Thursday Recipe Exchange – Grilled Chicken

From our Food Goddess, TaMara:

I had a request to do some grilling and picnic recipes for the next few weeks (thanks Yutsano). We’ll traverse the table: meats, vegetables, side dishes and desserts. By July 4th we should be covered.

Tonight we’ll start with grilling chicken. I have a stockpile of marinade and grilling recipes for chicken breasts. I may be in the minority, but when it comes to many chicken dishes, including bbq and fried chicken, I prefer thighs. They have more flavor and are moister. The introduction of boneless thighs was like a culinary miracle as far as I was concerned.

When I am using marinades, though, I actually prefer boneless breasts. Similar to pork loin, they take on whatever flavors are introduced and cook up quickly. When using a marinade, I think their blandness proves more of an asset than a deficit; they are kind of like a blank canvas for introducing flavors.

And for busy weeknights, nothing is quicker and easier than pulling marinated chicken breasts out of the refrigerator, doing a quick stir-fry or grilling them and serving with rice and a salad. I have three recipes to get us started:

Cranberry Grilled Chicken (recipe here) is one of my favorites and anyone who has read this blog, knows I LOVE cranberries.

And Sunrise Chicken (recipe here) is a great citrus based marinade.

Tonight’s feature recipe is a marinade that is meant for grilling. Grilling gives the marinated breasts a nice crust. It can also be used on pork loin or boneless pork chops, though I prefer apple cider or cranberry juice to the grape juice in that case.

So what do you look forward to the most at a picnic? What’s your favorite thing to grill?

Fruit Juice Marinated Chicken Breasts
4 chicken boneless breasts
½ cup grape or cranberry juice
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup wine
2 tsp crushed garlic
zip lock bag or sealed container

Add all ingredients into zip lock bag and thoroughly coat & let marinate overnight. Grill 15 minutes each side, 165 degrees internal temp.

When grilling, to avoid drying chicken out, sear on each side (about 5 minutes each side), cook 5 additional minutes for each side, baste with marinade if desired, then move away from high heat for rest of the cooking time. The thickness of the chicken breasts makes a difference here, so adjust accordingly.

You’ re on your own tonight. I’ve been asked to film a drumming on Sunday and tonight is going to be a trial run. Should be fun.

28 replies
  1. 1
    Yutsano says:

    Dammit. This came up as I’m laying here starving. :)

    I have an affinity for pork chops grilled. I unfortunately am the only person in my family who does. My brother marinated some in an apple soda marinade that he hasn’t shown me yet. He said it was fantastic.

  2. 2
    Mnemosyne says:

    I’m not much of a griller since our lease forbids it, but I always want to try to make huli huli chicken.

  3. 3
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    You gotta post these threads earlier. I can’t stay up til 11pm on Thursday night just to make an appearance in the food thread.

    I was forced to mingle with the proletariat in the other threads in an effort to kill time. One of my comments touched a comment by David Koch and now I feel icky.

  4. 4
    Corner Stone says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Good God.

  5. 5
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I prefer thighs

    .. and I said, well, that’s one thing we got.

  6. 6

    City living and grilling are hard to mix… grilling and gardens are the two things most sacred when backyards are a rarity. It’s an area of cooking where I still feel like a nervous n00b, so I can’t offer much… but Serious Eats has been very grilling focused since before Memorial Day so there are lots of recipe options there. Personally I’ve always had a soft spot for Rick Bayless, so I’d probably butterfly a whole chicken and do it Mexican Roadside Style and serve it with elote.

  7. 7
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Is that Frank’s RedHot on the chicken?

  8. 8
    Wag says:

    I start my thighs (I agree, best cut for grilling) skin down on a cold grill. Light the gas and let the fat slowly render as the grill heats, leading to REALLY crisp skin. This techniques works even better in a pan, but the grill is the place to be in the summer. After the fat is rendered and the skin is crisp, flip and o just what ur goddess suggests- sear and them move to indirect heat to finish.

    I like rubs more than I do marinades. Salt, your choice of fresh herbs and garlic make it great.

