I brought home a block of Gruyere cheese tonight and came up with a simple, speedy invention using it to elevate a simple dinner of grilled quartered chicken.

The Gruyere was surprisingly mild and not at all "funky," perhaps reflecting its origins in a Swiss factory rather than a quaint little Swiss farm. It was tasty, though, and this quick-and-simple grill procedure was definitely one we'll repeat.

I started by cutting a fryer into quarters, saving the back, wingtips, etc., for stock, and removing the skin.

Setting up the Weber grill for direct/indirect heat (coals on one side of the grill, lava rocks on the other, and the vents set to draw smoke up from underneath, through the hot coals and past the meat), I grilled the quarters over direct heat for five minutes on each side, until browned, then moved them to the indirect heat for a total of about 30 minutes additional cooking.

About 15 minutes before the chicken was ready, I grilled four thick (1/4-inch) slices of white onion and two equally thick slices of fresh garden tomato until they were sizzling and starting to char, about 10 minutes, five on each side.

About 5 minutes before dinner, I turned the chicken quarters top up, placed a thin (1/4-inch) slab of Gruyere on each, and topped the cheese with the grilled onion slices and equal amounts of the grilled tomato. Let it continue to cook over indirect heat just until the cheese melts, and serve.

The flavors made a great combination, and all it took was crusty bread and a green salad to make a meal.

A dry, robust Southern French red, Chateau Mansenoble Corbieres, made an outstanding match.