chicken is done when the dark meat reaches 180-185 F and the white meat is 160-165 F.) Let the chicken pieces rest for at least five minutes and serve with the couscous.
Sweet Grilled Peaches with Balsamic Syrup for DessertWhile the chicken is grilling, it's the perfect time to make White Peaches Marinated in Balsamic Syrup for dessert. This balsamic marinade and syrup is great for all stone fruit but I use it most often with white peaches. I love the sweet tangy marinade and the blush of color it gives the white flesh. Once the fruit has been marinated and is ready to grill, reduce the marinade until it is syrupy and sweet.
Grill the peaches over a direct medium heat on a very clean cooking grate for a few minutes until the peaches are marked and warmed through. I usually do this while the chicken is resting and serve the peaches at room temperature one of two ways: over vanilla ice cream with a drizzle of the syrup or with a drizzle of heavy cream and a drizzle of the balsamic syrup.
More from KitchenDaily:
Watch videos on how-to grill over indirect heat and how to grill over direct heat.
See how to grill vegetables.
Get additional grilled chicken recipes.