Summer Picnics Made Easy with Grilled Chicken & Orzo Salad

Grilled Chicken & Orzo Salad

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Grilled Chicken & Orzo Salad

Whether you are picnicking trackside or in the backyard, this grilled chicken recipe is certain to be a hit with friends and family.  It’s delicious right off the grill or packed in a cooler.

A friend actually shared this grilled chicken marinade recipe with me years ago & I have tweaked it throughout the years. It’s a big hit in my house!

TIP:  The left-overs can be turned into a delicious chicken salad giving it a whole new twist, which means you have a second dinner with very little fuss. 

Grilled Chicken Marinade with Jodie Fitz

2 – 3 pounds chicken thighs, boneless & skinless

1 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup light olive oil

2 eggs

2 tablespoons sea salt

1 tablespoon McCormick poultry seasoning

2 teaspoons white ground pepper

Add the olive oil, eggs, salt, pepper and poultry seasoning into a bowl.  Whisk the ingredients together.  Place the chicken in a glass baking dish and cover with the marinade. Or, put everything into a large freezer bag.  You don’t have to marinade over night with this recipe, a couple of hours before grilling is all that is necessary.  Grill & serve!

Chicken:  You can also use the boneless, skinless chicken breast.  Simply cut it half lengthwise & pound it before marinating.  If the chicken is not fully covered in the marinade be certain to turn it half way through the marinating process.

Time Saver: Prep the meat right after you purchase it, mix the marinade and then freeze it in the marinade. As it freezes & thaws it marinates making it a great last minute grab from the freezer with unexpected guests & keeps entertaining easy on busy days.

Left-overs: If there are any left-overs, simply dice it up, add in a little mayo & just a bit of finely chopped Vidalia onion & serve it up on a bed of lettuce or your favorite bread, pita or wrap.

WHAT’s NEXT on the MENU?


Side 1:

This orzo salad goes perfectly with my grilled chicken recipe, but is equally fantastic to bring alone to any function.

Or, you can add left-over diced chicken into the salad to create another left-over!

NOTE: Left-overs with a twist = genius in my world.  So, feel free to share your ideas with me.  

Orzo Salad

 1 lb. orzo pasta uncooked

5 oz. feta cheese, crumbled

2 – 3 cups finely chopped spinach

32 oz. chicken stock

5 tablespoons light olive oil

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1 ½ teaspoons onion powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon black pepper

Cover the orzo with the chicken stock in a saucepan. Stir in the salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.

Bring the mixture to a light boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Continue to cook the pasta stirring frequently until the orzo is fully cooked. Add stock as needed. (The orzo absorbs the spices & the stock as it cooks & you will have to replace the stock a little at a time until the orzo is fully cooked – you will not drain it when it’s done cooking).

 Let the orzo cool completely in the refrigerator. Stir the remaining olive oil & vinegar together. Toss the oil & vinegar mixture, along with the cut spinach & feta cheese into the cooked orzo.

Serve chilled.

Side 2:

This meal is perfectly paired with a simple fruit salad with seasonal summer finds.  I used watermelon and pitted fresh cherries that were in season for this mix.

These recipes (and one other) were featured in the Summer Issue of Simply Saratoga.

I am very honored to be a part of this amazing magazine….

Simply Saratoga Summer Issue



12 Comments on “Summer Picnics Made Easy with Grilled Chicken & Orzo Salad”

  1. That is a nice picnic idea, I am just in the planning stage for a picnic so this is helpful. Thanks for bringing this easy picnic idea to #HomeMattersParty

    1. THANK YOU for pinning. I love simple sides and grilled chicken too! Hope you are having a good summer…

  2. Wishing you a great 4th of July Celebration and thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday! The links will be open early tomorrow, see you then.
    Miz Helen

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