Memorial Day is right around the corner, and for me, this is the unofficial start of summer and backyard parties! I was happy to chat with Chef Jeff Anderson this week to hear all about a flavorful and easy-to-put-together grilling menu. I was so intrigued by the mix of flavors, that I headed to the store, bought my ingredients, and put together the easy summer grilling dinner menu for my family. I gotta say that after working all day, then grocery shopping, and finally getting home to make this meal, it was a long day, and it was worth it. The entire family loved this meal! So much so we have already made more of the rice. Yes, it’s that good.
Easy Summer Grilling Dinner Menu
- Stuffed Chicken with Smoked Bacon & Mushrooms
- Brown Rice Salad with Capers, Artichoke Hearts & Greek Feta Vinaigrette
- Grilled Cherry Packets with Maple and Graham Cracker Crumble
This delicious menu came to me from Executive Chef Jeff Anderson. I had the chance to chat with him earlier this week, and he shared some of his grilling tips in addition to these recipes.
First, I love the tips that he shared with us – start with quality ingredients and incorporate items that can be prepared ahead of time. He shared how this easy summer grilling dinner menu can be prepped ahead of time. Sounds good to me! That’s exactly how I like to plan my parties.
Second, I loved the menu that he shared with me. The bacon-stuffed chicken was juicy and flavorful. Seriously, bacon-stuffed? What’s not better with bacon?! The rice salad was filling and full of the Greek flavors that I so adore. The dessert was tangy and sweet all in one. A perfect party menu that will make all of your guests happy! As Chef Jeff pointed out, the salad is filling and can stand alone as an entree for your vegetarian friends in addition to being a side salad for those that enjoy chicken.
Let’s get to the recipes!
Stuffed Chicken with Smoked Bacon & Mushrooms
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings per Recipe: 4 stuffed chicken breasts
- 4 Signature Farms® boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 pinch kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning chicken pre-grilling
- 1 pinch ground black pepper, plus additional for seasoning chicken pre-grilling
- 2 Tbs olive oil, plus added oil for brushing chicken pre-grilling
- butcher’s twine (for tying rolled chicken)
- Signature SELECT™ aluminum foil (optional for grilling)
Hickory Bacon Compound Butter:
- 4 Tbs unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 6 slices Signature Farms® hickory bacon, cooked, cooled and minced
- 3/4 cup thinly-sliced mushrooms
- 3 Tbs minced shallots
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- salt and pepper for seasoning
- To prepare hickory bacon compound butter, combine the cooked, minced bacon and the unsalted butter together, mix well and chill.
- Heat a medium-size sauté pan, add oil, shallots and mushrooms, then season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 2 minutes, then set aside and allow to cool.
- Butterfly chicken breast, opening it up into 2-3 folds. Season with salt and pepper.
- Divide butter between the butterflied breast, then add sautéed mushrooms. Fold and tie with butcher’s twine. Yes, there’s a bit of chicken bondage going on 😉
- Brush roll-tied chicken breast with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.
- Heat grill to medium-high and spray grates with non-stick spray (or brush with oil).
- Place stuffed chicken breast on hot grill. Grill for 1 ½ minutes, pick up and turn 90 degrees to create grill cross marks. Grill chicken breast for another 1 ½ minutes, turn over and then cover grill. Cook covered for an additional 10-12 minutes. ***Pro Tip: If the twine is becoming charred, place chicken breast on sheet of aluminum foil and continue cooking until internal temperature reaches 165°
- Remove from grill and allow to rest 4-5 minutes, remove twine and serve.
Brown Rice Salad with Capers, Artichoke Hearts & Greek Feta Vinaigrette
Serves: 4 sides or 2 Entrée
- 2 cups (cooked and cooled) Signature SELECT™ long grain brown rice
- 1 cup Signature SELECT™ marinated artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 3 Tbs minced parsley
- 1/4 cup thinly-sliced green onion
- 1/4 cup minced red pepper
- 1/4 cup minced yellow pepper
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 1/2 cup Signature SELECT™ Greek Feta vinaigrette
- In mixing bowl, combine cooked/ cooled rice, artichoke hearts, spinach, parsley, green onions, capers, and peppers.
- Season with salt and pepper, dress with Greek feta vinaigrette, then mix to distribute dressing and coat all ingredients evenly. Transfer to serving bowl and enjoy.
And now for dessert—-
Grilled Cherry Packets with Maple and Graham Cracker Crumble
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings Per Recipe: 4 servings
- 1 orange, peeled, cut into segments
- 24 cherries, pitted
- 2 Tbs unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 4 Tbs pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 4 scoops Signature SELECT™ vanilla ice cream
- 4 large squares Signature SELECT™ aluminum foil
- graham crackers crumbles (see Graham Cracker Crumble directions)
Graham Cracker Crumble:
- 6 Signature SELECT™ honey graham crackers
- 4 Tbs all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 4 Tbs granulated sugar
- Double stack aluminum foil squares to create two packets, combine the cherries, orange slices, orange juice, maple syrup and butter, then divide between the two squares and wrap up in foil, sealing the top.
- Place onto preheated grill for approximately 20 minutes until thoroughly heated. Note: you should be able to hear the liquid boiling. ***You can also do this in the oven at 375 degrees
- Remove from grill and divide into bowls, then top with ice cream and garnish with crushed graham crackers
Graham Cracker Crumbles
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Put graham crackers, flour, salt and sugar into food processor, process until finely ground.
- Transfer to mixing bowl, add in melted butter, mix well.
- Line small baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil, add crumb mixture.
- Bake 10-15 minutes, until golden brown, stirring as necessary to allow for even toasting.
- Remove from oven and cool.
There you have it – an easy summer grilling dinner menu for you and your friends to enjoy. Happy Memorial Day weekend and happy summer entertaining!