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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

On the Grill - Chicken with Grilled Vegetables

The nice thing about grilling is there is very little clean-up. Utilizing the grill to prepare an entire meal just makes good sense especially during the hot season when heating the kitchen is a concern. Grilled chicken with Herbs de Provence has become this summer's favourite so I decided to grill vegetables using a touch of this wonderful herb blend. Dinner was to serve three so I planned accordingly to have enough yet not have a lot of left-overs.

On the Grill

Timing is everything when cooking a complete meal on the grill. It takes a little more attention to using direct and indirect heat. We have a Fiesta Maximus 400 natural gas grill with four burners (rotisserie, left, right, side). I used the left and right burners for this meal adjusting the levels as needed and using positioning for heat control. The most important factor was the timing as when each item went onto the grill so everything would be cooked at the same time.

The potatoes went on the grill first on indirect heat on upper grate. These were simply roasted without seasoning but rather soaking up the flavours in the smoke from the other food cooking. About ten minutes later I put the marinated chicken legs with backs attached onto direct heat. Flare-ups were inevitable because of the natural fat in the chicken and additional olive oil in the marinade. These were controlled by spritzing with beer (never use water if you can use a liquid that will add flavour; this applies to all cooking), leaving the lid open and moving the chicken frequently. While the chicken and potatoes were cooking I prepared the vegetables (recipes follow). The zucchini went on the grill after the chicken had been grilling for about 35 minutes, followed about 5 minutes later for the onions and finally the tomatoes on indirect heat with the lid closed to melt the cheese. I decided to present this meal on a platter as explained below.

Grilled Zucchini with Herbs de Provence

1 medium sized zucchini
1 tbsp Herbs de Provence
1/2 c extra light olive oil

Wash and dry the zucchini. Slice on a diagonal in 3/4-inch slices. Place the zucchini, herbs and olive oil into a sealable container. Invert several times to mix then place in refrigerator until ready to grill. Grill on direct heat turning only when the first side is nicely grilled. Remove from grill and serve.

Grilled Tomatoes with Fontina Cheese

1 large organic heirloom tomato
1 tsp Herbs de Provence
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 quarter inch thick slice Swedish Fontina cheese, enough to cover each tomato slice
drizzle of olive oil
tin foil formed into shallow box

To form tin foil box: Fold one end of the tin foil over about 1/2 inch and repeat. Do the same thing with the opposite end then repeat with the remaining two ends. Gently lift up the corners forming a shallow box.

Method: Place the box onto a sturdy cooling rack. Drizzle a little olive oil onto the tin foil box. Place the sliced tomatoes onto the oil then turn. Lightly sprinkle each slice with the herbs, salt and pepper. Top each tomato slice with a piece of cheese. Carefully slide the box from the rack onto the upper grate of the grill. Cook on indirect heat with the lid down until cheese is melted.

Grilled Onions

1 large vidalia onion (or spanish)
olive oil

Cut the onion into 1/4-inch slices. Do not separate the rings. Lightly brush one side with olive oil. Place onto direct heat using a heat resistant flipper. Turn when the bottom side is nicely grilled with signs of carmelization by carefully slipping the flipper under and holding the slice steady with your other hand. Carefully move the slices to indirect heat when grilled until ready to serve.


After taking a fair amount of effort to ensure all the meal components were ready at the same time, I decided to use a platter presentation. I would have liked fresh basil to use as a garnish but overall my husband and son were quite impressed. The meal got rave reviews from some of my most vocal critics! My husband even ate a tomato slice which is quite surprising as he only likes warm tomatoes in sauces. All in all I was quite pleased with the results. I will be doing a bit of tweaking but this meal will be a keeper.

3 food lovers commented:

jayedee said...

sounds lovely! we like to brush our veggies with a little balsamic and olive oil (and whatever spice tickles my fancy at the time) when we grill 'em! i think i could live quite happily on grilled veggies!

Garden Gnome said...

Oh balsamic vinegar would be good! I'll try that next time. Thanks for the tip.

AdamX said...

the grill platter looks delicious...