Chicken breasts often end up dry and tasteless when grilled, but with this recipe you’ll make succulent and succulent grilled chicken every time!
We will create a simple seasoning rub using ingredients already found in your pantry, then apply a reverse sear technique, checking with an internal temperature thermometer that the chicken reaches 165 degrees, which will prevent overcooking and dryness during baking.
1. Flatten the Chicken Breasts
Be rid of dry and bland grilled chicken breasts with this straightforward method! All it takes is an aromatic marinade/brine and reverse-searing technique for delicious results on both charcoal and gas grills!
Start with a lean, boneless chicken breast. Place it on a cutting board or other flat surface and cover with wax paper or plastic wrap to prevent sticking. Pounce with a meat mallet or rolling pin until its thickness all the way across (between 1/4 in and 1/2 inch). This step is essential in creating juicy and flavorful chicken that’s evenly cooked!
Pounding chicken breasts not only helps ensure an even distribution of heat during cooking, but it also makes them much thinner for quicker grilling time. Thicker cuts of poultry take longer to cook through, often overcooking before its center has finished its work. Pounding makes getting those delicious grill marks much simpler!
Add the desired marinade to your chicken breasts, and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or up to a full day before refrigerating. I prefer a simple marinade made with olive oil, garlic, white wine splash, dried oregano leaves, salt and freshly ground pepper – though other oils like sesame or avocado could work just as well! The olive oil helps retain moisture for moist chicken while providing great char.
Before adding chicken to the grill, ensure it has been cleaned and oiled before preheating to high heat. A dirty or grubby grill could give an unpleasant flavor to your poultry dish.
When ready, remove your chicken from its marinade and season both sides with your preferred spices – I like using 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder and a pinch of salt and pepper as my go-to spices – before grilling on a hot grill until both sides have turned browned and the center thickest part reaches at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit (64 Celsius). Allow it to rest for three to four minutes before cutting up and serving!
2. Wet Brining
Brining chicken breasts is an effective way to achieve juicier and more flavorful results. Brining involves injecting water directly into its cells in order to moisten it while weakening muscle proteins that contract during cooking and squeeze out moisture during grilling, keeping your poultry tender and juicy all at the same time!
Basic wet brine recipes consist of 1/2 cup of kosher salt per gallon of water. Additional flavor enhancers like orange peel, lemon zest, garlic cloves, thyme leaves or peppercorns may be added for additional depth of flavor. It is important to ensure that the liquid temperature has returned to cool before adding salt – otherwise this could damage chicken breasts during their marination process.
Dry brining can be an economical and time-efficient alternative to wet brining; it is less expensive, faster and produces similar results (juicier, more flavorful chicken) all in the same amount of time. Plus it’s super simple; just mix two tablespoons of baking soda with one cup of kosher salt along with any additional herbs or spices you like for an effortless process that leaves nothing but soft bites of meat behind! Baking soda helps break down proteins to form tiny bubbles that help browning and caramelization happen while still remaining soft while being soft at once!
Finally, for maximum flavor you can combine wet and dry brines into one successful mix. Simply combine one cup of kosher salt with two tablespoons of baking soda along with any herbs or spices of choice and allow it to sit for 30-60 minutes to an hour before applying it to chicken and brushing it with melted butter before seasoning as desired before grilling it.
One other important note is that chicken breasts must be completely defrosted before brining begins, which means you should purchase pre-trimmed ones to eliminate any extra fat, connective tissue or membranes that might lead to overcooking and dry and cardboardy results. If this option is unavailable to you, simply trim away any such components yourself before beginning wet or dry brining – doing so will guarantee uniform thickness chicken breasts for easy grilling!
After you have pounded out chicken breasts to an even thickness, wet brining can help the protein stay moist and tender for long. In addition, brine adds flavor and gives your dish an attractive golden crust!
Quick wet brines can be completed within 30 minutes, but for optimal results it’s recommended to soak chicken breasts for at least four hours in their brine solution – begin this step in the morning, and they should be ready for grilling by dinner time!
Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towel before seasoning with salt and pepper mix – be generous in this area if using dried herbs, too. I add garlic powder or dried herbs if desired for extra flavor, sometimes including just a pinch of red pepper flakes (not spicy at all) for an added kick (but no spices!).
Prepare your grill by heating it over direct medium heat. While your grill is warming up, take this opportunity to clean and oil its grates; making sure they are very clean before placing chicken on them so it doesn’t stick – paper towel dipped in vegetable or grapeseed oil is an effective solution here.
Once the grill is heated up, place chicken breasts on and cook them for approximately four to five minutes on each side – or until browned and the internal temperature reaches approximately 165 degrees F. Remove from the grill, let rest for five to ten minutes and serve! Resting gives all the juices that have collected on its surface an opportunity to redistribute throughout its entirety and provide optimal results.
This simple yet flavorful method for grilling boneless skinless chicken breasts never disappoints – juicy, tender and full of amazing flavors! These are my absolute favorite grilled chicken breasts – sure to draw rave reviews every time they are made!
Grilling chicken can be challenging at first, yet rewarding once you know how. Overcooked lean, boneless chicken breasts can quickly turn dry and flavorless; fortunately, however, there are a few simple steps you can take to create delicious and succulent grilled chicken every time!
My first tip for creating evenly-thick chicken breasts is ensuring they have an even thickness. This is particularly important with boneless breasts which tend to be thicker on one end than another. A meat mallet or rolling pin can help you flatten them to an even thickness so they will cook uniformly.
Once your chicken has been pounded, marinate for at least 20 minutes (up to one day in advance). Doing this adds flavor while simultaneously giving your meat time to absorb its wonderful juices.
Oiling your grill grates prior to starting to grill will also help ensure a superior sear on your chicken’s exterior surface. This step should help prevent sticking and ensure an excellent sear.
Once your grill has reached temperatures between 300-500F, place chicken breasts onto it and close its lid. Allow each side to cook for 4-6 minutes until reaching an internal temperature of 165degF using a meat thermometer.
Once chicken has been taken off of the grill, it is crucial that it rest for at least 3-5 minutes before cutting into it. This allows its internal temperature to increase to 165 degrees while keeping the bird moist and succulent.