This is the recipe you want for when you have the gang coming over and you want to step up a notch from hot dogs and burgers. Flavorful, moist, buxom chicken breasts. I recommend you remove the skins because they can prevent the marinade from penetrating, and the marinade just makes the skin soggy and prevents it from getting crispy. Save the skins and make chicken skin cracklins and sprinkle them on top.
This marinade was the first recipe I ever sold. I liked it so much I sent it to the producer of a fancy Dijon mustard and they liked it so much the published it on one of those little booklets that hangs on the bottle and sent me a check! So long ago I can't even remember the mustard brand. But the recipe still works, and I still get email from people telling me how much they like it.
These breasts are designed to be eaten hot, but I have used leftovers as toppings for salads and even add-ins for omelets and quesadillas. The marinade also great for stir fry.
Makes. Enough for 4 chicken breasts.
Preparation time. 15 minutes to make the marinade, 2 to 3 hours to marinate (overnight would be better), and about 45 minutes to cook.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt per pound of chicken
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup brown sugar, light or dark
2 tablespoons Dijon-stye mustard
2 tablespoons soy sauce, light or dark
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Optional. Serve these tasty breasts on a toasted bun with lettuce, tomato, chicken skin cracklins, and mix a little mayo with a few drops of sesame oil to make sesame mayo to spread on the bun.
About the quantity. I usually make a triple batch and refrigerate the rest. It keeps for months.
1) We're going to pound these breasts to make them flatter. This way there is more surface area exposed to the flavorful juice, and the penetration depth is a greater portion of the total meat. Then we're going to dry brine the meat by salting it about 4 hours before cooking. This gives the salt a chance to penetrate.
2) Put everything except the chicken in a bowl and whisk it together. Pour into a zipper bag. If you have read my article on the science of marinades, you know that they do not penetrate very far. But they do find their way into cracks and cuts. So add the meat to the bag about 2 hours before cooking. And if you want, cut diamond patterns in the surface of both sides about 1/8" deep. These grooves with gather and hold the marinade.
3) For grilling. Grill over indirect heat to keep the sugar from burning. Shoot for about 325°F in the indirect zone. It will take about 45 minutes depending on how thick they are and how hot your grill is, and you should use a meat thermometer to get it off at optimum safe temp, 165°F.
For stir-fry. Cut the breasts into strips about 1.5" long and 1/4" wide. Marinate chicken strips for 20 minutes in small quantities of this marinade in a zipper sealed bag. Stir-fry meat and set aside. Stir-fry chopped vegetables of your choice and set aside. I like it with thick onion slices, red bell pepper slices, mushroom halves, and sugar snap pea pods. To make a sauce, add 1 teaspoon of corn starch to 1/2 cup marinade. Stir sauce in the pan until sauce thickens, add the mead and veggies to heat and coat, and serve over rice.
Serve with a medium flavored red or full flavored white.