Cooking the perfect chicken breast

chicken, grilled, healthy

Everyone loves chicken, and house chef would love to know a good chicken How-to. With the grilling and summer season coming up, I decided it would be the perfect time to share that real challenge of how to grill the chicken breast perfectly every time.

The problem with grilling chicken is that they are not mostly of an even thickness. When cooked the thinnest part tends to dry out before the thickest part gets cooked. But there is an easy way to fix this. That is to flatten chicken out to an even thickness, then marinate them a bit for flavor, and then grill for as short time as possible.

Here are few tips on how to grill the chicken breast perfectly:

Marinade the chicken breast before grilling

  • Oil:  Most often the base of marinades.
  • Acid: This helps tenderi the meat by breaking down proteins (vinegar/lemon juice)
  • Sugar: Helps with flavor and the caramelization process. (honey/brown sugar).
  • Seasonings: This is the flavor profile, you can use any seasoning. This may or may not include salt.
  • Time: Give yourself time to allow your meat to marinade.  The purpose of the marinade is not only to add flavor but to help soften your meat.

How long should I marinade chicken?

The answer to that question depends on the thickness of the chicken and the quantity of the chicken that will be cooked. However, generally chicken breasts are marinated within 30 mins to 4 hours. This process allows enough time for the marinade to effect and add flavor while meat is being tenderized. Make sure not to marinade the chicken longer than 4 hours as it may change the texture of the chicken and make it less appetizing to eat.

Get the grill ready

Before cooking the chicken, make sure to prepare the grill itself. Always clean the grates, dirty grills makes the food stick. Pre heat the grill and brush the grates with a hard wire grill brush before and after cooking. To eliminate even more gunk, crumple up a damp paper bag or wet newspaper and, using tongs, rub the grates. Follow up with a damp paper towel. Once or twice every summer (or intervals of every four months, for people who grill year-round), be sure to thoroughly clean the grill. Built-up grease can cause flare-ups and fires.

Oil the grates

When you are done cleaning the grills thoroughly rub them with cooking oil, When grates are oiled food do not stick on the grates. Make sure that your grill is already hot enough before putting the meat on the grates.  

Time is your best friend when grilling chicken breast

Same with marinading chicken breast. Grilling time also differs. Grilling time depends on how thick the meat is and how hot the grill is. If the chicken breasts are thick then you might consider cooking it longer on the grill to make sure that the meat is cooked inside. However if the grill is too hot you might want to consider taking it out the grill immediately as it may burn the outside of the breast and leaving the inside of the meat uncooked. Make sure to cook the chicken just right. We don’t want a dry chicken and we also don’t want an uncooked chicken as chicken salmonella may be on the raw chicken we buy in the grocery store. Based on federal data about 25 percent of raw chicken pieces like breasts and legs are contaminated with the stuff. Not all strains of salmonella make people sick.

When it is already cooked do not cut it immediately. Allow the chicken breast to rest 3-5 minutes before cutting to keep it juicy.

If you want to learn more about grilling chicken breast then watch this video below.