My husband will grill no matter what the temperature or weather. In a downpour a few days ago, he was out there flipping chicken and trying to check the grill without lifting the lid more than an inch or so. Still, we both like when the weather becomes just a little nippy to heat up the grill—not too hot, not too cold outside. The kids can play while we sit and talk together. Welcome to October.

And since we’ve been grilling all summer long—and the temperatures are beginning to dip—the same recipes just won’t do. Forget the shish kabobs and the teriyaki chicken, I want something heartier. Instead of grilled chicken breast, we add a twist by rolling and stuffing the chicken breast—the technique adds some ‘umph’ to the chicken, infuses it with flavor and also just turns out really cool. (You’ll notice I’m using ‘we’ here—I’m the idea, prep person when it comes to grilling, my hubby is the master griller.)

You can stuff your chicken with just about anything. We’ve done ham and swiss cheese for a grilled chicken cordon bleu, peppers and onions, but our favorite combo is simply sausage (like the fully cooked link variety) and some sharp cheddar cheese. Before you stuff the chicken, you’ll need to pound it out thin. Then you can roll up your stuffing ingredients—and here’s the tricky part—secure the roll with either a long toothpick or even a metal skewer. (Just don’t forget to remove these before serving!)

The rolled chicken may need a little more time to cook on the grill then a flatter piece of meat, but if you have an instant read thermometer where you can just pull the chicken off the grill and do a quick reading, that will make checking for doneness a snap. So don’t put the grill away just yet!

Recipe

Servings: 4

Prep time: 25 minutes + grilling time

Ingredients:

4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 package sausage links (such as Hillshire Farm)

4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese

On hand:

Garlic powder

Onion powder

Salt

Pepper

2 Tablespoons melted butter

½ Tablespoon soy sauce

long toothpicks

Directions:

Using two pieces of doubled plastic wrap, place one chicken breast in between and onto a sturdy cutting board. Pound the chicken gently with a hammer until it’s about ¼” thick. Set aside. Repeat with each chicken breast.

Cut up the sausage into several 2-inch long pieces, do the same with the cheddar cheese. Placing 3-4 pieces each of sausage and cheese at the end of one piece of chicken, roll the chicken, starting with the filling end, toward the other end. Make sure you are rolling on the short end of the chicken, not the wider side. Secure the roll by poking a long toothpick into the meat and thread it through once. Repeat with each chicken breast. Generously sprinkle seasonings on each chicken breast. Use garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.

Heat the grill to medium-high heat. Prepare a finishing sauce for the meat by whisking the soy sauce into the butter. Place the chicken seam side up onto the hot grill. Cook for 15-25 minutes. Remember to baste the chicken frequently with the finishing sauce and flip once. When you think the meat is done, remove one chicken breast and check the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer—it should read 165 degrees. Alternatively, cut into one chicken breast and check that the meat is no longer pink.

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