What would summer be like without grilled food, am I right? Unfortunately, as most of you know, food prep for the grill can be time-consuming. We’d all enjoy our summers more if we found faster/easier ways of prepping food so we can enjoy more of the summer weather, and if you’re having company, enjoying your guests, as well.
This summer, I’m making it my mission to find faster ways to prep food for grilling. To begin, I’m going to tell you about our new favourite grilled chicken dinner.
It does require a bit of prep because of the chopping of the vegetables but once it’s done you leave it until it’s time to throw it on the grill. Literally! Plus, this prep should be done in advance. You will be marinating the chicken and the vegetables, so the longer you leave it to marinate, the better the flavour.
To begin, pick up your favourite chicken pieces at the grocery store, along with some of your favourite vegetables to grill. Here are some ideas:
- summer squash
- bell peppers
- cherry tomatoes
- corn (break ears into smaller, easy-to-eat portions)
- green beans
- Brussels sprouts
These are just ideas, but when choosing the vegetables to grill, go for a variety of colours. Red bell peppers with zucchini, mushrooms and yellow squash are so pretty on your plate and make it interesting.
Prepare the chicken pieces. Trim any fat and place into a large zipper-topped bag. Grab a bottle of your favourite bbq sauce, or if you make your own, use that. Pour about 1/2 cup of bbq sauce into the bag over the chicken. Now, take 1/4 cup of Italian salad dressing (you can also experiment with different salad dressings and marinades, of course) and pour that into the bag over the chicken as well. Seal the top and store in the fridge until you’re ready to grill.
As I said earlier, prepping the veggies requires the most work, but it’s well worth it. All the vegetables should be cut to bite-sized pieces (if you’re using corn, this might be a little awkward – personally, I’d do corn separately, and if feeding a crowd, check this post out).
Have a second large zipper-topped bag near your cutting board, and scoop the prepped veggies into it as you go. When you have all of your vegetables in the bag, take another 1/2 cup of Italian salad dressing and pour it over the vegetables in the bag. Seal and marinate in the fridge.
Yup! You’re golden, now! When it’s time to grill (and let’s be honest, men usually do most of the grilling – not always but they usually enjoy it – so this means you get to sit back and sip your wine!), place the prepped chicken on the hot grill, and pour your prepped veggies into a grill basket, similar to the one shown, and keep an eye on them both.
Just like cooking on the stovetop, there are certain vegetables that take less time to cook than others. In this event, you could place vegetables requiring longer cooking time in a separate zipper-topped bag, and the same for the vegetables that require less time. The veggies that require a longer cooking time go into the basket first, and then you can add the rest when they’re about half-cooked.
When the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are looking like they still have a bit of crisp left in them, serve it all up on plates and enjoy!