Welcome to On Board in 20: a recipe series where we share wholesome, 20-minute meals that are shared family style. The recipes always contain whole food ingredients and are intended to be brought to the table for family members to build and construct their individual plates as their senses guide them. Along the way, we bring you tips and tricks for speeding up prep and clean up for those busy weeknight meal times.
When I think about the quintessential summer dinner, BBQ chicken and potato salad are definitely near the top of my list. There's something about grilling chicken outside, low and slow, while perhaps even enjoying an ice-cold brew. The perfect side accompaniment is, of course, a cold potato salad being scooped up and splatted onto everyone’s plates. Grab a corner of the picnic table or the nearest patch of grass and be prepared for sticky, BBQ fingers.
The reality is even in the middle of summer, when school's out and most activities have wrapped, there can still be hectic meal times. Blood sugars are low, temperatures are high and you just need to get sustenance into your humans, stat. This month's On Board in 20 meal is perfect for keeping with the summer theme and making use of in-season vegetables like new potatoes and sweet yellow beans.
There are a few key time savers you'll use in this recipe that easily transfer to your regular weeknight cooking. Like in so many recipes, we're taking advantage of the kettle. It will always boil water much, much quicker than a stove will.
Second, try not to handle the poultry. The less hand washing you have to do, the quicker dinner comes together. I use two sets of tongs in this recipe, one to handle the raw chicken and one to handle the cooked chicken. Twice the dishes, yes, but that’s what dishwashers are for.
Getting up close and personal with your oven broiler is a must for this version of BBQ chicken. Make sure the parchment doesn’t touch the element but don’t be afraid of getting the chicken up close for lightning-quick cooking time. Using bone-in chicken will retain moisture and juices in the chicken.
Finally, just layer your salads. There's no need to toss them up. In this recipe the potatoes go down, then the eggs and then some fresh herbs. The family can scoop up what they like and take their time during the meal to create the perfect bite.
Each step may seem like it saves only a few minutes, but if running them together restores peace and order just a few minutes sooner when faced with grumbling tummies, I guarantee it’s worth it.
- 1.5 to 2 liters of water
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- 6 bone-in skinless chicken thighs
- 1 large handful of yellow beans
- 4 cups (approximately) of new white baby potatoes (warba is the preferred varietal)
- 4 eggs
- 4 tablespoons fresh dill
- 2 scallions
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (or plain white vinegar with a pinch of sugar)
- 1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Optional garnish: ⅓ cup fresh arugula, fresh pea shoot flowers
- Preheat oven on broil. Start a kettle with 1.5 to 2 litres of water. Place three pots on the stove, one small and two medium size. Place a piece of parchment paper over a baking sheet and set aside.
- Into a ziplock bag large enough to hold the chicken, measure the garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Seal bag and shake to combine. Using tongs, place the chicken thighs into the ziplock bag with the spices, seal and shake until well coated. Again, using tongs, place the chicken onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Ensure oven rack is on the second highest level and place baking sheet in the oven. The chicken will cook for five minutes per side. Set the timer for five minutes.
- Prepare yellow beans. Rinse beans and place them in the smallest pot. Add about 1 inch of water and cover with tight fitting lid. As the beans will take only about 5 minutes set aside on burner to be turned on later.
- Prepare potatoes. Depending on size of new potatoes they may not all need to be cut but for quickest cooking time I suggest at least halving them. In this case, I halved and then cut each half into thirds roughly. Place the potatoes in the medium pot and turn burner to high. Cover potatoes with boiling water from kettle. Cook until fork tender, about 7 to 8 minutes.
- Prepare eggs. Place four eggs into the second medium pot. Turn burner to high and cover with remainder of boiling kettle water. For a slightly soft yolk, boil for 7 minutes and then remove and run cold water over.
- While eggs, potatoes and chicken are cooking, roughly chop fresh dill and scallions (white and green parts) and set aside. Prepare potato salad dressing by combing oil, vinegar, mustard and salt in a small jar and shake, or in small dish and whip together with a fork.
- When chicken has cooked 5 minutes per side, lightly baste with honey and let cook an additional 2 minutes. This is a good time to turn on the yellow beans.
- When potatoes are done, drain, return to pot and pour on dressing. It's important to coat potatoes in dressing while they are still hot.
- To assemble the board: Layer dressed potatoes into a shallow dish. Peel and quarter eggs and place on potatoes. Sprinkle salad generously with about two thirds of both the scallions and dill. Finish salad a small amount of fresh arugula on top. Add a small piece of parchment to the board and (using clean tongs) place chicken thighs on top. Sprinkle chicken with remaining scallions. Drain yellow beans and place directly on board and top with remainder of the fresh dill.
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Lisa Bolton is the creator, writer and photographer behind Food Well Said, her blog about bringing thoughtfully prepared, whole food recipes. She lives in the Lower Mainland of BC and you can reach her on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.