How to Grill Chicken Breast
Learning how to grill a chicken breast is a right of passage for every home cook.

Chicken breasts are one of the most popular cuts of meat, and rightly so--they're high in protein, low in fat and quick to cook. However, chicken breasts have gotten a bad rap for being dry and tasteless, mostly due to improper cooking methods. Because the breasts cook very fast, it's all too easy to leave them on the grill for too long. According to the USDA, poultry is properly cooked when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. If you don't know what this should feel like, then it's a good idea to purchase an instant-read thermometer, as constantly cutting into the meat to check for doneness can result in a bone-dry dry breast.

Marinating can also produce juicier results. Most marinades contain some sort of an acid (such as vinegar), which helps break down tough tissues in the meat and make it tender. Make sure chicken is placed in the refrigerator during the marinating process for food-safety reasons. Also, never serve raw marinade--always bring it to a boil if serving.

-Hi everybody, this is Chef Lovely, we're gonna make grilled rosemary chicken. Here are your ingredients: 6 mediums, skinless. Boneless chicken breast halves; 1 teaspoon finely shredded lime peel; 1 cup lime juice; 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary; 1 tablespoon of olive oil; 2 teaspoons of sugar; 2 cloves of garlic that have been minced; 1/4 teaspoon of salt; 1/8 teaspoon of ground black pepper. This sounds absolutely delicious and I'm ready to get cooking. So, the first thing I'm gonna do, I'm gonna prepare our marinade for our grilled rosemary chicken. So, I have my bowl here. We're gonna go in with our lime juice. Lime juice is great because it has acidity in it. So what's gonna happen, the lime juice is gonna be like a tenderizer and just gonna make sure that our chicken stays nice and moist and juicy, and of course this gonna impart tons of flavor. So, now let's add in that garlic. We have our lime peel here, again, lots of flavor, and actually the lime peel or the zest has even more flavor than the juice. There is where all of the essential oils lie and it's gonna make it taste even more flavor and more limey, I guess, that's the word. It's that word, limey. We're gonna say it today because chef lovely is cooking and we can say whatever we wanna say. Okay, so we're gonna add in some sugar, a little bit of our olive oil as well, and we can't forget about our fresh rosemary, so let's add that in. So, let's give that a quick stir here, making sure that we're getting everything evenly mixed into our delicious marinade, fantastic. So, we're gonna set this over to the side what we do with our chicken. Now, we're gonna have some plastic wrap here. We're gonna take our plastic wrap, and we're gonna put it right on our cutting board here. So, this is gonna protect our cutting board and is also gonna protect our chicken. We're gonna pound this chicken out and while we are pounding it out and so that is nice even, even, even, that's what we're looking for. So, when it goes into the grill pan, it's going to cook one time. It's gonna cook evenly. You don't want one part that's undercook and 1 part that's over cook. So, this is the very important step, don't chew it out. Okay, so we have 6 chicken breasts here. I'm gonna start up with just 2, and we're gonna take some more plastic wrap and put that right now top. So, here we go, great. So, if you're traditionalist, I want you to pull out your meat now, but you're like me, I like kind of fun, I like going against the grey. So, I'm gonna take a wine bottle here, we're gonna just press, press, press, press. It gives noise. It gets loud, but who cares, we're in the kitchen, and we're having fun. You've had a rough day, get all of your problems out on this chicken here. Okay, so all we're looking to again is to make the chicken nice and even. So, when it goes into the pan to cook, it's gonna cook evenly. So, I'm gonna finish up our last few pieces of chicken, and then we're gonna add our marinade, and then we're gonna get these in the grill pan. Okay, great, we pounded out all six of our chicken breast. So, now let's add on this marinade, beautiful rosemary marinade here. We're gonna put that in the bottom of our bag. I'm using a Ziploc bag and I have it in a little bit of a bowl here. So, just in case we have an accident, we don't get any spillage of any juice and all the other things in our refrigerator. So, just a little safety tip that I want you to do. So, now, we're gonna take our chicken breast, and we're gonna add this right in. Now, of course, we have to simply season, so I'm gonna go in with some salt and some pepper as well right before I close this bag up. There we go. Now, with my clean hand, I'm gonna go here with some salt, make sure we get little salt on each of a piece here, and we're gonna go in with our ground black pepper as well, great. Okay, so there we go. So, I'm gonna give this a bag a close, and I wanna squeeze as much as the air as possible because I want all of that marinade to get all around our chicken. There we go. So, we're going to massage just a little bit to make sure that the marinade is evenly coated and all of our chicken. So, here we go. Now, we want this chicken to be absolutely delicious. So, we're gonna sit this into the refrigerator for about 1 to 4 hours at the maximum every about 30 minutes, I want you to go in. I want you to flip this bag. I want you to give it a little shake sure that our marinade is getting all throughout our chicken. Let me go and pop this into the refrigerator and then in 4 hours it's time to cook. I just grabbed our chicken out of the refrigerator, and let me tell you, it's looking great. I can't wait to give this a good taste. So, it's marinated for about 4 hours. So, I'm gonna open up this bag here, and we're gonna go in with our thumbs. Now, I've heated my grill pan ahead of time. You want this to be screaming hot so that you get nice beautiful grill marks and we start that caramelization process right away. Now, another tip here I have your guys, don't overcrowd your pan. We're only gonna cook about 2 chicken breast at a time. Wow, when you hear that sound, you're in good business baby. You want to hear a nice a loud sizzle. You know that you're gonna capture all of those juices, and it's gonna seal in really delicious. So, we're gonna cook this about 10 to 12 minutes in total. So, about 6 minutes on each side. I'm gonna keep grilling, keep smoking up the place with all this beautiful rosemary and lime marinade, and when we come back, you're gonna see how beautiful and delicious they look. Okay, so our chicken breast have grilled, and let me tell you, they smell absolutely delicious and our veggie they taste even better. So, that's exactly what I wanna do, I'm gonna go in for a taste here. Umm, that is good. You can taste the rosemary. You can taste the lime and the garlic that added in to that marinade. I'm talking with my mouth full, but guess what, you will too because it's good, it's so even. So, makes this at home and I want you to enjoy this grilled rosemary chicken.
What You'll Need
  • 6   medium skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 3/4 pounds total)

  • 1   teaspoon finely shredded lime peel

  • 1/2  cup lime juice

  • 1   tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

  • 1   tablespoon olive oil

  • 2   teaspoons sugar

  • 2   cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/4  teaspoon salt

  • 1/8  teaspoon ground black pepper

Step By Step
Place chicken breast halves between two pieces of plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, lightly pound to an even 1/2-inch thickness. Place in a large resealable plastic bag set in a shallow dish.
For marinade, in a small bowl, stir together lime peel, lime juice, rosemary, oil, sugar, garlic, and salt. Pour over chicken. Seal bag; turn to coat chicken. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 4 hours, turning bag occasionally.
Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade. Season chicken with pepper. For a charcoal grill, place chicken on the grill rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals. Grill uncovered for 10 to 12 minutes or until tender and no longer pink (170 degrees F), turning once halfway through grilling. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place chicken on grill rack over heat. Cover and grill as above.)

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