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Curried Grilled Chicken

South of the Border Chicken

By Barbara Beltrami

When in doubt — whether company is coming for dinner, whether you have house guests, whether you’ve spent the day at the beach, whether you’re on a staycation, whether it’s just too darn hot to even think of turning on the stove or oven, whether you just can’t do another takeout, or whether you simply cannot think what to make for dinner — throwing some chicken on the grill is the default solution.

If you think of it early enough, you can marinate just about any chicken parts in the fridge while you go about your activities. If you decide too late for that, you can pick up the chicken, raid your herb garden or fridge and create a tasty main dish that’s sure to please even the fussiest guests or family members.

Pollo al Mattone (Chicken Under a Brick)

YIELD: Makes 4 servings


2 bricks, wrapped in aluminum foil

One 4-pound chicken

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup dry white wine

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped rosemary

Freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 lemon

Coarse salt and pepper, to taste

1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes


Prepare grill to medium, then place bricks on grill to heat up. Remove neck , extra fat, and innards from chicken and discard or save for another use. Place chicken, breast side down on a cutting board and, with poultry shears or a large knife, cut along both sides of spine and remove it. Cut the breast in half lengthwise. Wash chicken in cold water and pat dry with paper towels. 

In a small bowl, combine oil, wine, garlic, rosemary, lemon, salt and pepper and hot pepper flakes. With a pastry brush coat the entire chicken with the mixture. Place chicken halves, skin side down on grill;  place a heated brick on top of each half, close lid and cook for about 10-15 minutes, until skin is crisp and there are dark grill marks\.

Remove bricks, flip the chicken, put bricks back on top and continue to cook  another 10-15 minutes or so, until a meat thermometer inserted at thigh joint reads 170F. Transfer chicken to cutting board and let sit about 5 minutes, then cut into 4 pieces.  Serve with corn on the cob and a tossed salad.

South of the Border Grilled Chicken

YIELD: Makes 4 servings


4 skinless boneless chicken breasts

1/4 cup olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon paprika

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

Coarse salt and pepper to taste

Crushed hot red pepper flakes

Lime wedges


Butterfly each chicken breast by slicing it almost in half horizontally, then opening it like a book so it lies flat. In a large bowl combine the oil, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, paprika, lime juice, salt and pepper and pepper flakes. Place chicken in bowl and rub it all over with the mixture. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes. Preheat grill to medium. Use marinade to baste only during first 5 minutes of cooking as it has been in contact with raw chicken and must be thoroughly cooked; grill chicken, turning once, until just turning brown but not dark, about 5-10 minutes per side. Serve immediately with lime wedges, salsa and a salad or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Curried Grilled Chicken

YIELD: Makes 4 servings


3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons prepared mustard

2 tablespoons warm honey

1 tablespoon curry powder

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 small onion, minced

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

4 boneless chicken thighs

1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped


Preheat grill to medium. In a large bowl combine oil, mustard, honey, curry powder, salt and pepper, onion, garlic, and cinnamon. Place chicken thighs in bowl and toss to coat evenly with mixture. Place chicken on grill and baste with marinade only during first 5 minutes as it has been in contact with raw chicken and must be thoroughly cooked. Grill, turning once, until cooked through and meat thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh reads 170 F. Sprinkle cilantro  over chicken and serve immediately with rice and grilled peaches.