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We love chicken on the grill. At the very crack of grilling season, chicken is the first food to hit the grill grates -- and it's always the last meal we'll make before packing up the BBQ for winter. We've certainly sampled our share of tasty grilled chicken recipes. And these 5-star grilled chicken recipes are some of our absolute favorites -- featuring classics like tangy BBQ chicken and grilled chicken taco salad, along with everything from teriyaki to tandoori-style grilled chicken. There's enough variety here to keep you thrilled about grilled chicken all season long.
Find whole chickens and convenient pre-cut chicken pieces—plus all the ingredients you need to make amazing grilled chicken—at Whole Foods Market.
Here's Chef John’s version of a popular Southeast Asian grilled chicken dish. As Chef John puts it: "Chinese 5-spice powder has a proven track record of awesomeness when combined with smoky, caramelized meats." The marinade stars five-spice seasoning, plus ginger, garlic, chile sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, and rice vinegar.
You'll stuff marinated chicken breasts with avocado, jalapeno pepper, and Monterey Jack cheese. Grill them up, brush with BBQ sauce, and serve on a Kaiser roll.
"The secret to this simple grilled chicken is a very powerful marinade -- featuring garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, and vinegar -- and 'roasting' it slowly over semi-indirect heat on the grill," says Chef John.
Chicken breasts are seasoned simply with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and fresh rosemary, and wrapped in bacon. "This recipe comes together so easy with minimal prep," says Skoo. Want more bacon and chicken ideas? Check out 9 Top-Rated Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Recipes.
The secret to Chef John's tandoori-style grilled chicken is a pre-made spice mix. You'll marinate chicken thighs in yogurt, lime juice, and a special spice mix. "Tandoori chicken gets its name from the clay oven it is traditionally cooked in, the tandoor," explains Chef John. "Don't worry if you don't have a tandoor clay oven sitting in the backyard; a grill will work just fine."
Marinated in honey, garlic, and ancho spice, this Aztec-style chicken is grilled and served over a creamy roasted corn-sweet potato mash. "A great taste of central Mexico with a little heat and quite a bit of flavor,' says Vintage Chef. "Garnish with two halves grilled plantain or banana and cilantro."
Grated lemon zest, herbs and spices, crushed garlic, lemon juice, and Greek yogurt create a tangy marinade that's the key to this grilled chicken. A few hours in the refrigerator, and the chicken is perfect for grilling. "There is something special about what yogurt does to chicken in its smoky, sizzling time over charcoal," says Chef John. "It imparts a tangy flavor that lifts all the other flavorings. It tenderizes slightly, without turning the meat into mush. It grills to a caramelized dark brown without tasting burnt."
Chicken breasts are marinated in teriyaki sauce, lemon juice, garlic, and sesame oil, then grilled to a tasty finish. "Be sure to grill very hot and very fast," recommends prissycat. "Very easy and great for a hot summer's evening. Leftovers are great on a green salad or sandwich."
"When it comes to barbecued chicken, everyone wants that nice thick glaze of sauce attached to the skin," says Chef John. "And the only way to do it, is brush it on as it cooks. Therein lies the problem. Because of the sugar content, it only takes a minute for a barbecue sauce to go from brick-red to solid black. I just 'mark' the chicken's vulnerable skin side, then cook it all the way through in a closed grill, brushing on the glaze as it cooks." Watch Chef John avoid the bane of barbecue season -- burnt BBQ'd chicken:
Bite-size pieces of chicken breast are marinated in yogurt and spices, threaded onto skewers, grilled, and served in a luscious tomato cream sauce. "This is an easy recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala on the grill," says Yakuta. "Serve with rice or warm pita bread."
"The term 'spiedie' (SPEE-dee) comes from 'spiedo,' the Italian word for spit, and simply refers to meat grilled on a skewer," says Chef John. "This incredibly delicious sandwich, invented in central New York by an Italian immigrant named Camillo Iacovelli, breaks all the accepted rules regarding marinating meats, and not only does it work, it's amazing!" See how it's done!
Spice-rubbed grilled chicken breasts are served over a bed of lettuce, black beans, and salsa. Grilled corn tortillas make a smoky shell for this outstanding taco salad. For more, check out 8 Mouth-Watering Grilled Chicken Salads from Around the World.
This grilled chicken was inspired by the flavors of Calabria, Italy. The marinade features Calabrian crushed chili peppers, rosemary, an anchovy filet, vinegar, citrus, and egg. You'll mix up the marinade in the blender. "I served these spicy grilled game hens on a bed of romaine lettuce with a spoonful of the Calabrian chile paste for garnish," says Chef John. "It's a very delicious, flavorful, moist chicken."