How To Make Perfect Grilled Chicken Breast


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This is my go-to grilled chicken breast recipe, it comes out so juicy and flavorful, perfect over salads, sandwiches, or for meal prep!

Grilled Chicken Breast

Grilled Chicken Breast

When it comes to making grilled juicy chicken breasts in my house, the thinner the better! Thinner chicken cutlets cook faster, more evenly and because of their thinner size, allows the marinade to penetrate better giving you a more flavorful chicken. Here I marinated the chicken breasts with olive oil, garlic, red wine vinegar and dried herbs. These grilled chicken breasts are perfectly charred and delicious. They’re an easy healthy, low-fat, high protein meal. And so versatile to make ahead for meal prep! Add them to salads or bowls, sandwiches, or as a main with vegetables and a grain. The grilling process gives the chicken a slightly smoky taste that’s undeniably delicious. No grill? Try these juicy, air fryer chicken breasts!

Grilled Chicken Breasts

Why This Recipe Works!

  • Faster Cooking Time: Thin chicken cutlets cook much quicker than whole chicken breasts due to their thinner size. This is a major advantage if you’re trying to prepare a meal quickly.
  • Even Cooking: It can be challenging to cook a thick piece of chicken evenly. The exterior might become overcooked by the time the interior is fully cooked. With thin cutlets, you can achieve a uniformly cooked piece of chicken, reducing the risk of dryness or, conversely, under-cooking.
  • Marinade Penetration: Because of their thinner size, cutlets allow marinades and seasonings to penetrate more thoroughly, leading to more flavorful chicken.
  • Versatility: Thin cutlets are great for a variety of dishes like sandwiches, salads, or pasta because they can be easily layered or sliced.

Ingredients

  • Boneless skinless chicken breastspreferably organic (boneless chicken thighs work too)
  • Chicken Marinade: extra virgin olive oil, crushed garlic, dried Italian herbs, or use dried oregano, red wine vinegar, kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Optional Variations: Add garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika or swap vinegar for lemon juice.

How To Make Grilled Chicken Breasts

  1. Prepare the Chicken: Start with your thin chicken cutlets. If you haven’t already, follow the instructions above to pound your chicken to an even thickness of about 1/4 inch.
  2. Marinate the Chicken: Combine olive oil, garlic, dried herbs and vinegar in a large deep shallow dish. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and black pepper then add them to the marinade. Make sure they’re evenly coated then, cover and marinate in an airtight container in the fridge at least 30 minutes, but preferably up to 2 hours for better flavor. Or as long as overnight.
  3. Preheat Your Grill: Heat your grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. If you’re using a charcoal grill, wait until the coals are covered with white ash.
  4. Cook Chicken: Once your grill is heated, oil the grill grates and add the chicken. Grill the chicken about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until browned and the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C). Because the cutlets are thin, they will cook quickly. Be careful not to overcook them, as chicken can become dry if cooked too long.
  5. Rest and Serve: Once cooked, let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the chicken, making it more tender and flavorful.

What To Serve with Grilled Chicken

You can serve grilled chicken with a side of grilled veggie towers, asparagus, broccoli, grilled zucchini, on top of a fresh salad, or in a sandwich or wrap.

How To Cut Chicken Breast Into Thin Cutlets

Making thin chicken cutlets involves pounding the chicken to an even thickness. Here’s a simple method:

What you’ll need:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 8 ounces each
  • Plastic wrap or a large zip-top bag
  • A meat mallet, rolling pin, or heavy skillet
  • A cutting board

Instructions:

  1. Prep Your Chicken: Start with boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Trim any excess fat or connective tissue.
  2. Prepare the cutting board: Lay a piece of plastic wrap out on a cutting board. Place the butterflied chicken breast on the plastic wrap, then fold it over the top of the chicken. If you don’t have plastic wrap, you can also place the chicken inside a zip-top bag with the top open (so air can escape).
  3. Pound the Chicken: Using a meat mallet, a rolling pin, or the bottom of a heavy skillet, gently pound the chicken breast to an even thickness. Start from the middle and work your way out. You’re aiming for a thickness of about 1/4 inch.
  4. Prepare for Cooking: Now your chicken cutlets are ready to season and cook. Because they’re thin, they’ll cook quickly — just a few minutes per side in a skillet or grill over medium heat.

Remember, always handle raw chicken with care to avoid cross-contamination, and clean all surfaces and utensils well after they have come into contact with raw chicken.

chicken breast in marinade
chicken breast on grill
Grilled Chicken Breasts with salad

More Grilled Chicken Recipes

Preparation: 5 minutes

Cook: 6 minutes

Marinate Time: 30 minutes

Total: 41 minutes

  • Prepare the Chicken: Start with your thin chicken cutlets. If you haven’t already, follow the instructions above to pound your chicken to an even thickness of about 1/4 inch.

  • Marinate the Chicken: Combine olive oil, garlic, dried herbs and vinegar in a large deep shallow dish. Season chicken on both sides with salt and black pepper then add to the marinade.

  • Make sure they’re evenly coated then, cover and marinate at least 30 minutes, but preferably up to 2 hours for better flavor. Or as long as overnight.

  • Preheat Your Grill: Heat your grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. If you’re using a charcoal grill, wait until the coals are covered with white ash.

  • Grill the Chicken: Once your grill is heated, oil the grates and add the chicken cutlets. Grill the chicken for about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until browned and the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C). Because the cutlets are thin, they will cook quickly. Be careful not to overcook them, as chicken can become dry if cooked too long.

  • Rest and Serve: Once cooked, let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the chicken, making it more tender and flavorful.

Last Step:

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Serving: 2 pieces, Calories: 339 kcal, Carbohydrates: 1.5 g, Protein: 51 g, fat: 12.5 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Cholesterol: 165.5 mg, Sodium: 523.5 mg, Fiber: 0.5 g



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