Grilled Tagine Chicken and Mesquite Potatoes

I made Daniel Boulud’s tagine over the weekend and had plenty of the spice mix left over so I decided to see if it worked as a rub for chicken cooked on the grill. Why indeed it did. Here it is with smoked potatoes also made on the grill. With the tiniest bit of planning, this is easy to throw together. In the time it takes to cook the potatoes, you can make the spice mix, prep the chicken, make a salad, and pour a fat glass of wine.  Happy Summer.


Grilled Tagine Chicken

This makes plenty of rub that you can store and save for later.

3 ½ tablespoons sweet paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

3 tablespoons ground coriander

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 tablespoon ginger powder

½ tablespoon ground cardamom

2 ½ teaspoons ground allspice

kosher salt

4 whole chicken breasts

Combine all the spices in a small sauté pan and toast over medium high heat for 2 minutes or until the spices smell nice and toasted. Remove from the heat and let cool. Mix 2 1/2 tablespoons of the spice mix with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. Very lightly brush the chicken breasts with olive oil then rub all over with spice mix.

Pre-heat a gas grill to high for 5-10 minutes. When it’s good and hot, oil down the grates and place the chicken breasts on the grill. Close the lid and cook for 6-7 minutes. Flip the breasts and cook 6-7 minutes more on the other side. Be sure to check for doneness. I’m a slave to my thermometer when it comes to meat so take them off as soon as they reach 160.

Slice and serve with potatoes and a side salad. I usually make more than we will eat so I can make sandwiches or put over a green salad the next day for lunch.


Smoked Potatoes (from Steven Raichlen)

This is a method more than a recipe so you can cook however many potatoes you have room for on the grill. You can do this with either baking potatoes or Yukon gold.

Heat one side of your grill to high leaving the other side off. (If you have a three-burner gas grill, light both the sides to high and leave the middle off) Prepare and add mesquite wood chips to the grill. I soak a handful of chips for 30 minutes then remove and put in a smoke box to place on the grill. You can also put the chips in a double layer of aluminum foil and form a closed packet. Prick the foil in a few places with a fork to let the smoke come out. Place on the hot side of the grill. When you see and smell the smoke, the grill is ready for the potatoes. If you don’t have mesquite chips, this is still a great way to cook potatoes. Just leave the chips out.

Wash and dry the potatoes. Prick them all over with a fork (very important so they don’t explode), rub with butter or bacon grease if you have it. Season generously with salt and pepper. Place on the cool side of the grill and close the lid. The potatoes should be done in 1 to 1-1/4 hours depending on size. When the potatoes are close to done, cook the chicken on the hot side of the grill. Serve with your favorite baked potato toppings.