I have been a vegetarian for 8 years, but no one else in my family is. Usually they are content eating the vegetarian dishes I prepare, but when my stepsons are here for the summer I try to prepare meals that they like and are used to. That means cooking a lot more meat.
My saving grace in the summer is being able to grill. I dislike the smell of cooking meat in the house, so being able to cook outside makes it a lot more appealing to me. Just about anyone can grill up a burger, but I have always been a little bit afraid of chicken. Chicken is slimy, and it’s hard to tell when it is actually cooked through. And it seems like once you cook it all the way through it is dry. I was determined to conquer chicken on the grill.
The tricky part about recipe testing on meat is that I can’t taste it. So I have to experiment by sight, smell and feedback from my family. After some trial and experimentation I have finally conquered grilled chicken! My kids are pretty picky eaters, so when even they devoured this, I knew I had done well.
The major trick to this juicy, flavorful chicken is the marinade. I whisk this together then put it into a gallon-sized ziplock bag with about 4 chicken breasts. I sit the bag in a glass dish (because eww, who wants raw chicken leaking in the fridge) and let it sit for a day. You can give the bag a little squish to move the ingredients around once in a while if you want, but I did not. I think we already covered my aversion to raw chicken.
After the chicken has marinated for a day or so it’s time to grill. Pull the chicken out of the fridge about 15 minutes before it goes on the grill to let it come to room temperature. If you don’t have a temperature gauge on your grill, I would suggest getting a thermometer. You’ll want to preheat the grill to a medium-high heat of 375º-450º. You can clean and oil your grill grates, but I prefer to lay a piece of aluminum foil or a grill mat over the grates for an even, less sticky cooking surface.
If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you (I don’t, I have to send a list with any unsuspecting person passing near one) to get the Everything But The Bagel seasoning, it is made with sesame seeds (white and black), poppy seeds, dried garlic & onion, and sea salt flakes, so you can improvise.
How long you cook your chicken breasts will depend on their size. I found about 7 minutes on each side to be sufficient. If you are unsure whether the chicken is done or not, take an internal temperature. It’s recommended that you cook chicken to an internal temperature of 165º. Personally, I think that gets into the danger zone of dryness, so I am ok with a bit lower. Do what you are comfortable with cuz ain’t nobody got time for salmonella.
I initially grilled this up with the intent to shred it for tacos, but I didn’t get a chance. The whole family gobbled these up right off the grill! If you try this out I’d love to hear what you think!
- 1/4 C soy sauce
- 1/8 C vinegar
- 3 T olive oil
- 2 T brown sugar
- 1 T whole grain dijon mustard
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- juice of 1 small lime
- 1 T of Everything But The Bagel seasoning
- 4 chicken breasts
- Whisk ingredients together, then add to gallon-sized ziplock bag with 4 chicken breasts. Marinate in the fridge for 1 day, then grill.