Indoor Grilling

Written by Leah Schapira on Wednesday, 23 February 2011. Posted in Food Mood

Indoor Grilling

I once read an article explaining the roles of men and women in preparing food for a barbeque. When a male volunteers to man the grill, the following happens: The woman buys the food, makes the salad, prepares the vegetables, and bakes the desserts. In regards to the actual meat, the woman prepares the meat marinades, seasons the meat, and make sure the meat sits in the marinade for ample time before the meal.

The woman sets the table and prepares the drinks. When guests arrive, the man places the meat on the grill. The man takes the meat off the grill and hands it to the woman. The woman serves, cleans up the table, and washes the dishes…and everyone thanks the man for preparing dinner.

What does barbequing in August have to do with a cold winter February day? Well, I’m here today to tell you that you don’t need to reminisce about the smells of barbeque—grilling can be done indoors, and you won’t have to give any credit to your husband.

I used to hate grilling indoors. I owned a nice big George Foreman Grill. The first time I used it, I made chicken cutlets. As hard as I tried, they were rubbery (unless eaten right away) and lacking the juicy summer grilling texture that I craved. And—I really did not enjoy cleaning the grill afterwards. I did try using parchment paper on the grill, which solved the cleaning difficulties—but the chicken had even less flavor.

Then I discovered grill pans. They’re not perfect (there’s no charcoal taste), but the results are so close to what an outdoor grill can acheive that I’ve become rather attached to it. I baby my grill pan and now favor it over anything else in the pot drawer—if it can barbeque in the winter, it’s a must-have for me.


How to Succeed Grilling Indoors

  1. 1. Use a grill pan that has indentations that you can see on the underside of the pan. These allow the grilling ridges inside the pan to get hotter.
  2. 2. Always preheat the grill pan for at least 5-10 minutes. You want it very hot so you get a nice sear on the meat.
  3. 3. Spray a quick coat of cooking spray to prevent the chicken from sticking.
  4. 4. Pound chicken cutlets evenly and thinly so they cook fast and evenly.
  5. 5. Once you place the chicken down on the grill—don’t move it until it is cooked on that side. You’ll then be rewarded with nice grill marks.
  6. 6. Don’t leave the grill unattended. Foods cook faster on an indoor grill than outdoors.





Rosemary Chicken Cutlets

These are full of flavor. Pound the chicken thinly and you’ll be rewarded with juicy meat that will keep you from counting down the days until the snow melts from around your outdoor grill.

1 lb chicken breast or dark chicken cutlets, thinly pounded and sliced
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil


BBQ White sauce:
¾ cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp vinegar
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp spicy brown mustard
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp salt

Combine the rosemary, oregano, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Mix with the olive oil and rub to coat chicken well. Let marinade 30 minutes (or up to 6 hours).

Spray a grill pan with cooking spray. Preheat the grill pan over high heat for a full 5 minutes.

Place chicken on pan. When most of the chicken is white, turn the chicken over and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Do not overcook.

To prepare white sauce, combine all ingredients. Serve chicken with sauce.


Fast Ideas for a Range of Flavors

Want to change the flavor up a bit? Try these combinations for winning spice rubs and marinades:

Frozen basil, garlic, oil
Oil, paprika, garlic
Lemon juice, olive oil, salt and black pepper
Oil and lemon pepper seasoning
Cumin, oregano, sugar, salt and black pepper
Honey, mustard, and soy sauce
Mustard, parsley flakes, oil, and sliced onions.

img_9577Grilled Flat Bread


Nothing rounds out a meal like fresh bread. These are quick, easy, and fun to prepare too!

1 tsp sugar
2¾ tsp dry yeast
1 cup warm water
3 cups flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Oil, for brushing

Combine the sugar, yeast, and water. Let sit 2 minutes. Add in the flour, Italian seasoning, and salt and mix well to combine. (I don’t add all the flour in at once. Add most of it and then add as much as you need to form a good dough.) Cover and let rise 1 hour.

Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Roll each piece as thin as you can, about 6 to 8 inches wide. It doesn’t have to be a pretty circle as long as the dough is even thickness.

Heat a grill pan over high heat for 5 minutes.

Brush one side of the dough wit oil and place face down on the pan. While bread is grilling, brush the side facing you with oil. Flip over and bake on the other side. Continue with remaining dough.


