Summer is upon us, and it’s the perfect time to prepare a juicy grilled chicken platter. Whether you’re planning a family cookout or just looking for easy weeknight meals, this dish is a summer win. I’ll walk you through every step you need to know, from preparing the drumsticks to grilling secrets, to make sure your meat is tender and full of flavor. Trust me, you won’t want to miss out on this!
When and Where to Serve a Grilled Chicken Platter
A grilled chicken platter is a versatile dish that can fit into numerous occasions. It’s perfect for summer cookouts, but it’s also a tasty protein-packed snack for family gatherings or even as a weeknight dinner option. The platter of chicken can be paired with a variety of side dishes and is often featured on many a chicken platter menu. You can even add chicken salad platter ideas to complement the main course.
The Right Equipment for The Job
To prepare a grilled chicken platter, a gas grill is your best friend. Gas grills heat up quickly and maintain a consistent temperature, ensuring that your chicken breasts and drumsticks are cooked to perfection. A meat thermometer is another must-have. It ensures that your chicken is cooked through but still juicy.
How to Use the Equipment Effectively
- Gas Grill: Preheat it for at least 15 minutes before placing the chicken on the grates.
- Meat Thermometer: Insert it into the thickest part of the chicken where the meat meets the bone. Aim for a temperature of 165°F for fully cooked chicken.
Grilled Chicken Platter Recipe: Step-By-Step
- Chicken portions: 4 chicken breasts, 4 chicken drumsticks, and 8 chicken lollipops (I recommend Smart Chicken for quality meat)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- BBQ sauce (for glazing)
- Optional: Smart Chicken drumsticks if you prefer extra meatiness
For the Avocado Tomato Salad:
- 2 ripe avocados, cubed
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- Salad dressing of choice (I personally love a mix of olive oil, red wine vinegar, and a touch of honey)
- Marinate the Chicken: In a large Ziploc bag, combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, paprika, fresh lime juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. Place chicken portions in the bag ensuring they're all well-coated. Seal and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. For best results, marinate overnight.
- Prepare the Grill: Preheat your gas grill to medium-high heat. Make sure the grates are clean to prevent sticking.
- Grilling Directions: Remove chicken from the marinade and discard the leftover marinade. Place the chicken breasts and drumsticks on the grill. If you're a fan of BBQ, lightly glaze the chicken with BBQ sauce as it cooks. Remember to turn the pieces occasionally for an even cook.
- Check for Doneness: Use the meat thermometer to ensure the chicken reaches 165°F. This is especially important for the chicken breasts. Let the chicken breasts rest for about 5 minutes after taking them off the grill, so they remain juicy.
- Avocado Tomato Salad: In a bowl, combine the cubed avocados and halved cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with your salad dressing of choice and give it a gentle mix. This simple, healthy salad complements the chicken beautifully.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 450Total Fat: 30gSodium: 300mgNet Carbohydrates: 10gProtein: 35g
Serving Suggestions & Side Dishes:
Serve your grilled chicken platter while it’s still warm, placing the various chicken portions attractively on a platter. Place the avocado tomato salad on the side or in a separate dish. You can also add other sides like a fresh baguette, some roasted vegetables, or even some chicken salad platter ideas if you’re expecting more guests.
Cooking Tips & Common Mistakes:
- Butterfly Your Chicken: For chicken breasts, it helps to butterfly them so they cook quickly and evenly.
- Avoid Overcooking: Chicken breasts especially can go from juicy to dry in a matter of minutes. Keep a close eye and use that meat thermometer!
- Don’t Skip Marinating: The marinade helps in infusing the chicken with flavor and ensuring it remains tender. The longer you can marinate, the better!
There you have it! Your guide to creating the perfect grilled chicken platter, tailored for family gatherings, cookouts, or even an easy weeknight dinner. With Sarah Thomas-Drawbaugh’s Healthyish Foods inspiration, we believe in quality, and using organic, quality meat like Smart Chicken ensures that every bite is flavorful. Whether you’re prepping for a summer party or just enjoying the warm air on your patio, this dish is bound to impress. Happy grilling!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What does a chicken platter have?
A chicken platter typically includes different portions of chicken like breasts, drumsticks, and sometimes wings or lollipops. It can also include a variety of sides like salads, roasted vegetables, and dipping sauces.
How do you keep grilled chicken warm and moist?
To keep grilled chicken warm and moist, wrap it in aluminum foil and place it in an oven set to a low temperature (around 200°F). This will keep the chicken warm without drying it out.
How do you keep grilled chicken from getting tough?
To prevent grilled chicken from getting tough, avoid overcooking it. Use a meat thermometer to check doneness and let the meat rest for a few minutes after grilling before slicing.
How long to let grilled chicken sit?
After grilling, it’s good to let chicken sit for about 5 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute, making your chicken juicier and easier to cut.
How do you serve a grilled chicken platter?
A grilled chicken platter is best served warm, with the chicken pieces arranged neatly alongside side dishes like salads or roasted veggies. Serving sauces like BBQ or a vinaigrette can also elevate the dish.
Can you prepare the chicken ahead of time?
Yes, you can marinate the chicken and keep it in the fridge overnight for better flavor. You can even grill it a few hours ahead and reheat it properly without losing much quality.
What’s the best way to marinate chicken for grilling?
Using a Ziploc bag helps to evenly distribute the marinade across all chicken portions. Make sure to marinate for at least 2 hours, or overnight for best results.
What can I use if I don’t have a gas grill?
If you don’t have a gas grill, a charcoal grill or even a grill pan on the stove will work. Just adjust the cooking time and keep an eye on the chicken to avoid overcooking.
How do I know when the chicken is cooked thoroughly?
When the internal temperature reaches 165°F, measured by a meat thermometer, your chicken is cooked. Make sure to check at the thickest part where the meat meets the bone.
Can I substitute chicken thighs or wings in the recipe?
Absolutely, you can substitute other chicken parts like thighs or wings. Just adjust the grilling time as these parts may require less or more time than breasts and drumsticks.
I’m Calvin Lamb, an LA-based culinary enthusiast with a decade’s experience in five-star kitchens. My innovative dishes, inspired by seasonal flavors and sustainable practices, blend classic and modern cuisine. Besides crafting unique culinary experiences, I relish exploring new eateries and devising fresh recipes.