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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

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« Pre-Memorial Day Party Gluten-Free Recipe Round-Up: Grilled Chicken, Roasted Vegetables, Jicama Collard Slaw, Raspberry Rhubarb Bars | Main | Herb Roasted Fennel, Parsnips, Carrots, and Brussels Sprouts (gluten free, vegan) »

Dad's Top Five Grilling Tips and Mesquite-Smoked Grilled Chicken Breasts (gluten free)

This is a great guest post from my grill-loving father! He's a master at the grill, and whenever I go home I eat more meat than I normally eat in a week.  The man knows his way around a piece of meat, I'll say that much. Here's his tricks for grilling good chicken breasts.

Hi from Kim's dad.  Grilling is one of my favorite things and I grill just about anything.  A few years ago I purchased a combination grill and smoker--it was one of the best things I have ever bought.  I particularly like the sweet smoky taste light meats like pork and chicken take on when cooked in the smoker.   You don't need smoker, a normal gas or charcoal grill will work just fine.  The process is simple, but the results are wonderful.

  • Pay attention to the food you are cooking.  
  • You don't want to incinerate the food.  So watch your temperature.
  • Spices, rubs, and marinades are best applied a few hours before grilling.  So  plan ahead. 
  • Don't be afraid to experiment with different wood chips depending on the food you are cooking - I use hickory, mesquite, and apple.
  • Clean your grill.  Every time.
(Note from Kim: These tasty little chicken breasts were part of the Pre-Memorial Day Party backyard family get together.  And my dad is an awesome griller/smoker!  He's spoiled me for all grilled and smoked foods from anywhere else.  And his smoked salmon will bring you to your knees.  Anyway, the mesquite chip-smoking adds an amazing flavor to everything.  Hickory chips are also really good - he made hickory smoked hamburgers the night I arrived.  I scarfed them down.)

Update 6/15/10: This post is now linked to Friday Foodie Fix at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang.  The theme this week is Dad's Favorite in honor of Father's Day, so I thought this was the perfect submission!

Dad's Mesquite-Smoked Grilled Chicken Breasts

mesquite chips (mix of small and medium size)
chicken breasts
seasoning of choice (herbs, spices, etc) - a little mesquite flour rubbed on is REALLY good!
BBQ sauce if desired
About an hour or two before grilling soak a small hand full of mesquite chips in water.  I like to use smaller chips with a couple of medium size pieces.

Clean and trim the chicken breasts and pat dry.  Season the breasts with your choice of spices.  I have a personal spice blend that includes garlic, chili powder, cumin, some salt, black pepper, cayenne, dry mustard, oregano, and paprika. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.  Allow the chicken to "marinate" for at least two hours.
Soaking up the seasoning, yum yum yum.
When you are ready to grill drain the wood chips. Place the chips in an aluminum foil "pouch" and poke a couple of small holes in the pouch. Place the chips in the grill when the breasts go on to cook.  I have found a temperature of about 400º F works well and doesn't burn up the chips too quickly.  Turn the breasts during cooking to allow for even smoking.  Cook until juices are clear.  If you want to brush with barbeque sauce do so during the last minutes of cooking.  Serve!

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