As I have stated before, I am not known for my chicken cooking skills.  This is especially true when it comes to grilling chicken.  I don’t think I have ever managed to grill chicken without burning it or drying it out.  I think this is in part due to the fact that I’m so paranoid about under cooking chicken.  I don’t want to make anyone sick, so I tend to over-cook the chicken until it looks like jerky.  I also think chicken is bland.  Now I know you can solve that with sauces, but I’m not a fan of most of them.  Dave thinks this is weird, because he loves BBQ sauce.  For our Labor Day cook out I knew I wanted to try something new, and figure out how to grill chicken.  Off to scour the internet I go….

Now, there are a ton of recipes for chicken, but I don’t just need that, what I really need is some instruction on how to actually grill the chicken.  I look for that and I find a few different sites.  What they all have in common is that they tell you to brine the chicken.  Brining is a prep cooking thing that you do a day or hour in advance.  Now those of you that know me know that I am not a fan of things you have to do way in advance.  Heck I don’t usually even think about what we are going to have for dinner until I get hungry, or fifteen minutes before we eat.  I just don’t typically think about food that much.  Having said that, to see if it makes a difference, we’ll give brining a try.

In the morning, I take the chicken out and lay it on a plate.  I sprinkle coarse kosher salt over it (on both sides) the instructions I found said sprinkle, don’t coat.  When I read this I wondered if it would make the chicken really salty, but I used only about ¼ tsp for both of these chicken breasts so I think it should be ok.  I then put the chicken in a zipper baggie and put back in the refrigerator.

salted chicked

The other common instruction I found was to pound the chicken.  Chicken breast is not a uniform thickness which can lead to one of my common mistakes burning the hell out of the thinner part. In the afternoon, I take the chicken out of the frig, put it on the counter and pound it flat.  They tell you to use a rolling-pin or meat mallet, but I just used my hand and it worked fine.  I then dump a couple of tablespoons of Fat-Free Italian Dressing on the chicken, re-seal the bag, and put it back in the refrigerator.

Photo Aug 18, 4 30 44 PMPhoto Aug 18, 4 33 34 PM







After the grill is heated up to medium high, I take the chicken out and place it on the grill.  One site says “a few minutes each side”, another says 4 minutes, another says 4-6 minutes, Grrr..  More helpful, they all recommend using a meat thermometer and heating the chicken to 160 degrees.  The meat thermometer I have is the one I use for turkey at Thanksgiving, but it works.   I grill the first side of chicken for about 6 minutes (past the four, and until it had a little brown on it).  I turn the chicken and grill it for another four minutes, then I use my thermometer to determine when to take it off.  It took another 6 minutes for the temp. to reach 160.  I pulled the chicken off and let it rest.

chicken on the grill

I put out some different options for the chicken, BBQ sauce, ranch dressing, salad, along with buns and condiments for sandwiches.   I’ll try mine plain so that I can give it a true taste test.