Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dry Rubbing It In

We all know that Bill is the grill master in this house, but I've been experimenting lately with chicken on my indoor grill (which is necessary when it's snowing in mid-April). My Asian Barbecue Chicken turned out so well the other night that I've been telling Bill I'm going to challenge him to a grilling throwdown, Bobby Flay style. As far as I was concerned, all I needed to do was conquer a dry rub to put a notch in my apron.

I came across this recipe in ... I'll let you guess ... one of my Cooking for Two cookbooks! It actually calls for bone-in (or in-bone if you saw Gary Busey on the Celebrity Apprentice Omaha Steaks task), skin-on chicken breasts, but I saw no reason not to substitute boneless, skinless breasts. I altered the cooking times slightly to compensate for the fact that boneless breasts cook faster, and I brushed them with a bit of oilve oil before applying the second coating of rub (to compensate for the lack of fat from the skin).

Dry-Rubbed Barbecue Chicken Breasts
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Combine sugar, paprika, chili powder, pepper, dry mustard (I don't have dry mustard so I increased the onion powder), onion powder, salt, and cayenne (I also don't have cayenne, but it's on my grocery list) in small bowl. Transfer 1 1/2 tablespoons spice mixture to pie plate; set aside for cooking.

Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Rub remaining spice mixture all over each breast. Transfer chicken to a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.

Clean and oil cooking grate (I used the same indoor grill I used for the Asian Barbecue Chicken). Place chicken on grill. Cook until well-browned and crisp, flipping occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes.

Using tongs, lightly dredge the chicken with reserved spice rub. Continue to cook until rub has melted into glaze and chicken registers 160 to 165 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 10 to 15 minutes longer.

I prefer the sticky sweetness of a sauce, but I was pleased by how well the rub carmelized on these breasts with a light brushing of oil.  This recipe was almost as good as the chicken I made on the grill last week, so I think I'm justified in rubbing Bill's nose in my grill skills :)


  1. Do I sense a grilling competition brewing between you and Bill? I highly support this, as long as I can get to be a judge ;p

  2. Totally! Get out here to sit on the judge's panel!