Grilled Chicken Pasta with Salami and Mozzarella


4 split chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on, approx 12 oz each

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 garlic cloves

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

¼ pound Italian salami, sliced or whole

¼ pound mozzarella, preferable fresh packed in water

¼ cup basil leaves, chopped finely

1 pound semolina pasta, any shape (Barilla brand recommended)


  1. Optional: Combine 3 tablespoons kosher salt with one quart water in a large bowl. Stir to dissolve. Add chicken breasts and add more water to cover. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat gas grill on high for 20 minutes covered. Or light charcoal until white ash on edges of coals. Mound coals onto one half of the grill and heat the grate thoroughly with cover on.
  3. Meanwhile, put a large pot of water on high heat for pasta. Dry chicken with paper towels and season with salt and fresh ground pepper.
  4. Dip wads of paper towel in vegetable oil. Using tongs, wipe towels on grill grate over hottest area to create a non-stick surface.
  5. Place chicken on hottest part of grill, skin side down. Cook for 3-5 minutes to brown. Shift chicken to alternate position on hot area if flares occur. Turn chicken bone side down and cook for 2 minutes. Move chicken to coolest part of grill (turn off all but one burner on a gas grill). Cover and cook for 25-35 minutes, until thickest part of chicken registers 160 degrees on an instant read thermometer (or juices run clear).
  6. While chicken is cooking, chop garlic. If salami is sliced, cut slices into strips. If salami is whole, cut into small cubes. Cut mozzarella into cubes.
  7. Cook pasta per directions. Test it 2 minutes prior to the recommended cooking time. Reserve 2/3 cup cooking water before draining.
  8. Heat butter and oil in small skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and pepper flakes, cook for 1 minute, but do not allow it to brown. Turn heat to high. Add salami slices for 30 seconds or cubes for 1 minutes. Remove pan from burner.
  9. Combine pasta, garlic oil, salami, cheese and basil. Add half of reserved pasta water, stir, then add more water as desired.
  10. When chicken is cooked, allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Cut chicken from bone and add slices or cubes to pasta and serve.


This seems like a lot of detail. But I'm sharing a very precise grilling method and throwing in a few details on pasta and prepping that many of you can take for granted. This recipe is not as hard as the 10 steps would imply. I estimate a little over an hour start to finish, not all active cooking, plus optional 30 minutes for brining chicken.

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