Here's Why You'll Want to Make This Grilled Chicken Dinner on Repeat All Summer Long
It's our pick of the season for an easy, healthy, and versatile weeknight meal.
There's no doubt about it: When it comes to summertime dinners, there's no shortage of delicious dishes to make. What's more, there are a lot of different ways to make your deals; it's the time of year when we mix up our usual routine, trading out our stovetops and ovens for our grills. That's one of the reasons we're calling this Grilled Chicken Thighs with Charred Corn and Summer Squash our go-to summer dinner: It's a full dish you'll make entirely on the grill, no stove necessary.
What else makes this recipe one of our favorite options for summer? It's an easy-going entrée that will delight your entire family. It's colorful and healthy but fun, full of flavor, and so easy to make.
Chicken is always a winner, and this grilled chicken dinner is made with boneless chicken thighs which are one of our favorite cuts. Chicken thighs are more economical than chicken breasts, and they're more flavorful, too. But the essence of this recipe is versatility, so you could make this recipe with chicken breasts, either pounded into paillards or left as cutlets, says senior food editor Lauryn Tyrell, who developed this ace recipe. (If you do go that route, remember that the cutlets or paillards will cook faster than thighs: Just grill them over high heat for about two minutes a side.)
For the sauce, lemon juice and zest are mixed with garlic, shallot, olive oil, and lots of chopped herbs. Following the versatile, use-what-you-have-nature of this dinner recipe, you can add mint and dill or your favorite herbs. The mix doesn't have to be just two: It's a great way to use up the half bunch of parsley in your refrigerator.
The chicken doesn't require any prep other than seasoning the pieces with salt and pepper before it cooks over high heat on the grill. Once it's done, remove it to the dish with the sauce so it can soak up the lemon-herb flavors (like marinating in reverse!); it can rest while you grill the zucchini and corn. When they're charred, transfer the zucchini to a platter and strip the corn from the cobs (allow a few minutes for it to cool!), then add the corn kernels, a little Parmesan, and more fresh herbs for extra color and flavor. Top with the chicken and spoon over more sauce from the dish if you like, which will dress the vegetables below. Pair this platter with crusty bread, potato salad, or your family's favorite grain side and dinner is ready.
Change It Up
Assistant food editor Riley Wofford is also fan of this grilled dinner, and once you've enjoyed it with zucchini and corn a few times, she suggests trying a few flavor swaps. "It would be good with grilled fennel and/or eggplant in addition to the zucchini and corn," she says. Lauryn agrees, adding that it's worth exploring other vegetables as the summer progresses. "It would also be really lovely with some juicy tomatoes. I would just slice them and arrange them on a platter with a little oil and flaky sea salt, then pile the other vegetables and chicken on top." Lauryn is the expert on this recipe, and she sums it up so well, saying, "Really about using what you've found at the farmers' market or what's popping up in your CSA (or even your own garden), then making it a full meal with a simple grilled protein and a fresh flavorful dressing to tie it all together."