  9. 9
    Yutsano says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: For you, it could be. It could be.

  10. 10
    presque vu says:

    My grilled chicken favorites are:

    Bufalo Chipotle marinated wings, 1 bottle per 5-6 lbs. (These are almost better if overcooked and rewarmed smothered in a good barbeque sauce.) Recently tried it with boneless thighs and found it equally good.

    Thai sate using recipe from Easy Thai Aussie Women’s Weekly cookbook. Most recent batch was 2″ cubes from some truly huge breasts, threaded on metal cable skewers.

    Viet grilled breasts.

    Spatchcocked whole bird with paper towel dried skin dry rubbed.

  11. 11
    Suffern ACE says:

    OK. I actually have one that I have grilled a few times for company from a fake SE Asian cookbook that I have.

    2t black peppercorns
    5 cloves garlic
    3T chopped cilantro roots and leaves (more roots than leaves)
    1t fish sauce
    pinch of salt
    In a mortar, blender, or food processor, grind the above to a paste.

    6 pounds chicken
    4-6T fish sauce
    4T pepper paste (from above)

    Mix fish sauce and pepper paste. Add chicken and let marinate for 1-3 hours.

    1/2C rice, cider or cane vinegar
    1/2C sugar
    2 cloves garlic (minced)
    1+1/2t red pepper flakes

    Mix the above for a side sauce.

  12. 12
    desertflower says:

    Last night I took some chicken breasts, rubbed some cumin and garlic on them,squeezed some fresh lime juice on them and stuck them all on the grill pan. As the chicken was cooking, I grilled a large onion with a little butter until they caramelized a bit. When the chicken was done, I sliced it, put it on a tortilla, added some of the grilled onions on top, and then some guacamole on top of that. Yum! Easy and delish.

  13. 13
    LittlePig says:

    Whoa lawdy, I’ll have to give this one a whirl. Usually I’m a honey+red wine vinegar+water (and thyme and rosemary) kinda guy, but I loves me some cranberry (to a tune of a liter a day..)

  14. 14
    LittlePig says:

    @Suffern ACE: What you’re fish sauce of choice? (and yes, as my Otakou son reminds me, the hira/kata-gana will be jake).

    I’m only an egg on this one.

  15. 15
    Suffern ACE says:

    @LittlePig: Rufina patis from the Philippines.

  16. 16
    Origuy says:

    Anyone know where I can get peri-peri sauce? It’s originally from Mozambique; the Portuguese brought it back. I had peri-peri chicken in Carlisle, England at a chain restaurant called Nando’s. There are a few in DC and Maryland, I see. You would think I could get the sauce in the Portuguese area of San Jose, but I haven’t been able to.

  17. 17
    Yutsano says:

    @Origuy: Amazon has it. But you might try Trader Joe’s, they sometimes get neat stuff like that.

  18. 18


    You can make your own easily. I seem to recall a recipe on Tamara’s website.

  19. 19
    Schlemizel says:

    @Sarah, Proud and Tall:
    I didn’t know Tamara had her own web site, care to share the url?

  20. 20
    ExpatDanBKK says:

    @Origuy: Ooooo, I loves me some Nandos!!! Nando’s sells the sauce at their stores. Well at least they do in Oz. I always pick up a bottle or three when I’m down there. I prefer the Hot over the Extra Hot due to the later’s IMHO excessive vinegar content. YMMV.

    Oh look, you can mail order it in the States:

  21. 21
    Randy P says:

    Is this thread still alive? I just got a bunch of rhubarb at the farmer’s market. I always snag it when I see it because farmers never seem to have it very long.

    But we always make it the same way. Does anyone have any suggestions for new things to do with rhubarb? My wife just cooked a couple of stalks with apples instead of strawberries, and that worked very nicely. Other thoughts?

