I can’t count the number of times that I have been presented with grilled chicken breasts that are flavorless, dry, and coated in burnt BBQ sauce. That all changes today.
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.
Serve with: a medium flavored red or full flavored white.
- 4 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 1/3 teaspoons Morton coarse kosher salt (approximately 1/2 teaspoon per pound of meat)
- 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
- Prep. 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.
- 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. 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. Add the chicken to the bag, seal the bag, and refrigerate it for 2 hours in order to allow the marinade to do its job.
- Fire up. Prepare a grill for 2-zone cooking, aiming for about 325°F in the indirect zone.
- Cook. Remove the chicken from the marinade, pat the breasts dry, and place them on the indirect heat side of the grill. Cover the grill and allow them to cook. 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.
- Serve. Remove the chicken breasts from the grill and serve immediately.