by MELISSA GORDON
During the summer it seems like I cannot get grilling off my mind. When I plan what to make for dinner, I imagine grilling. When I shop for food, I envision the ingredients on the grill. When I’m out and about, I notice other people grilling. And each week, as I sit down to write this article, I think about grilling recipes. Sometimes I think I should add some variety to my culinary life — but then I remember that it’ll be soup season soon enough, and I should continue to indulge in my grill as long as I can.
Grilled Nashville Hot Chicken
Total time: Four hours, 20 minutes;
20 minutes active
• 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
• 2 cups buttermilk
• 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
• 1/2 teaspoon plus 1 pinch salt, divided
• Vegetable oil for the grill
• 1/4 cup unsalted butter
• 1 clove garlic, pressed
• 2 tablespoons Tabasco or other hot sauce
• 1 tablespoon honey
Trim the chicken breasts and place on a cutting board. Cover chicken with a sheet of waxed paper and use a meat mallet or small saucepan to pound to an even 3/4 inches thick. Place in a gallon zip-top bag. In a bowl or cup, stir together the buttermilk, smoked paprika and 1/2 teaspoon salt, then pour over the chicken in the bag. Seal the top and massage or shake the bag to coat the chicken with the spice mixture. Refrigerate for four to 12 hours.
Remove the chicken from the marinade; drain off and discard excess liquid, then place the chicken on a plate.
Heat the grill to high. Use tongs and paper towels to rub vegetable oil on the grate. Place the chicken pieces on the grill and cook for about four minutes per side, until the chicken reaches 165°F. on an instant-read thermometer. Move to a clean plate and allow to rest for about five minutes before serving.
For the sauce: melt the butter in a small pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir for a few seconds, just until fragrant. Stir in the tabasco, honey and a pinch of salt until dissolved. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Serve chicken breasts with a drizzle of hot spicy butter, or serve the sauce on the side.
Grill up red and green bell pepper strips along with the chicken for an easy and colorful side. Serve with cornbread and a tall glass of iced tea or lemonade for a summertime feast.