Now that the warmer weather is upon us, my grill becomes the go-to piece of equipment for a healthy, quick summer meal.  We chefs also must come home from work and cook a meal for the family and sometimes get stuck in a rut for what to cook without a prep team.  Reality is that no one has 3 hours to spend on a meal every night, not even a chef.  Here’s a tasty, fast and simple preparation for chicken.  I make the spice mix and prep the chicken before I go to bed the night before, as well as make the sauce (leaving out the “greens”).  I serve this with jasmine rice, a couple of spring-ish vegetables and a salad.  The whole meal comes together in about 30 minutes or less, depending on the “cheat factor” of prepped veggies (or frozen) and bagged salad.  It’s always a hit.


Spiced Chicken with Mustard Chive Sauce


For the chicken:

1 TBL. coriander powder

1 TBL. powdered mustard

2 tsp. crushed fennel seeds

3 TBL. sweet paprika

2 tsp. ground black pepper

2 tsp. kosher salt

8 chicken pieces with skin and bones-breast, thigh, legs, etc.

For the sauce:

1/3 C. Sherry wine vinegar

3 TBL. Dijon mustard

1 ¼ C. olive oil

½ C. chopped fresh chives

3 TBL. chopped fresh tarragon



  1. Mix all the spices together.
  2. Lay the chicken pieces out on a baking sheet and sprinkle generously with the spice mixture.
  3. Let stand 1 hour, uncovered or cover and chill up to one day.



  1. Wisk vinegar and mustard in a medium bowl.
  2. Gradually add the oil.
  3. Mix in the chives and tarragon.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.

(the sauce can be made 8 hours ahead and left at room temperature, just leave out the chives and tarragon until about 1 hour before you serve it.  Because of the acid(vinegar), the greens will turn grey if left in the sauce too long.)

To Cook:

  1. Prepare the grill for medium-high heat.
  2. Grill the chicken with the lid open(if you have a lid) , skin side down until deep golden brown-about 5 minutes.
  3. Turn the chicken over and move a bit away from the fire(indirect grilling), close the lid and cook for about 15 minutes or until the juices no longer run pink when the chicken is pierced. The dark meat may take a bit longer than the breasts, depending on how large each piece is.
  4. Serve with a nice spoonful of sauce on the plate and the chicken sitting on top of the sauce. Pass the remaining sauce separately.

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