HOW TO COOK MEAT

How to Grill Chicken Breasts

By Nils Hoyum - February 25, 2010

Chicken Breasts Grilled with Thyme | Chicken Recipes

yields

2 servings

cuisine

american

dish type

entree

If you like marinading stuff, the chicken breast, in my opinion, is the best thing for it. On its own, it's dry and bland. The addition of a marinade or brine solves both of these problems. I rag on chicken, but I think it's only because I was raised on it. Homegrown chicken, although having the benefit of being organic, free range, and far more flavorful, is still just chicken. Albeit better.

The great thing about chicken is that so many people love it. So when you decide to grill chicken for guests, you will most certainly be a success. This is especially true if you marinade it first or grill it with sauce. But before you reach for that BBQ sauce, try this recipe for seasoned and grilled chicken. Its a combination of savory, thyme, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper. In my opinion, these flavors are chicken's perfect compliment. Try it. If I am wrong, you can always dip it in BBQ sauce.

Grilled Chicken Breast Recipe: Seasoned with Thyme, Savory, Parsley, and Garlic

raw chicken breasts

1. Buy some chicken breasts. There are a lot of options in the grocery store when it comes to chicken breasts. There are free-range, organic options. There are frozen bags-o-chicken breasts. And there are the regular packages of breasts. Each of these options go for a different price. Whichever you decide to purchase, remember that you get what you pay for, and every time you buy something, you are voting for it. And as long as people still vote for sickly, antibiotic-ridden chicken, they will continue to produce it.

seasoned chicken breasts

2. Season the chicken breasts. Apply your seasonings and rub them in really well. The seasonings I have chosen for my chicken breasts are some classic chicken herbs and spices: thyme, savory, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper. These flavors are safe because I have combined them with chicken a hundred different times in a hundred different ways. They are also the basis for a common mixture of herbs labeled "Poultry Spice" that I am sure you have seen. You may even have some on hand.

grilled chicken breasts

3. Put the chicken breasts onto a preheated grill. Preheat the grill to high or medium-high heat. Let your grill get nice and hot before you start grilling your chicken breasts. Chicken breasts are a dry white meat, and you don't want to cook them very long. In fact, the faster you can cook them to 160º F and get them off the grill, the better. You are also trying to get the outside a little crispier because it tastes good. So that is why we cook them over such high heat. Of course, if they start to burn, lower the heat.

grilling the chicken breasts more

4. Rotate the breasts to make grill marks. This is an extra, optional step for those of you who are concerned about nice grill marks. The best grill marks are diamond shaped as opposed to squared. To achieve the diamond-shaped grill mark, rotate your chicken breasts 30º in either direction on the grill. If you have room on the grill, rotate and move them to a new and hotter piece of grate. This will give you more distinct grill marks.

finish grilling the chicken breasts

5. Flip the breasts over and continue grilling. After you finish cooking the first side, flip the chicken breast over and cook the other side. The second side may not take as long as the first depending on how far through you cooked it on the other side. As the second side cooks, feel how the chicken breast begins to firm up by poking it with your finger. Once it begins to feel firm, check it with a thermometer to see if it's reached 160º F.

Tips and Tricks

As I have stated previously, every time you purchase something, you are essentially voting for it. You are telling that company that you like their product. If you like their product, they have no reason to improve it. But if you put your vote behind another product, one that you believe to be superior, that inspires the other companies to change the way they do things, to improve upon their original product. Remember, the consumer is the one with the power. Just look at the way Walmart's customers got them to switch to hormone-free milk. This is the biggest grocery store in the world, and they got rid of the hormone milk because their customers voted no. Power to the people!

A basic brine of sugar, salt, and water can vastly improve the taste of poultry. If you want a good recipe to brine your chicken breasts in, read my article on brining chicken breasts.