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Quick Note: Before I share with you my somewhat over-dramatic grilling experience thanks to some amateur grilling (and handywoman) skills, be sure you scroll down to the bottom of the post for a giveaway. It includes $3,000 in prizes, part of which are gift cards for groceries and things. Because really, what’s not to love about that?!
While visiting my parents not long ago, I got the fancy idea that I’d make them dinner. The menu didn’t sound too hard ~ seasoned grilled chicken, saffron orzo (which I’d made before) and fresh corn on the cob tossed on the grill.
My mom got the fresh corn on the cob from a friend who lives on a farm and grows the corn herself. I couldn’t argue with fresh sweet corn hand-picked earlier that morning! Along with the rest of the ingredients I’d need for dinner, I’d picked up a 6-pack of Swanson’s Chicken Broth at Sam’s Club. If you’re a Sam’s Club shopper, be sure to scroll down for a giveaway for a chance to win up to $3,000 in prizes!
Ingredients compiled, the meal sounded fairly simple… until, I realized I had no idea how to use a charcoal grill, the only kind my parents have.
As I set forth to make dinner, my mom ran some errands and my dad took the boys to the park. I requested detailed instructions on how to use the grill and went on my merry way to cooking a nice dinner for my parents and little sister.
I’m notoriously terrible at timing sides and main entrees to finish cooking at the same time. I just can’t seem to nail the synchronization. This time around, I was determined to get it right and planned accordingly.
The orzo was cooking, the grill was heating up, I’d husked the corn and wrapped it in tinfoil so it was ready to be grilled. I was right on track.
I took the top off the grill and… nothing. No flames, no heat, nada.
I followed all the instructions, or so I thought. I thought my dad told me to light the charcoal and put the top tightly back on the grill so the flames could fester. It seemed odd, knowing fire needs oxygen to continue, but I trusted his words (or what I thought were his words…). I should have stuck with my gut.
Saffron orzo near finished, I reignited the grill and waited another 20 minutes for it to heat up. At least while I waited I got some cool photos of the flames… not all was lost.
And then this happened…
That’s a screen door that fell right off the tracks and took a nose dive onto the deck. I had no idea how to fix it, so I left it there and called in the troops to help out (i.e. my dad).
Eventually, I successfully served all three dishes to my diners’ delight. But not without a little drama…
Cross This Off Your To Do List: Try this recipe out and let me know in the comments what you think! Because you’ll surely have plenty of Swanson Chicken Broth leftover, you can check their Swanson Summer inspiration page full of tons of great recipes. They really have some great ideas for nice, family dinners. Of course, Swanson also has plenty of other products if that’s your jam too!
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Grilled Seasoned Chicken
- 2 pounds boneless skinless, chicken breast
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp celery salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 dried dill
- 2 tbsp olive oil optional
- Mix thyme through dill. Sprinkle on chicken. Grill chicken until cooked through or saute chicken in olive oil.
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon saffron threads
- 1 pound dried orzo
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Over high heat, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Reduce the heat to low to let the broth simmer. Add the saffron, stir, and allow the saffron to bloom, about 5 minutes. Return to medium heat and bring the broth to a boil. Add the orzo and let it cook for 10 – 12 minutes until soft, a little less for a more al dente orzo. Drain the orzo, transfer it to a bowl, and add the remaining ingredients (olive oil through parsley parsley).