5 Great Spices for Grilled Chicken


There are entire restaurants devoted to yakitori—grilled chicken parts ordered by the piece on skewers, but at the fair, you'll find only the most popular menu items. Grilled breast or thigh meat served simply with salt or a dip into sweet soy and mirin-based tare, chicken skin folded around a skewer and grilled over coals until crisp, or perhaps tsukune, a chicken-based meatball.

Warm weather means grilling season, and if I had a grill I'd be pretty excited by now. Since I don't, I can be excited for you, and live through vicariously your grill sessions while I weep over a hot cast iron skillet in a feeble attempt at indoor "barbecue."

We'll be talking a lot about grilling soon, but I'd like to start with chicken. Yes, grilled chicken can be good. Really good. And it's actually one of my favorite things to grill because the mild flavors of chicken dramatically transform into caramelized, smoky awesomeness.

There are plenty of choice additions for grilled chicken to boost its flavor, but spices are my favorite for ease of application and versatility of use. Check out the slideshow above for my favorite grilled chicken spices (all of which complement the roasted, smoky flavors of grilling), and how to use them for your next grill session.