The Best Grilled Chicken Breasts
Grilled chicken breasts can be a little problematic. They don’t cook evenly and you end up with underdone or dry and chalky chicken breasts, but there are a few simple steps you can take to get juicy and delicious chicken breasts.
First– if you don’t have an instant read thermometer, buy one. Here is an inexpensive one similar to mine. (Mine is no longer available.) I have had it at least 5 years and it gets tons of use in my kitchen. Chicken is done at 165 degrees Fahrenheit. That means you want to take it off the grill at 160-161 degrees as it will continue to cook with residual heat once it is off the grill.
Second– Butterfly and pound your chicken breasts (or by chicken cutlets which are much thinner.) Watch the video to see how to butterfly and pound. You want to slice through the thickness of the chicken breast and then pound the breast to even it out. Having a thin chicken breast of equal thickness assures even cooking. I like to buy large packages of chicken breast and butterfly and pound them before freezing so I can quickly pull out chicken for grilling and not have the mess each time I grill chicken.
Third– Salt and/or marinate your chicken. Salt is crucial to juicy chicken breasts. I like to use 1 teaspoon of salt per pound of chicken. If you can salt it the day before or even a few hours before cooking you will get the most benefit from the salt. Be sure to keep the chicken in the refrigerator after you have covered it in salt. But, if you are in a hurry just sprinkle salt on both sides of the chicken before putting it on the grill.
To marinate the chicken, place the butterflied and pounded meat in a shallow dish and cover with a marinade. Place the dish in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Tequila Lime Chicken and Asian Salad Dressing are two of my favorite marinades.
To Grill the Chicken
Heat your grill either gas or charcoal to high heat. Place the butterflied, pounded, and salted or marinated chicken on the hottest part of the grill. Cover the grill and let it cook for 3 minutes. Flip the chicken to the other side and cook another 1-2 minutes until the internal temperature is 160-161 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature will continue to go up because of the residual heat and will get to the safe temperature of 165 degrees. Let the chicken rest at least 5 minutes before serving.
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