Look, we know you think you don’t want to grill a chicken breast, but you do. Especially this chicken breast. Just think about all the times you actually want—or even need!—this often-rejected piece of poultry: a grilled chicken sandwich, a salad, or when you’re cooking for someone on a diet. With our method, grilled chicken breast doesn’t have to be bland, boring or dry. In fact, it’s really, really, really good.
THE MEAT: Yes, we’re grilling a boneless, skinless chicken breast. It may not sound very exciting, but get quality meat and you’re well on your way to a surprisingly good sandwich or salad.
THE METHOD: The secret to this amazing grilled chicken breast is a flavorful brine followed by a super-simple marinade. Freezer bags are a magical tool for both. You can easily push all the air out for maximum brining/marinating and because they’re pliable, you can make them fit around all the beer in your fridge.
THE MEAL: This chicken breast would be amazing on a bun with melty swiss cheese, onions and mayo, or on top of a hearty Cobb salad with bacon lardons. Or, eat it on its own with a side of grilled potatoes and something green. It’s that good.
The Best Grilled Chicken Breast
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
For the brine:
2 cups water
100 grams kosher salt
1 lemon, cut in half
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
6 sage leaves
2 tablespoons gochugaru (spicy red pepper flakes)
2 cups ice water
For the marinade:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons your favorite barbecue rub
To prepare the brine, combine everything but the ice water in a saucepan over low heat. Warm and stir until the salt is dissolved. Pour the warm, seasoned water into a large freezer bag. Add the ice water, seal the bag (removing as much air as possible) and use your hands to move the liquid around until everything feels cool. Add the chicken breast and allow it to brine for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
Remove the breasts from the liquid and rinse them under cold water. Pat dry with a paper towel. Add them to a new freezer bag along with the marinade ingredients. Once you’ve sealed the bag (with as little air as possible) massage the bag to ensure the breasts are covered in the marinade. Add the bag to the fridge.
When you’re ready to grill, remove the chicken from the fridge and light a fire for direct grilling. Cook the breasts directly over the heat for 6 minutes per side, a total of 12 minutes.
Remove them to a plate and cover them with tin foil. Let the tented breasts sit at least 10 minutes before slicing or serving.