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Recipes for the Grill: Skirt Steak and Spatchcock Chicken

Recipes for the Grill: Skirt Steak and Spatchcock Chicken

Chef John Stage shares recipes for Red Rub Skirt Steak with Charred Tomato and Avocado Salsa and Flip Bird's Spatchcock Chicken with Harissa Spices.

Red Rub Skirt Steak with Charred Tomato and Avocado Salsa

Serves 4 (pictured above)


For the steak:

  • 4 8oz. skirt steaks, trimmed
  • ¼ cup red rub (recipe below)
  • ¼ cup olive oil

For the salsa:

  • 1½ lbs. plum tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • ½ tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. minced jalapeno
  • ½ cup avocado, diced
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • ¼ tsp. Tabasco sauce
  • 2 tsp. barbecue sauce

For the rub:

  • ¼ cup smoked paprika
  • ¼ cup Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup sugar in the raw
  • 2 Tbsp. dark chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. granulated garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. granulated onion
  • 1½ Tbsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. celery salt
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper


  1. Make the salsa: Fire up the grill to medium heat. Core and split tomatoes in half lengthwise, place them in a bowl, and toss them with the oil. Grill them on both sides until charred, transfer them to a cutting board, and chop to a chunky texture. Add them back to the bowl and gently stir in the rest of the ingredients until combined.  
  2. Make the steaks: Mix rub ingredients together. Combine ¼ cup of rub and the olive oil in a bowl to form a paste and rub it on both sides of the steak. Preheat grill to high. Remove the steaks from the marinade and pat them dry. Grill steaks to desired temperature, let rest, and slice across the grain.   
  3. Serve with the Charred Tomato and Avocado Salsa.


Flip Bird’s Spatchcock: Chicken with Harissa spices

Cooked on a gas grill   

flip bird's spatchcock chicken



  • 1 whole chicken, approximately 3½ lb.
  • 3-4 Tbsp. Harissa spices  
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil


  1. To Spatchcock Chicken: Using poultry shears or a sharp knife, cut down on each side of backbone/spine and remove completely. Turn chicken over and press down, flattening chicken as much as possible.
  2. Coat chicken with olive oil and spices, completely cover, and let sit in refrigerator for a couple of hours.
  3. For gas grill, turn on two burners to medium high and leave off one burner. This will create indirect heat. You want the internal temperature of grill to be approximitely 350-375º. Adjust burners as necessary.
  4. Place chicken skin side up on the side of grill with the burner off. Close lid and cook for 50 minutes, until the thickest part of thigh reads 165º. 
  5. Lower heat on burners to medium-low and flip chicken skin side down onto direct heat for 5-8 minutes to crispen and tender skin. Don’t let it burn. Remove from grill, let rest, light season, and serve.

Harissa spices


  • ¼ cup smoked paprika
  • 2 Tbsp. fine sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1½ Tbsp. turmeric
  • 1½ Tbsp. cumin seed
  • 1½ Tbsp. fennel seed
  • 1½ Tbsp. granulated garlic
  • 1½ Tbsp. sumac
  • 1½ Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1½ Tbsp. ground ginger
  • 1½ Tbsp. black pepper
  • 1½ Tbsp. Szechuan peppercorns  


  1. Toast and grind cumin and fennel seed.
  2. Blend all spices evenly.


Read Chef John Stage's Grilling Do's and Don'ts

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Chef John Stage


Chef John Stage is the owner of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, which has nine locations including Harlem and Brooklyn, and two newly opened restaurants in Gotham Market at The Ashland in Fort Greene, Brooklyn: Flip Bird, a rotisserie and friend chicken establishment; Apizza Regionale, which uses only locally sourced ingredients; and Egg @ The Bird, a coffee and breakfast counter (as well as oversees Bar Granger).. Photo: Brent Herrig Photography

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