Episode 25: Cooking School Grilled Chicken Breasts (You Actually Want to Eat)
Grilled Chicken Breasts can be boring, dry, and overcooked, but they don’t have to be. If you follow these simple steps you will be on your way to juicy, flavorful grilled chicken. It is a formula for grilled chicken breasts that you actually want to eat.
1-Make sure they are the same thickness.
-Typical chicken breasts have a thick end and a thin pointed end. Use a sharp chef’s knife to cut through the breast and open it like a book. The fancy word for this is “butterfly.” Then place the butterflied breast between pieces of plastic wrap and pound with a meat pounder or cast-iron skillet to get an even thickness of about ½ an inch.
2-Salt it well.
-You can just sprinkle the salt directly on the meat and let it set for 10 minutes, or you can let the salt sit on the meat for a few hours.
-You can use a marinade that has salt, acid, and maybe fat. My Greek Salad Dressing is a great marinade. The Tequila Lime Chicken and Fajita marinades from my cookbook both only use acid and salt. You do not want to a marinade without fat for more than 1 hour or you will get mushy chicken. If your marinade has fat it can be on the chicken for several hours.
3- Get your grill very hot.
-Preheat your grill for at least 10 minutes, but longer is even better. You need a screaming hot grill to get good char and to quickly cook the chicken.
-Use a “safe” grill brush to clean the hot grill. I have this grill brush that is a continuous wire that does not have little bristles to break off and put you in danger.
-Make sure there is space around all the pieces of chicken and lower the heat to medium-low. Grill covered for 5 minutes. Turn, cover and grill for 5 more minutes.
4-Test the meat in the thickest part (or the middle.)
-Remove from the grill when it is 160-165 degrees Fahrenheit.
-An instant read thermometer is an essential grilling tool.
-Let the meat rest for 5-10 minutes before serving to let the juices redistribute.