Grilled Chicken with Snap Peas and Rice

Kevin O'Donnell

SRV, Boston

"This is a dish I make all the time for my wife because it has some of her favorite ingredients. She grew up actually hating grilled meats, so the first time I told her that I wanted to make her grilled chicken with grilled snap peas from our garden, she was not having it. After she tasted this dish, her attitude towards grilled meats quickly changed and this meal became a hit for her and anyone we make it for. She has since taken the reins and now makes it better than me." —Kevin O'Donnell


Grilled Chicken:
1 free-range, organic chicken (about 4 to 5 pounds), backbone removed and slightly flattened
8 tablespoons harissa paste
Zest of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon olive oil 
Salt and pepper to taste

Za'atar Brown Rice:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon za'atar
1 cup brown rice
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Salt to taste
Lemon juice to taste

Grilled Snap Peas with Mint:
1/2 pound sugar snap peas (or snow peas)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more to drizzle
Salt and pepper to taste
1 sprig mint
Juice of 1 lemon


Make the chicken: in a large plastic bag, or a bowl, combine the harissa, lemon zest, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken and allow to marinate in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, preheat a grill to medium-high. Once the grill is hot enough, place the chicken on the grates skin-side-down. Cook for 4 minutes and then rotate a quarter turn to create an X mark on the skin (this is known as marking). Cook for another 3 minutes. Flip the chicken over and repeat the process on the other side. Once both sides of the chicken have been marked, turn the heat down to low, move the chicken to the top rack of the grill (or move to a cooler part of the grill), and cook until the chicken is cooked through and has reached an internal temperature of 165°F, about 18 to 20 minutes. While the chicken is cooking, prepare the rice and the snap peas. 

Make the rice: in a small sauce pot set over medium heat, sauté the garlic and shallots in olive oil until soft, about 1 minute. Add the za'atar and lightly toast the spices for about 30 seconds. Add the rice and the stock and bring to a boil. Cover the rice and reduce the heat to low and cook for about 22 to 25 minutes, or until the rice is tender but not mushy. Once cooked, lightly fluff with a fork and adjust seasoning with salt and lemon juice. 

Make the snap peas: in a large bowl, toss the snap peas with the olive oil, salt, and pepper and place on the grill for about 1 minute, or until the skin just starts to char. Remove from the grill and toss with good quality extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and the mint leaves.


4 servings