Grilled marinated chicken breasts? Big deal. Well, yes, it is a big deal actually. These may be the juiciest boneless chicken breasts I’ve ever pulled off a grill. Try them for your Memorial Day cookout.
If you’re like me, you avoid grilling boneless breasts because it’s so easy for them to dry out (even with The Grillmaster’s considerable talents). The secret to juicy chicken, according to Giuliano Hazan in Hazan Family Favorites, is fresh lemon juice. Marinating in lemon juice kicks off the cooking process before you even fire up the grill so you don’t have to cook the breasts as long and the meat stays moist. Brilliant!
The Grillmaster was suffering from a miserable cold, so I decided to cook the chicken in a grill pan on the stove instead of on our Weber. I knew he’d be twitching instead of resting if he knew I was near the charcoal.
I went to snip from rosemary from the bush in our yard, then I remembered that little hurricane last summer that took no mercy on my herb garden. I’m sure my neighbor won’t miss that sprig of rosemary I “borrowed.”
This recipe is easy, but I do want to warn you about one thing. After you flip the breasts, you’re supposed to pour the marinade over the chicken while it’s on the grill (or in the pan). I tried to do this slowly and carefully because I wanted to make sure all parts of each piece of chicken got juiced. Big mistake. The steam created burned the heck out of my hand. I recommend you pour and get out quickly.
I served this with Hazan’s Nonno Fin’s Beans.
- 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 3 medium cloves garlic
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- freshly ground black pepper
- Lay the chicken breasts in a shallow baking dish large enough to accommodate them without overlapping. Peel and lightly crush the garlic. Cut the rosemary sprig into 3 pieces. Distribute the rosemary and garlic around the chicken pieces. Add the lemon juice and olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Turn the chicken pieces over and let stand at room temperature for about 45 minutes or in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
- Heat the grill until it is very hot. Put the chicken breasts on the grill and cook for 8 minutes. Turn the chicken over and pour the marinade over it. Cook until done, 6 to 8 more minutes, depending on how thick the pieces are. Transfer to a clean serving platter and serve hot.