Grilled Chicken with Garlic-Herb Dressing and Grilled Lemon and Radicchio

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I hope everyone had an amazing Memorial Day — I spent mine in New Hampshire hanging out with my parents and grandmothers. It was super relaxing and I got in lots of crossword time with my Dad, had lunch with my Grams and got to meet a dear friend’s daughter for the first time.

Weekends like this are best for cookouts, which I don’t get to do much of in NYC. This recipe is one you can do on the grill, but you can also make do with a grill pan on the stove if needed (and I do need most times!). And just check out how beautiful it looks plated up!

The secret to this Tyler Florence recipe is a really awesome vinaigrette loaded with garlic, parsley, lemon and thyme, and the perfect juxtaposition of the juicy chicken alongside the bitter radicchio with some great acid from the balsamic and the lemon. I love what grilling does to the radicchio, giving it a nice char and sweetness, and same with grilled lemon — it adds a little something that you don’t get from it when it’s raw.

TW’s Tips

  • You can make the vinaigrette a day ahead; keep in the fridge and bring to room temp before using.
  • The recipe calls for one chicken broken into parts; I love chicken legs so I used a big pack of legs for this, just aim for about 4 pounds of meat

Enjoy this chicken with some of your favorite grill sides — or make it a meal in itself.

Grilled Chicken with Garlic-Herb Dressing and Grilled Lemon and Radicchio

Ingredients

  • 2 heads garlic, cut in 1/2 horizontally
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 whole fresh thyme sprigs, plus leaves from 6 sprigs
  • 2 lemons, juiced, plus 2 lemons, halved
  • About 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves chopped
  • 1 (4 to 4 1/2-pound) chicken, cut into 10 pieces (or any combination — I used just legs)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 heads radicchio, preferably Treviso, cut into quarters
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut a piece of aluminum foil about 12 inches long.

Put the garlic on 1/2 of the foil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, drizzle in some olive oil, and add 2 sprigs of thyme. Fold the foil enclosing the garlic, making a pouch, and add a couple teaspoons of water. Fold the foil over the garlic to enclose and fold in the edges 2 or 3 times to seal. Put the package in the oven and roast for 30 minutes, or longer, until the garlic is soft. Open the package and let the garlic cool a bit, then squeeze out the cloves into a food processor or blender. Add 1/2 cup olive oil, the lemon juice, parsley, and thyme leaves and puree to make a thick vinaigrette.

Preheat an outdoor gas or charcoal grill to medium heat.

Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Put the pieces in a bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil; toss to coat with the seasonings and then refrigerate while you get everything else together.

Put the radicchio in another bowl, drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss; set aside.

When you’re ready to cook, take a few paper towels and fold them several times to make a thick square. Blot a small amount of oil on the paper towel and carefully and quickly wipe the hot grates of the grill to make a nonstick surface.

Season with salt and pepper and place the radicchio quarters on the preheated grill. Cook the radicchio for about 2 minutes per side until it has a nice char; pull it off the grill, place into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to steam and finish cooking.

Then put the chicken on the grill, skin side down, and grill. Grill the chicken for about 20 minutes, turning once, then baste with about half of the vinaigrette and keep cooking until an instant-read thermometer stuck into the thickest part of the thigh reads 160 degrees F and the chicken is nice and caramelized all over, 15 to 20 more minutes. During the last few minutes, throw the lemon halves on the grill, cut sides down, and cook until just marked and smoky.

To serve, separate the radicchio into individual leaves in a big bowl. Add the chicken and the rest of the dressing and toss well. Serve with grilled lemon halves, squeeze the lemon over the chicken, and top with reserved dressing.

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