Grilled Sumac Chicken with Herbed Rice Salad

50 minutesMakes 2 servings
If you're tired of bland chicken breasts, grill 'em. A quick 30 minutes of rest in a mediterranean marinade helps keep the chicken tender on the inside and crisply charred on the outside. Paired with a zingy herbed rice salad, it's the dish to cap off summer.


1 cup plain yogurt

4 garlic cloves, ground to a paste (or pushed through a garlic press)

Juice from 1 lemon

Kosher salt

Olive oil

2 chicken thighs

1 cup wild rice

Handful basil, torn

½ package chives, chopped roughly

½ pint cherry tomatoes, quartered

Ground sumac

Step 1

In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, garlic paste (reserving 1 teaspoon), lemon juice, a large pinch of salt, and a glug of olive oil. Combine the mixture well and add the chicken, making sure to cover each piece of chicken well with the yogurt. Set aside and marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 hours (longer the better, naturally). If you are marinating for longer than 30 minutes, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Step 2

Cook the rice according to the package instructions. When the rice is done, combine with the herbs, reserved teaspoon of garlic paste, a drizzle of olive oil, the tomatoes, and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine and adjust salt to taste.

Step 3

When you’re ready to cook the chicken, remove from the fridge and let it come to room temperature. Heat your grill and scrape most of the marinade off the chicken. Season with a pinch of salt and sprinkle with the sumac.

Step 4

If you have a gas grill, heat to high heat. When the grill is hot, add the chicken and brown both sides, about 12 minutes per side. Turn the heat down to medium and cook, skin side down, until it’s internal temp registers at 160°F, 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the size of the thighs. If you have a charcoal grill, cook the chicken over the hotter part of the grill and brown both sides, about 6 minutes per side. Move the chicken, skin side down, to the cooler part of the grill and cook until it’s internal temp registers at 160°F, 15 to 25, depending on the size of the thighs. Remove from the grill and let the chicken rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Note: If you don’t have a grill, preheat the oven to 450°F. Add a glug of olive oil to a cast iron skillet and place over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken skin side down and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the skin is golden brown. Then place the chicken in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes, until the internal temperature is 165°F.)

Step 5

To serve, sprinkle the chicken with a few more pinches of sumac and plate alongside the rice!