Yield: 8 flat breads


Round Out Your Meal

Before you start grilling the chicken and bread, spray your pan well. Add onion wedges, peppers, squash, mushrooms or any vegetables you like. Sauté over high heat for 5-10 minutes. You may need to spray additional times while the vegetables are cooking to maintain moisture. While cooking, season with salt and pepper and flip vegetables occasionally.



How did I end up making use of my lovely George Foreman’s Grill? I make Paninis of course!

The amounts and types of dressing I use varies, depending on what I have in my refrigerator. Besides for the ingredients listed below, I’ve also made this recipe with sweet chili sauce or spicy duck sauce. You can also cut up the chicken and mix with turkey, pastrami or breaded chicken cutlets.

As long as you don’t forget two basic rules your sandwich will come out delicious, with the juicy interior and crispy exterior:
1) Use plenty of sauces/mayonnaise (we need something instead of cheese)
2) Lightly brush the sandwich with oil or margarine for a crispy crust.

10-inch soft club sandwich (or soft baguette)
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
Grilled vegetables
1-2 tsp honey
1-2 tsp mustard
1-2 tsp teriyaki sauce
2 grilled chicken cutlets, sliced


Slice the bread in half. Spread mayonnaise on both sides of the roll. Fill with chicken and vegetables.

Combine the honey, mustard, and teriyaki sauce and pour over sandwich contents. Close the sandwich.

Brush both outer sides of the bread with oil or margarine.

Preheat Panini grill or grill pan.

To cook sandwich, place the sandwich on the hot pan. Close lid on Panini grill, or if using a grill pan, press the sandwich down well using a heavy pot.

Turn sandwich over and press down again to attain grill marks on both sides.

Yield: 1 sandwich


Originally appeared in Ami magazine

Recipes by Leah Schapira

Photos by Dan Engongoro


Rate and review Rosemary Chicken Cutlets, Grilled Flat Bread and Chicken Panini

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About the Author

Leah Schapira

Leah Schapira is the bestselling author of Fresh & Easy Kosher Cooking, which sold it’s first 10,000 copies in 10 days, and the co-author of the Made Easy cookbook series, including Passover Made Easy, the debut title of the Made Easy series, Starters and Sides Made Easy, and the recently debuted Kids Cooking Made Easy.
In 2010, Leah launched, the popular online kosher recipe exchange, which currently boasts 30,000 Facebook fans. Her cookbook career began at the age of 21, when she wrote her first cookbook as a fundraiser to begin channeling her obsession with recipes. 
Leah is also a monthly columnist for Whisk, the popular kosher food magazine published by Ami Magazine, where readers appreciate her humor and wit. She’s a natural at live events, whether it’s a cozy cooking class around a kitchen island, or a hall filled with thousands. 
She has been featured in The Washington Post, The Star Ledger, and The Blue Lifestyle, among many others. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and children.

Comments (9)

  • fay123
    24 February 2011 at 14:16 |

    Is there a specific pan which you can suggest? Something not too expensive, yet good quality? DO I want a pre-seasoned pan? or not? Thank you.

    • LeahS [Admin]
      27 February 2011 at 04:16 |

      Any grilled pan should work, as long as you see the indentations on the bottom of the pan.

  • malkie
    24 February 2011 at 20:07 |

    I use my outdoor grill all winter long. But last night I tried the bread, chicken and sauce in the oven at 500 degrees and they were delicious. I left out the rosemary.

  • rachel
    25 February 2011 at 11:48 |

    The flat bread is so super! I made it a few times already, it is so easy and quick! As for grill pans, I use a Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick 11-Inch Square Grill Pan. It is really good, It cooks so much better than my old grill pan.

  • CookingManager
    27 February 2011 at 06:13 |

    Can you describe how you baby your pan?

    • LeahS [Admin]
      28 February 2011 at 22:47 |

      LOL! I take care of it, as if its my baby. It has a special place in my kitchen. Joke aside, I wash it carefully. My other pots are just pots. This one I take care to maintain it better (no dishwasher!)

  • lovetocook
    03 March 2011 at 22:40 |

    The picture of those drumsticks look good! Any tips on how long to grill those?

  • Ketzy
    17 March 2011 at 16:50 |

    I was wondering if this recipe works for steak as well? If yes what kind of steak do you recommend?

    • LeahS [Admin]
      18 March 2011 at 02:19 |

      I never tried it with steak. If you do try it out, let us know if it worked out!

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