“Tadka-inspired Sauce Infused Grilled Chicken Breasts”

Skin-on, boneless breasts are ideal for grilling since they cook faster, are easier to carve than bone-in, and the skin protects the delicate cut from the heat. (You can find them at any supermarket with a butcher counter–just ask! Or in a pinch, you can use skin-on, bone-in breasts and add 10 minutes to the indirect grilling time.) To cook, treat the grill like an oven, keeping the heat low and closing the lid. Even if you cook the chicken a touch too long, that skin is moisture insurance! After it has cooled, slice and dress the chicken in a nigella-spiked sauce. –Rachel Gurjar

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4 – 6 Servings


Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon


garlic clove, finely grated


cup buttermilk


Tbsp. mayonnaise

1 1/2

tsp. pure maple syrup


tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Kosher saltChicken

2 1/2

lb. skin-on, boneless chicken breasts (about 5)


tsp. Diamond Crystal or 1/2 tsp. Morton kosher salt, plus more


Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil


cup vegetable oil


Tbsp. nigella seeds or cumin seeds


scallions, thinly sliced

Juice of 1 lemon


Tbsp. pure maple syrup


tsp. cayenne pepper


head of Little Gem or romaine lettuce, leaves separated, torn into large pieces


oz. peppery greens (such as radicchio, arugula, or watercress)

Step 1
Whisk lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, buttermilk, mayonnaise, maple syrup, and pepper in a small bowl until mostly smooth and combined. Season buttermilk dressing with salt.

Do ahead: Dressing can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Step 2
Prepare a grill for medium indirect heat (for a charcoal grill, bank coals on one side of grill; for a gas grill, leave one or two burners off). Place chicken breasts on a plate. Season all over with salt, then drizzle olive oil over both sides.

Step 3
Arrange chicken breasts, skin side up, over indirect heat, cover, and grill until cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a breast registers 160deg, 10-12 minutes (bone-in breasts will take closer to 20 minutes).

Step 4
Turn chicken breasts skin side down and move over direct heat. Grill until skin is golden brown and crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer chicken breasts to a plate and arrange skin side up. Let rest at least 5 minutes.

Step 5
Heat vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium-high. Once oil is shimmering, add nigella seeds and cook until fragrant and oil around seeds starts to sputter, about 1 minute. Add scallions, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Immediately pour mixture into a medium bowl and let cool 5 minutes.

Step 6
Whisk lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne, and remaining 1 tsp. salt into nigella seed tadka.

Step 7
Toss lettuce and greens in a large bowl to combine. Drizzle reserved buttermilk dressing over; toss to coat.

Step 8
Slice chicken breasts on a diagonal 1/2″ thick. Arrange over salad and spoon nigella seed tadka over.