Grilled Buffalo Wings

I doubt that Teressa Bellissimo knew what kind of sensation she was creating when she served up the first buffalo wings at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York,  in 1964. The crispy spiciness of the wings and the cool, creamy tang of the blue cheese sauce are a terrific flavor combination

This recipe gives a nod to tradition by using the same Frank’s RedHot sauce that Teressa tossed her wings in. It’s got a little heat, excellent depth, and vinegary tang. While frying is the standard way to prepare buffalo wings, I really think that grilling them is the best way to go. Grilling lets some of the fat render out, but you still get nice, crispy wing plus all that extra flavor that the smoke brings to the party.


3-4 pounds fresh chicken wings (about 16-24 wings), whole
1 1/2 cups  Frank’s RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
3 tablespoons butter, melted


Combine hot sauce with melted butter in a large container with a lid. Mix well. Place the wings in the container, seal, and shake to make sure that they are covered with the marinade. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight, turning the pieces occasionally.

Set up your grill for an indirect cook at 350°F. Use a pan under the grate to catch any drippings and further diffuse the heat.

Remove the wings to a plate, reserving the marinade. Put the reserved marinade in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

Put the wings on the grill and cook about 15 minutes, flip the wings, and baste them with the reserved marinade. Repeat every 15 minutes until the wings are done (about 45-60 minutes).  Serve hot from the grill with bleu cheese dressing and celery sticks.

Grilled Chicken Thighs & Tamarind Marinade

This is another take on the sweet and succulent chicken you’ll find sizzling on roadside grills around the world. I’ve eaten versions of it from huge open pit grills at our county fair, from tiny pollo asado stands in Mexico, and from a grill made out of an old oil drum on the beach in Belize.

The recipes vary, but the marinade is always the key to this dish. Tart, yet savory, usually with a healthy dose of chiles and other spices. It seasons the meat and helps to keep it juicy. I normally marinate the chicken for at least 36 hours, but I ran short of time and decided to try vacuum marinating to speed up the process. Continue reading “Grilled Chicken Thighs & Tamarind Marinade”

Roast Turkey

I’ve done our Thanksgiving and Christmas turkeys on the grill for the past ten years or so. All of them have been tasty, but I don’t think I’ve ever done it the same way twice. This year’s variation was to try and add more juiciness to the breast meat by larding it with a compound butter.

Compound Butter

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 shallot, minced fine
1 teaspoon parsley, dried
1 tablespoon thyme, dried Continue reading “Roast Turkey”

Roast Chicken

Roast chicken is an simple and satisfying dish that I really enjoy doing on the grill. The only real trick is to get a nice, diffused heat that surrounds the birds – cooking them evenly and crisping the skin. I always do two birds at once, since they take no more time to cook and the leftovers disappear quickly into lunches, stews, and casseroles.

2 whole chickens (I like 3-5 pound young chickens, free range if possible)
2 tablespoons kosher salt
3-5 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 tablespoons of your favorite barbecue rub Continue reading “Roast Chicken”

Oil Drum Chicken

Anyone who’s traveled anywhere in the world has come across this scene: a roadside stand with a table and a few chairs, a couple of coolers, a smoky fire in an old oil drum, and a load of this well-marinated chicken sizzling on top of it. Whether it be on a Caribbean beach or at a fire department fundraiser, this is the quintessential grilled chicken – crispy, juicy, smoky, and tangy. Continue reading “Oil Drum Chicken”

Chimichurri Chicken

With all the fresh herbs coming up in our garden, I like using some of them for this tangy Argentinian marinade. Chicken is not exactly traditional gaucho food, but it pairs well with the citrus and garlic, and the extra oil helps keep the breasts moist.

  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon (2-3 tablespoons)
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 4-6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon of sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher sea salt
  • 6-8 boneless chicken breasts

Continue reading “Chimichurri Chicken”



Paella is a classic dish from eastern Spain. Recipes vary widely, but are always based around rice, saffron, and olive oil. It is traditionally cooked over an open fire in a wide, flat pan called a paellera. In that spirit of outdoor cooking, this is a simple version that has been adapted to work well on a grill. Continue reading “Paella”

Chipotle Chicken

Chipotle Chicken

The heat of the grill does a lot to tone down the spiciness of the marinade.

Chipotle Marinade


Big Green Egg

After enjoying pozole (a stew made from hominy, pork or chicken, and green chiles) in Mexico, I decided to try a version of the dish on the Big Green Egg.

I wanted to try the barbacoa technique, where the meat cooks over the stock. I started with one nice roasting hen that was rubbed with Goya Sazón. The BGE was stabilized at 350°F and set up for indirect cooking. I put a cast iron dutch oven full of stock (water, onion, chicken neck, 1/2 cup Mojo Criollo, garlic, and jalapeño) onto the inverted plate setter. BGE feet were used to raise it off the plate so it wouldn’t scorch. Continue reading “Pozole”

Grill Fried Chicken

You’ve heard of chicken fried steak? Well this is grill fried chicken. The long cook over indirect heat renders the fat out the skin so you get the crispy goodness and a juicy inside of traditionally fried chicken plus all the smoke and spice of the grill.

Continue reading “Grill Fried Chicken”