  22. 22
    ExpatDanBKK says:

    @Suffern ACE: That’s a form of Thai “Gai Yang” (which just means BBQ chicken). I prefer a recipe I got one of the street cart vendors in my neighborhood gave me years ago that’s been modified along the way by Mrs ExpatDan, she of Thai/Indian/Chinese extraction so obviously has good food sense in her genes LOL. We call it BFC (Bangkok Fried Chicken):

    1Kg chicken parts (yes, thighs/legs are best)
    2 cups coconut milk
    1″ piece galangal, chopped fine
    2T cilantro roots (stems OK, roots better), chopped fine
    10 cloves garlic, chopped fine
    2 stalks lemon grass, bruised then chopped fine
    3T dark soy sauce
    3T oyster sauce
    1T Thai or Indian yellow curry powder
    1T sesame oil
    1T palm sugar (more or less to taste)
    1t white pepper, finely ground
    3T fish sauce (more or less to taste)
    5-10 Thai mouse poop chillis (prik kee noo), chopped fine (optional)

    Mix everything together, adjusting the amounts of sugar & salt as needed). Pour over chicken parts, mix to coat, making sure some marinade makes it between the skin and meat. Cover and marinate in the fridge overnight.

    Best cooked over real wood fire. Remove chicken from fridge and let stand 20 minutes or so (never cook meat straight from fridge). BBQ as normal. You can use the remaining marinade as a baste, but then throw it out (CANNOT use as a dipping sauce).

    Suffern ACE’s dipping sauce is exactly what serve with this dish, but I enjoy it on its own (we use the chillies in the marinade) just as well.

  23. 23
    Schlemizel says:

    @Randy P: I have made a couple of sauces for fish & meat with rhubarb.
    This one is OK but not my fav:
    2 c rhubarb cut into small pieces
    1/2 c tomato sauce
    3 Tbsp olive oil
    2 tsp sugar
    1/2 c water
    simmer for about 30 minutes – you can sieve out the lumps or leave them in.

    This one I liked, particularly with grilled chicken or pork
    1 large onion, thinly sliced
    2 Tbsp butter
    1 lb rhubarb chopped into pieces
    2/3C orange juice
    2 Tbsp honey
    1 1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
    1/4 tsp cinnamon
    1 tsp tomato paste
    1 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp black pepper
    1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

    In a large sauce pan, brown the onion in the butter. Add the chopped rhubarb & stir till heated. Pour in the orange juice and continue heating until the rhurbarb is very soft (about 15 -20 minutes). At this point you can strain the stuff if you want to get the fibers out (I do but not everyone thinks they are a problem). I mash it through a strainer to squeeze out the juices. Put the liquid back into the sauce pan and add everything else except the mint. Bring it to a gentle boil and stir while it reduces a bit (10 minutes). If you are going to serve it right away toss the mint in after you take it off the heat. If you are saving it for later add the mint then so that it is still fresh.

  24. 24
  25. 25

    @Randy P: If you’re still around, this is an amazing drink using rhubarb:

    Rosemary Lemon Rhubarb Drink

  26. 26

    @Origuy: And here is the piri piri recipe that Sarah was talking about:

    Piri Piri Sauce

    And it was actually given to me by another BJ commenter.

  27. 27
    Svensker says:

    Late, as usual, but I’ve got two fabulous grilled chicken recipes, if I do say so myself, and I do.

    First is za’atar chicken — mix zaatar with crushed garlic, salt, olive oil and lemon juice. Spread over chicken. Marinate if you like, or grill right away. Delicious with middle eastern sides like tzaziki, hummus, grilled pita brea, Greek salad, etc.

    Second is a riff on a southwestern recipe I’ve been changing myself. It works really well on boneless chicken breasts.
    2 ancho chilis, seeded
    1-2 jalapenos, seeded
    2 garlic cloves
    handful fresh coriander/cilantro
    juice of 1 or 2 limes
    olive oil
    1 teaspoon cumin

    Whiz everything in the blender — add olive oil or a splash of water to get moving if it’s too thick. Makes what looks like a vivid green smoothie. Put chicken in non-reactive bowl or pan and pour over the sauce. Let sit a few hours to overnight, then grill, turning frequently. Serve with sour cream on the side. Different and delish.

  28. 28
    Schlemizel says:

    Ah – i didn’t realize that was the place – THANKS!

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