A Family Man’s Guide to Cooking & Grilling: Grilled Chicken Breasts

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It’s about 4:00, and you’re headed home early to surprise the family.  You get home, and the chicken breasts are still frozen, and you’ve got less than an hour before dinner is supposed to be on the table.  Relax, and follow these simple steps.

Marinade.  You can use one of the pre-fabricated mixes (Montreal Chicken is a family favorite) or you can follow one of these two below that I pulled out of a Steve Raichlen (inventor of beer-can chicken) BBQ recipe book.  I use these because the primary ingredients are relatively easy to find around the house (substitute fresh herbs for dry, if you’re in a pinch).  Recipe 2 comes in handy if you’ve got extra beer—it gives you an excuse to quality-test the ingredients.

Recipe 1:         1 lemon (or ¼ cup lemon juice)

                        ½ tsp hot pepper flakes

                        ½ tsp black pepper

                        ½ tsp salt

                        4 strips lemon zest (from the lemon you squeezed)

3 cloves garlic—since it’s marinade & you’re in a hurry, you can peel if you want, but you don’t have to

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley (I use 2 tablespoons of parsley flakes if I don’t have fresh parsley)

¼ cup basil, oregano, or cilantro (or 2 tablespoons of dried leaves)

½ cup olive oil

Recipe 2          2 cups of beer (or one 12 oz beer & about 3 gulps of a second beer)

                        ¼ cup honey mustard

                        ¼ cup canola oil

                        1 tsp salt

                        1 tsp pepper

                        1 onion—just cut it however you want

                        4 scallions (if you have them)

                        4 cloves garlic, smashed

                        2 slices ginger (or about 1 tsp ginger powder)

                        1 tsp paprika

Once you’ve got all the ingredients, take the chicken breasts & put them in a plastic bag.  Mix the ingredients together & pour into the bag with the chicken.  You should be able to get a fully frozen chicken breast melted in about an hour and a half, which is plenty of time to marinate the chicken. 

Once the chicken’s ready, set your grill for about 400-450.  Make sure it’s clean (I usually clean before I cook, instead of afterwards—I read somewhere that the drippings keep the grates from rusting).  I also take a paper towel, put some canola oil on it & use the grill brush to oil the grate before I put the chicken on.  Put the chicken on, and let it sit on the grill for 6 minutes.  Flip the chicken onto a different part of the grill, and let it sit for 6 more minutes. 

If you had a chance to separate some of the marinade before you put the chicken in, you can use it to baste the chicken the last 2-3 minutes (don’t use the marinade, since you can get sick—having sick kids will make Mama hate you).  Take off the grill and enjoy!

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