Boneless, Skinless, and (Yes!) Grilled
The boneless, skinless chicken breast
I confess that the primary reason the boneless, skinless chicken breast (BSCB) is a staple in my home is because I’m lazy. I don’t want to fuss with bones and skin.
Add to that: the BSCB colors me imaginative and creative because it is one of the most versatile places to start a meal.
And there’s more. The BSCB turns me into a clever, meticulous planner. It is hands down my favorite hack for (not) planning a week’s worth of meals.
So how does a lazy non-planner float gracefully through a week of meals?
- Monday night: grilled chicken. I grill at least eight to ten chicken breasts even when it’s just two of us. Serve them with some grilled vegetables and rarely have a pot to wash when I’m done. The rest of the week is leftover magic.
- Chicken quesadillas on Tuesday
- Barbecue chicken and potatoes on Wednesday
- Stir fry (just warming really) chicken and vegetables on Thursday
- Chicken tossed in pasta on Friday
If I´m really clever and meticulous, I have tasty salads with sliced grilled chicken for lunch all week.
Grilled boneless, skinless chicken breast. I usually start there.
But you’re still shaking your head. “Boneless, skinless chicken breasts on the grill?! They’ll be dry as dirt!”
Not at my house.
What’s my secret?
Not dollops of sour cream on top of dirt-dry grilled chicken. A sour cream marinade.
The sour cream-based marinade not only flavors the chicken, but is less likely to cause flare ups and will help retain the moisture.
I don’t have “a” recipe. Recipes are a bit like meal planning. I resist and rebel. The good news is I have a process, and if you already have sour cream and garlic at home, you can probably try this process without having to make a special trip to the store.
Sour Cream Marinade
- 1/2 c sour cream
- 2-4 cloves garlic: if you don’t have fresh garlic, substitute 1/2 – 1 tsp powdered garlic or 1-2 tsp garlic flakes (though fresh is always better).
- sweet: I usually use 1 tbsp honey, but molasses, agave, coconut or brown sugar also work well.
- herbs & spices: 1-2 tbsp dried (more if fresh) herbs and spices. This will completely depend on my mood and the sides that will compliment the chicken. The herbs I like to use include basil, rosemary, dill, oregano, thyme, parsley, and sage. Other spices that I might reach for are chili powder, paprika, cumin, other pepper powders, cinnamon, and turmeric.
- tang: Sour cream is tangy on its own, but I often add a little more tang: 1 tbsp mustard, fresh or pickled ginger, lemon or lime juice, vinegar, or lemon or orange zest.
- Grind all of the ingredients in a mini food-processor or chopper/grinder.
- Pat dry the chicken breasts with paper towels.
- Season the chicken breasts: I use a homemade combination of dried herbs and vegetables, but a little salt and pepper will do.
- Tenderize the chicken breasts: I like to tenderize for a couple of reasons: to work in the seasonings and to “thin out” the thicker parts of the breasts so that they will cook more evenly.
- Toss the chicken in the marinade: I often only marinate it for 15-30 minutes (I’m truly planning challenged), but you can marinate it longer, even overnight.
- Grill! I start high on a hot grill for and sear each side 2-3 minutes, then turn to med-low for and additional 5-10 minutes, depending on the thickness.
- Cover and sweat: when I remove the breasts from the grill, I like to cover and seal them with foil until we´re ready to serve.
Soon to come,
recipes processes for ways to use and/or repurpose the grilled BSCB.
If you came here looking for grilling “rules” or techniques only to find a little side note for a grilling process, here are a few useful sites that range from geeky to practical: The Science Of Grilling, 13 Best Grilling Tips, 31 Grilling Tips from Grill Master, Steven Raichlen, Estimating Grilling Times.
Copyright © 2015 by Pennie Nichols, All Rights Reserved.