Thursday, August 2, 2012

Spice-Rubbed Grilled Chicken


Last night we had a dear friend over for dinner with her two beautiful sons. I absolutely love our new home for it's excess of space to entertain in. We never feel cramped or closed in, the layout caters perfectly to our entertaining needs, even when small children are involved.

I splurged with wedding gift cards on a cookbook at Williams-Sonoma called Weeknight Fresh + Fast, which is very out of character for me. I like to find recipes online (FREE) and I think fancy cookbooks are for the birds...but this one is really worth it. The recipes are broken down seasonally, so you're always cooking what's in season. LOVE that.

The recipe I had bookmarked for last night is Spice-Rubbed Grilled Chicken, but after watching an episode of TopChef Masters Monday night, I was inspired to add my own hint of a twist. Bill and our guest dubbed the recipe as a "Keeper". Our friend encouraged me to blog it, she enjoyed it so much.

I planned on serving this dish Tuesday night, but we went to the Cubs game last-minute.

Go Cubs, Go!
I had already put the chicken in a marinade of plain yogurt, per my inspiration from TopChef. The judges recommended it to a contestant to make her chicken a "silky" texture, so it doesn't dry out in Indian cuisine. I thought, "Well what do you know?! I'm making an Indian dish! I should try that."

IT WORKED. The chicken was silky and delicious - I marinated it for 2 days, but I'm sure you could have the same result with a normal 8+ hour marinade.

It was so fast & easy to prepare, I had everything ready to go by the time our guests arrived. This allowed me time to snuggle with the 6 week old baby while GrillMaster Bill took care of the important part: cooking the food!

Have I mentioned how much I adore babies?! I was in HEAVEN every minute I held that baby. Oh my he is precious!

Photo by Williams-Sonoma

Spice-Rubbed Grilled Chicken (originally Williams-Sonoma)
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2-3 C plain yogurt (depending on size of thighs)
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice 
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. ground coriander
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
Minced fresh cilantro for garnish

Cut the excess fat off the chicken. Place chicken in zip-top bag with yogurt. Handle to coat chicken with yogurt. Marinade at least 8 hours.

Remove chicken from bag and shake off excess yogurt. Place the chicken on a small baking sheet. Season with salt and black pepper. Squeeze lemon juice onto chicken. In a small bowl, stir together the cumin, coriander, cinnamon and cayenne and sprinkle on both sides of the chicken. Sprinkle with the lemon zest.

Prepare a hot fire in a grill.

Arrange the chicken on the grill rack and cover the grill. Cook, turning once, until the chicken is springy to the touch and cooked through, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a warmed platter and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

I served the chicken with grilled asparagus. I've discovered the perfect way to prepare asparagus for the grill: drizzle it with olive oil, sea salt and squeeze the juice of one lemon over it. Toss it a bit and just let it sit and soak in the mini-marinade for about 25 minutes before throwing it on the grill. It comes out salty, fresh and bright from that lemon juice. Perfection.


  1. The chicken looks good! It's all in the spices, isn't it? Thanks for sharing!


    1. It was delicious! I think the yogurt marinade made a big difference, too. Thanks for commenting! Love your blog!