Let’s welcome the sunny summer with this refreshing and hearty grilled chicken breast recipe! Load it up with your favorite fresh summer veggies and this will become your go-to meal in no time!
Grilling meat and veggies is my most favorite type of cooking not only because of its ease of preparation, but also because I love the smoky, charred and spicy flavors of grilled chicken and veggies. It also gives me the freedom to experiment with spices which turns out to be a hit mostly or sometimes a miss; but you can still make it work with few simple fixes. You only need to follow your own gut feeling by thinking through how you like your food to turn out – spicy or mild.
First, let’s discuss this grilled chicken in detail! Yes, as you see it is a grilled chicken breast recipe with beautiful and tempting grill marks on it; but if you are worried about this chicken to be dry and tough, then I am happy to say that you are absolutely wrong! After you make and taste this grilled chicken breast, I bet you will come back to thank me!
Since I am now more thoughtful of what I eat in a day, chicken breast has become a staple in my weekly meals thanks to its multiple benefits. If you are fond of chicken, then make chicken breast your best friend and I will help you with amazing chicken breast recipes just like this one today! If you can follow this recipe more or less appropriately, I assure you that your grilled chicken breast will come out perfectly juicy and tender every time!
These grilled chicken breasts are also so pleasing to eyes that you will be tempted to eat it as soon as it’s done. Those perfect grill marks are super appetizing and if you serve it to family and friends, they won’t stop praising your culinary skill! You can get those beautiful grill marks using a grill pan (which is what I used) or even using your outside griller.
Now let’s tackle the most difficult question of grilling!
How to make juicy and tender grilled chicken breast?
The answer to this question is two-fold. First is the marination and you need to get it right! Don’t worry, it is not difficult to marinate chicken breast appropriately for grilling and even the ingredients are also basic pantry staples. You will need to give it enough time so the chicken breast can absorb all the flavors making itself juicy and tender upon grilling.
First step is to brine the chicken breast. For brining, you simply need to soak the chicken breast in heavily salted water for at least an hour. You can also add few spices to the brining water e.g. paprika, garlic powder etc. This brining process will not only season the chicken breast from inside but also tenderize the chicken.
Once your chicken breast is nicely brined, take it out from the liquid and discard the brining water. Pat it dry and now it’s ready for your favorite spices! I personally prefer to create my spice mix separately and then rub that spice mix all over the chicken. That way, all your spice powders will be evenly mixed. You are free to use any kind of spice you like – hot, mild or even slightly sweet like barbecue sauce!
Since we like it spicy, I use hot chilli powder, paprika or Kashmiri chilli powder, freshly crushed black pepper along with aromatics like garlic and onion powder. If you don’t use garlic & ginger powder regularly, you don’t need to buy a bottle of those just for this grilled chicken recipe. You can easily use garlic and ginger paste. Give everything a good mix and your spicy chicken rub is ready. You can also add cumin powder for an added earthy flavor.
Before sprinkling the spice mix over the chicken breasts, first brush both sides with oil of your choice – olive oil or sunflower oil or any flavorless oil. Oil will help the spices to stick to the smooth surface of the chicken breast. Now sprinkle the spices on both sides of the chicken and rub it nicely to ensure the chicken breast is thoroughly coated. Once you are happy with your hard work, leave it to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
You can also pre-prep upto this stage and refrigerate the chicken breast for later use. I generally do this for multiple batches over the weekend and keep it ready for weekdays. Yeah, meal prep is a savior especially when you are determined to eat healthy! A few essential items in your kitchen and a few important pre-preparation can easily ensure that you won’t give in to junk food during your workdays no matter how hungry or busy you are!
Second important step to a perfectly grilled chicken breast is the actual grilling! When you are ready to grill the chicken breast, pre-heat your grill pan or charcoal grill till it is smoking hot. Brush some oil over the grill grates. Then place the marinated chicken breast carefully and once placed, don’t touch or move it immediately. Let it grill on medium heat for 5 minutes without any disturbance. You can use a grill press or a flat-bottomed bowl to press the chicken breast.
Flip over the chicken at least after 5 minutes and similarly press it down using a grill press or a bowl with flat bottom. Pressing will ensure beautiful grill marks and also even cooking. Keep the heat on medium throughout the grilling time. If your chicken breast is about an inch thick, it will take about 10 to 12 minutes to cook. If you have pounded the chicken breast to make it thinner, it will then cook much faster.
Once fully cooked, serve your beautifully grilled chicken breast with a generous helping of fresh salad and enjoy the most satisfying summer meal!
- Chicken breast – 2, boneless & skinless with any excess fat trimmed off
- Salt – 2 tbsp
- Water – 4 cups
- Garlic powder – 1 tsp (or 2 tsp garlic paste)
- Ginger powder – ½ tsp (or 1 tsp garlic paste)
- Red chilli powder – 1 tsp (I used the hot chilli powder)
- Freshly crushed black pepper – ½ tsp
- Cumin powder (optional) – ½ tsp
- Olive oil or any other oil of your choice – 1 tbsp (for brushing)
- Salt to taste (about ½ tsp)
- Wash the chicken breasts well before brining. Then mix 2 tablespoons of salt in 4 cups of water in a bowl big enough to hold the chicken breasts. Dip the chicken into the salted water and leave for 1 hour.
- Prepare the spice mix by mixing all the powdered spices and salt. If you are using ginger and garlic paste instead of powder, then add about a teaspoon of oil into the spice mix so that the pastes and spices are mixed evenly.
- After the chicken breasts are nicely brined, take them out from water and pat dry. Then brush oil on both sides of the chicken. Don’t skip this step as chicken breasts are literally fat free, hence this minimal amount of fat is required for even browning.
- Now rub the spice mix on both sides of the chicken breasts thoroughly; make sure chicken is well-coated with the spices. Leave the chicken pieces to marinate for at least an hour.
- Preheat your grill or grill pan (griddle) and brush little oil on top. Once the grill pan is super-hot, place the chicken breasts carefully and do not touch it immediately. Press the chicken breasts using a grill press or bowl and let them grill on medium heat for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, flip them over. It should get lifted easily and not stick to your pan. Grill the other side for 5 to 6 minutes on medium heat and press this side too.
- Once the chicken is thoroughly cooked, after about 10 to 12 minutes, take them out and serve with your favorite summer salad! Enjoy the comfort summer meal!