Sometimes there’s nothing better than a simple succulent grilled chicken breast to satisfy a deep hunger.
Not to mention, it also makes fabulous leftovers for days – in sandwiches, salads, or as a snack nibbling on bites of delicious chicken strips with a little sea salt and fresh ground pepper.
The biggest trick when grilling the chicken is to keep the it from overcooking and getting too dry. Often we worry so much about undercooking it that the chicken ends up being cooked for longer than needed and loses that juicy goodness.
Grilling a perfectly cooked chicken breast takes a little practice; I won’t lie. Timing is tricky. Use the recommended cooking time below for a guideline and then implement the touch test. How the touch test works is by using a fork, tongs, or the flat edge of a knife to press down on the chicken breast. When it is firm but still slightly springy, it’s done. It also helps to tune into your gut. Being in zen cooking mode allows my instincts to kick in, and I typically just know when food is done cooking. Just sayin’ -the more you connect with that deep seated intuition the better…..
As far as instructions go – For an average size boneless breast, the general rule of thumb is to cook it for 4-5 minutes on each side over high heat with the grill lid closed. Don’t turn chicken over and over again. Instead, only flip it once. Then, take it off the grill and let it sit for 5 minutes. If chicken is still pink inside, put it back on the grill and cook for 2-3 more minutes.
Pounding the chicken breasts before cooking, will help it cook more evenly. To do this, simply place the breasts between two pieces of wax paper or plastic wrap and pound with a rolling pin until it’s an even thickness of about 1/2 inch.
Marinating chicken for a half an hour or up to a few hours will also enhance the flavor and juiciness of the final result. Avoid barbque sauces, marinades with sugar – that will cause the chicken to dry out more easily. Besides you know me, I’m not a big fan of sugar anyway. You can never go wrong by keeping it simple and just eating real food 🙂
Lemon Garlic Grilled Chicken Breasts
4 organic boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
6 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Coarse sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
Place chicken breasts in a ziploc bag or on a large plate. Pour lemon juice and olive oil over top the breasts. Add minced garlic, thyme salt and pepper. Marinate for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. Turn grill on high heat. Once temperature is at 400 degrees, put chicken on the grill. Close the lid and cook f0r five minutes. Flip chicken breasts and cook for another 4 minutes keeping grill heat around 400 degrees. Remove breasts from the grill and let stand at room temperature for five more minutes. Then cut and check for doneness. Chicken should be juicy but no longer pink in the middle.