For the ultimate summer recipe, we have some rules — always grill, reach for what’s in season, never turn on the oven.

But, we also know that not everyone has access to a grill. And why should those people be denied the charred goodness that comes with one?

Blackbelly’s head butcher came to us with a similar scenario, and together we created Buffalo Bill’s Black Gold — an activated charcoal blend that’s been getting some attention as our featured July spice and a 5280 Magazine favorite.

BBBG adds the smoky grill flavor without having to light one up. But, if you do have one to use, it just doubles the fun for those taste buds.

For a simple summer recipe, we smother chicken in the BBBG blend, grill it and add it to a grilled romaine salad and summer produce for a mouthful of summer. Try this one out, and we promise you’ll never look at romaine lettuce the same way again.


Grilled Romaine Salad with Charcoal Chicken

  • Author: Alex Palmerton
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 2 salads


This grilled salad is the perfect addition to your list of summer recipes.


  • The Spice Guy Buffalo Bill’s Black Gold blend
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 romaine lettuce heads
  • 1 onion (we used Vidalia)
  • 1-2 cups of cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups of small potatoes, softened (we used purple)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Salad dressing of your choice (we used blue cheese)


  • Prep all veggies. Slice onion into long strips, wash and halve cherry tomatoes, wash and halve romaine lettuce lengthwise, scrub potatoes.
  • Trim and pat chicken breast dry. Cover in Buffalo Bill’s Black Gold seasoning, set aside.
  • Preheat grill or grill pan — see recipe notes below.
  • Preheat large skillet to medium heat on the stove.
  • Add olive oil or butter to skillet and caramelize onions for 20-40 minutes, stirring every few minutes, but allowing onions to char. The longer the better.
  • While onions are cooking, prepare potatoes using your preferred method — you can roast, boil or microwave. We boiled, cut in half and added to onions for the last 10 minutes to crisp.
  • Add seasoned chicken to grill and grill for 10 to 15 minutes per side, or until no longer pink and juices run clear. Set aside.
  • Brush cut side of romaine halves with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and grill until charred, for 2-4 minutes, checking often. They burn fast!
  • Assemble salad and serve.


  • If you don’t have a grill, the chicken is great in a skillet too. The Buffalo Bill’s Black Gold will give you the charred, grill taste regardless.
  • Make the recipe your own — switch up the vegetables, try different dressing, try a different protein, add fruit (grilled peaches, anyone?), etc.
  • For more chicken cooking tips, check out this post on How to Cook Chicken Like a Champ.

Keywords: grilled salad, summer recipe, buffalo bill's black gold