Tabletop Grill Recipes for Chicken

Tabletop Grill Recipes for Chicken

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
  1. When I was a kid, my dad loved few things more than sitting in the living room and grilling sausages over the tabletop electric grill. Well, in all honesty, he did love high diving off suspension bridges, base-jumping off of the Grand Canyon (only back then it wasn’t called base-jumping but just crazy), train-dodging and riding motorcycles over 3-inch wide planks and leaping them through burning hoops of fire; but when he wasn’t participating in death-defiance, he was grilling those bratwurst.

    I inherited the tabletop grill—if not my father’s sense of adventure—a number of years ago. Within a year, the power cord broke (the same power cord my dad had used without fail for the previous forty years; such is the luck of Tom) and I could not find a replacement. Tearfully, I was forced to dispose of the old grill, and then set out to find a replacement, only to discover that they were no longer made. What genius made that decision, I wondered? Fortunately, my luck changed long enough for me to come across another such unit, another antique made by Farberware (it was my sister’s, actually; I hope she doesn’t read this article and discover what became of it, because I told her when she loaned it to me that it was stolen from my apartment, and I’m more than a little afraid of her). Now I use it at least once a week. I’d use the charcoal barbecue in my closet, but the last time I did that there was an… unpleasantness. The one condition my landlord made for the continuing rental of my apartment was that I never almost burn the place down again. I’m pretty sure he didn’t mean that the next time I had better finish the job.

    While dad fancied cooking exclusively sausages on the tabletop grill (he didn’t have any restrictions against using his charcoal grill, the lucky—and less accident-prone—pup), I have found many other uses for the clever device. The one meal I prepare most often on the tabletop grill is chicken. What matters is what you put on the bird.

    Again, I have to insist that you visit your local Penzey’s Spice Store, or order their products online if you have no access to the retail outlets.


     Bicentennial Chicken is my wife’s favorite recipe, and like them all, it’s very easy to make. This citrusy blend of herbs, salt and pepper imparts a sweet tang to the fowl, which, if you do it right, will never be foul. Simply lay the cut up chicken pieces on the grill (or you can halve or “butterfly the chicken; this works especially well for game hens), use a basting brush to paint them generously with melted butter and sprinkle them with Penzey’s Bicentennial Rub just before turning the pieces (the butter helps prevent the chicken from sticking to the grill, which can be a problem). Turn the pieces every seven-to-ten minutes or so, basting and sprinkling every time, and grill them for 30-40 minutes until they are firm. Remember that the white meat (breasts and wings) will cook more quickly than the other pieces; remove them from the grill first.


     Turkish Chicken uses exactly the same method, but I use Penzey’s Turkish Seasoning instead. This somewhat spicy concoction is not so hot that those who shy away from piquant foods will turn their noses up to their meal; in fact, they’ll love it. If you want your bird truly spicy, use plenty of the Turkish Seasoning along with a sprinkle or two of cayenne pepper powder.


     Hungarian Chicken is also prepared in the same manner; only for this, I sprinkle the chicken pieces generously with Penzey’s Smoked Paprika. Fair warning to you: it will smell funky while it’s cooking, but it tastes much better than it smells. Try it alongside some goulash.


     McCormick Chicken is the only recipe I use for tabletop grilled chicken that doesn’t require Penzey’s spices, but instead relies on McCormick brand Lemon Pepper. I tried making this with Penzey’s version of lemon pepper (a fine seasoning called Sunny Spain), but it just wasn’t as good as the McCormick lemon pepper. And even though Spice Islands herb blends cost more (and you’d think were better because of their high prices), I don’t like it as well as the McCormick, either. This is my personal favorite recipe.

Leave a Reply