Grilled chicken is a staple on just about any restaurant menu, but if you’re whipping one up at home then it’s time to learn how to make the best grilled chicken ever. You may note that the chicken you’re served up at your favorite restaurant has one thing that your home-cooked version doesn’t: moisture. Yes, it’s true and you know it. Grilling chicken at home can often turn into a cardboard affair. Chicken breasts are notorious for their ability to quickly convert from an edible dish to shoe leather.
So what’s the secret to getting juicy chicken at home? Having a good grill would be a good start, and you can have a look at some Grill recommendations by Kwerto if you’re grill is not up to scratch to cook a meal like this. Well, it’s all in the technique of course. With a few little tricks and tips you will be well on your way to grilling succulence chez toi, so grab your notepad and let’s get started.
The chicken that you know today is a result of a variety of factors. Our present-day chicken’s ancestor originates in India as a common water fowl. This chicken traversed all of Europe before it made its way to North America when English and French settlers set up colonies.
Now, your tasty chicken of today didn’t just emerge as a result of its transport from Europe to North America. The original chickens brought over to the New World had the singular purpose of laying eggs. A by-product of these broiler chickens were chickens sold for consumption.
During WWI red meat was rationed while chicken was not. As a result of greater chicken consumption, greater emphasis on the quality of chicken emerged. In fact, contests were held to encourage producers to produce better chickens. The original broiler chickens produced tough meat as they were free range. The new chicken was more carefully taken care of to produce a softer meat, with a particular focus on breasts and legs.
As the quality of chicken improved so did consumption. Although the prohibition on red meat was lifted once the war was over, the popularity of chicken continued to grow.
The Second World War resulted in women going into the workforce. The end of the war didn’t change the shift in society and having two earners became the norm. Two earners meant zero stay-at-home cooks which in turn meant families needed quick fixers for dinner. Often times these quick fixes came in the form of take out marls or frozen dinners. And you guessed it, a popular and inexpensive dinner often included chicken.
These days chicken isn’t just a quick meal option but rather a healthy food choice. Chicken is a fantastic source of protein and as long as you’re eating the right cut, it’s also low in fat. Of course, if you’re health conscious then you likely want to cook your chicken in the healthiest way possible, and you can’t get much healthier than the grilled version.
The Shoe Leather Problem
The most popular chicken cut for grilling is the chicken breast. It’s chock full of protein and lacking in fat. The lack of fat means a simple grill can suck out what little juice the chicken has and leave something akin to a piece of your old shoe. So how do we get a succulent piece of chicken? Here’s how: Follow along:
Pound it out
Chicken breasts are for the most part thin on the edges and thick in the middle which makes them difficult to cook evenly. What you want to do is take all of your day’s stress out on your chicken. You’re going to slide your breasts into a plastic bag, then using a mallet you’ll pound the breasts until they are uniform in thickness. Make sure you do not pound them out too thin or you will risk drying them out (1” thickness is good, ¾” isn’t bad).
Slip it some salt
Getting the right amount of salt into your chicken will reformulate your chicken protein so that it holds onto moisture better. Combine ¼ cup of salt with 4 cups of water and slide four chicken breasts into the brine. Let the chicken brine for 45 minutes. Once you’ve brined, make sure you rinse chicken and do not add more salt to the chicken when grilling.
Oil your grill and heat it to approximately 400 degrees. Place chicken breasts over direct heat and cook for approximately 2.5 mins. Per side. And voila, you should have a divine, succulent piece of chicken breast.
Your basic chicken breast can be ho-hum but the great thing about this meat is that it takes in flavor like nobody’s business. A simple marinade can take your plain Jane chicken breast from hmmm to the best grilled chicken ever. Try out these simple marinade recipes for a pump of flavor. Try to marinate for at least an hour or even overnight if you can.
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