Summer grilling season is here. San Diego’s near-perfect weather makes us all want to enjoy outdoor dining. Need some new family-pleasing recipes? Try both of these delicious dishes from Roger Unger, executive chef for Sodexo at Sharp Coronado Hospital.
“A few grilling techniques and the right ingredients make these meals easy and delicious,” says Unger. “This of course means more time with friends and family.”
Grilled Barbecue Chicken With Pickled Green Bean Salad
This tasty lunch or dinner barbecue recipe is healthy and kid-friendly, and uses cayenne pepper and Dijon mustard for a slightly spicy kick.
- 5 to 6 pounds chicken thighs, skin on
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey or agave syrup
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 6 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Pickled Green Bean Salad
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large sweet onions, sliced into 1/2-inch thick rounds
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 (16-ounce) jars pickled green beans, plus 2 tablespoons pickle juice
- 2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
Step 1: Preheat the Grill
Set up a clean grill to have 2 heat zones: medium-high and medium-low. For a charcoal grill, place 2/3 of the charcoal on one side (medium-high zone) and place the remaining 1/3 scattered on the other side (medium-low zone). For a gas grill, set the burners at medium-high on one side and medium-low on the other.
A gas grill takes about 10 minutes to warm up; a charcoal grill will take 20 minutes. Lightly coat the grill grates with oil or nonstick cooking spray before placing any food on the grill.
Step 2: Make the Barbecue Sauce
In a medium bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, honey or agave, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper and Dijon mustard. Set aside.
Step 3: Grill the Chicken
Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. On the medium-high side of the grill, place chicken skin side down. Cook to achieve light charring (5 to 8 minutes), flipping chicken halfway through.
Move the chicken to the medium-low side of the grill to continue cooking. Cover grill and periodically check on and flip the chicken throughout the cooking process, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
Use a meat thermometer to test for doneness; the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken should reach 140° F. When done, remove from the grill and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
Step 4: Grill the Onions (for Green Bean Salad)
While the chicken rests, prepare the onions: In a medium bowl, gently toss the sliced onions with 2 tablespoons olive oil and a pinch of salt, keeping the onion rings intact. Grill over medium-low heat, turning once, till lightly charred and tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from grill.
Step 5: Baste the Chicken
Transfer chicken to the bowl of sauce. Mix to generously coat all pieces with the sauce. Return chicken to the grill and continue cooking for 5 to 6 minutes, turning the chicken every 1 to 2 minutes and using a basting brush to apply extra sauce to both sides.
Grill until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken reaches 160° F and the sauce is shiny. Remove from grill.
Step 6: Make the Salad
In a large bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of the pickle juice from the jar of pickled green beans and 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard. Drain the green beans. Add the drained green beans, sliced tomatoes and grilled onions to the bowl and gently toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Plate the chicken and green bean salad, serve and enjoy.
Bang Bang Corn
Chef Unger’s homage to the highly popular Bang Bang Shrimp seen on menus throughout the country.
- 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Juice of 2 limes
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 6 ears of corn, husks removed
- Fresh cilantro, roughly chopped (for garnish)
Step 1: Make the Sauce
In a small bowl, whisk together the sweet chili sauce, melted butter, Sriracha, garlic and lime juice. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.
Step 2: Dress the Corn
Using a basting brush, thoroughly coat each ear of corn with the sauce.
Step 3: Grill the Corn
Grill the corn over medium-high heat, turning frequently and basting as it cooks, until lightly charred and tender.
Sprinkle cooked corn with fresh chopped cilantro before serving.
“I hope you find these recipes tasty and simple enough to serve for family and friends on a beautiful sunny San Diego day,” says Chef Unger.