Saturday, May 29, 2010

Grilled Chicken

It's summer and life is starting to get kind of crazy. Softball games and summer activities make fixing dinner more of a challenge if you don't want to eat a hamburger or hot dog every night. Enter "Grilled Chicken". Now, I realize that this isn't anything new, most people have managed to grilled chicken without my insights but it's a staple at our house so I thought I would share the things I've learned over the past 20 years of grilling. It's taken grilled chicken from a slightly charred, mostly dried out dinner to the cornerstone of many dishes in the Jiggle household.

The chicken in the picture is your basic BBQ chicken basted with a Raspberry Chipotle Sauce. I love BBQ sauce so we have several varieties hanging out in the fridge for those days that I don't have time to make it from scratch. Two nights ago we had Chicken Alfredo with basic chicken and a jarred Alfredo sauce. Chicken sandwiches and salad are also dishes that utilize this technique.

First off you have to decide if you are going to use breasts that are flash frozen or fresh. Typically the flash frozen breasts are already about the correct size and thickness for grilling. I once found a bag of "grill ready" chicken at Sam's that was truly the best chicken I'd ever bought....how to make my own fresh chicken work like that? Smash it out to a uniform thickness!
  1. Put the chicken in a bag and whack it with either a mallet or a frying pan. I use the frying pan, it's faster. Pound it out to about 1/2" thick. Trim off the raggedy edges that will burn and you are ready to go.
  2. Preheat your grill to about 350 degrees. On my grill that's about Med-ish. I typically let it preheat for about 10 minutes. If you aren't sure about how hot your grill gets you can get an oven thermometer and sit it in there for a baseline temp.
  3. I usually give the chicken a spritz of non-stick spray before I season it so I don't have to spray the grill and light myself on fire. 
  4. Season with salt and pepper or whatever you prefer. We tend to use Lowry's seasoning salt and black pepper most often. 
  5. Place chicken on the grill and shut the lid. Let cook for 6-8 minutes and turn. I like to only turn it once so give it another 6-8 minutes and whip out your meat thermometer. Your internal temp for chicken should be 165 degrees. Your juices will run clear when it's done. Don't over cook!! 
  6. Let chicken sit for few minutes before you cut into it.
  7. Frozen breasts will cook about this same length of time because they are typically smaller and thinner.

2 comments:

Flashlight Girl said...

1. I need an instant read thermometer. 2. Do you baste it with bbq after it's done cooking and just let it warm through? Your chicken looks awesome. I'm still struggling trying not to char everything.

Jigglebuns said...

I usually wait to baste it until I've flipped it over once. Any longer than that and it just burns. :)