Grilled Basil Chicken with Spinach Risoni


Yesterday I sent my husband a whining e-mail about not having a grill, so he went over to the commissary/PX and bought one, then spent most of the night putting it together.  Nice man.  Harpy wife.  Opposites attract 😀


Frugal’s post on Mushroom Orzotto reminded me that I had brought over a bag of risetti/risoni/orzo from my pantry in France.


I’m very much a hater when it comes to rice but this rice-like pasta is fabulous, nothing like rice 🙂


I butterflied (for you Brits, Kings and Queens of the English language, that’s spatchcocked) a farm chicken and rubbed it with a basil marinade.


Having no bricks, I weighed it down on the grill with the “big black”.




Grilled Basil Chicken

1 butterflied chicken

3 garlic cloves, chopped

2 tbsp fresh basil

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tbsp lemon juice

Salt and pepper

Blend the garlic, basil, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper together until smooth.  Gently loosen the skin over the breast and legs with with your fingers and insert marinade between the skin and meat, then rub marinade over the whole chicken.  Set some marinade aside for basting.  Refrigerate the chicken for at least 2 hours.

Grill the chicken on a 425 F grill over indirect heat, top down, weighted with bricks or a cast iron skillet, turning and basting every 15 minutes for a total of 45 minutes.  Start skin side down.

Spinach Risoni

1 small onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 yellow bell pepper, diced

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp cumin

4 cups fresh baby spinach

8 oz dried risoni, cooked and drained

3 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped

Salt and pepper

Saute the onion, pepper and garlic in the olive oil.  Add the coriander and cumin and continue to cook for a minute.  Add the spinach and cook just until wilted.  Stir in the risoni, oregano, salt and pepper and mix well.   

About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
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30 Responses to Grilled Basil Chicken with Spinach Risoni

  1. Karen says:

    Now that is a grill to be proud of. The chicken and orzo look delicious…I can’t wait until we have grilling weather here in New England.

  2. Thank you. We don’t have grilling weather here in Stuttgart. I just put on a coat and boots 🙂

  3. This looks very, very good! I love risotto!

  4. Looks fabulous! That grill is impressive 🙂 Have you ever been to Strasbourg? I used to live there, some of your recipes remind me of those days.

  5. ambrosiana says:

    I just love your chicken grilling method!

  6. Gorgeous chicken, fabulous grill. Am going to start whingeing a bit more and see if I get one too!

  7. I’m getting all over the place today – isn’t it a great pasta? One of my faves. Lovely dish, Rosemary!

  8. Roll on the spring, so I can whip the cover off the Webber. The best way to cook chicken in my opinion – it looks great. Like the risoni too never tried it like this.

  9. Mad Dog says:

    Excellent grill action 😉

  10. acrusteaten says:

    Somehow I think spatchcocking a chicken makes it cook so much better and it is always moist and delicious. I even do my roast chickens this way now. Great post!

  11. well as they say ” happy wife, happy life” , glad your husband got you such a nice grill, and he did get a beautiful chicken out of it, so i think you two are even 🙂 great recipe…lovely post..sarah

  12. We have a charcoal grill, and as soon as it stops raining and gets warm enough to grill again, I’m making this! 🙂

  13. Claire D says:

    I love chicken on the Grill – can’t till first sign of Spring to do this, even if it’s still raining. I like the flattening idea – clever.

  14. rsmacaalay says:

    Congratulations with that grill, do you believe I dont have it either. I usually grill mine on charcoal.

  15. Pingback: The Guy Domestic — Lemon Grilled Chicken | TheGuyDomestic

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