WOW!!! Grilled Chicken, move out of my way…Said no one EVER! Grilled chicken has been a dieter’s staple for decades. It’s the quintessential healthy food; right up there next to salad, rice cakes and cottage cheese. It’s not a dish that excites the senses. Plus, it’s been done so many times over again, it’s downright boring. That being said, I took on the challenge to create a grilled chicken that you actually want to eat, or more importantly for me, that my construction worker husband would LOVE eating. (Quite the challenge!) But I did it! The ingredients are below, but you also need to pay attention to technique. I’ve learned the hard way (or the over-cooked dry way) that grilled chicken can be an epic chewy failure or an juicy delicious dinner and great leftovers for lunches for the week.
2 lbs boneless chicken breasts
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 Tbsp Sriracha chili sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp honey
Zest and juice of 1 lime
2 additional limes, cut in half.
First and foremost, how you handle the chicken in this recipe makes all the difference. The chicken should be fresh or thawed completely in the refrigerator. I’m not a big fan of defrosting chicken in the microwave. Even on the defrost setting, that method cooks part of the chicken and leaves part frozen. That is a recipe for disaster! (LOL – no pun intended) If you absolutely need to defrost in the microwave, use the defrost setting and take it out of the microwave when it’s still a bit frozen. You can always finish the defrosting process by rinsing the chicken breasts under hot water.
If you’ve had a bad day, you’ll love the next step! You’ll need a gallon-sized storage baggie and a cooking mallet. I have a heavy stainless steel one with a flat side and a pointed side. Place one breast at a time into the storage baggie and using the flat side of the cooking mallet, pound the chicken with the mallet. Your goal is to have the entire chicken breast about 3/4 of an inch thick. When you’ve taken out all of your frustrations on the poor, defenseless chicken, place the breasts in a large mixing bowl.
Combine the olive oil, vinegar, chili sauce, garlic, honey and zest and juice of 1 lime in a small bowl and pour over chicken. Toss gently to ensure that all of the chicken breasts are well coated with the marinade mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
Preheat grill to medium heat – around 450 degrees if you have a grill with a temperate gauge. Or for stove top cooking, you can use a heavy duty grill pan on medium-high heat. Cook the chicken for about 4-5 minutes on one side, you’ll know it’s ready to flip when you can turn it easily with tongs without it sticking to the grill. As soon as you flip the chicken, place the 4 lime halves on the grill, skin side up. As soon as the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160, take the chicken and limes off the grill. (If you don’t already have one, a cooking thermometer is an essential kitchen tool. You can pick a basic one up for less that $10.)
About now, you’re thinking…Let’s eat! So did I. My original intention for grilling the limes was a garnish to make my dish pretty for YOUR eyes. (It’s truth time!) My youngest son, who LOVES to cook (it’s practically his obsession) decides to squeeze the grilled limes over the chicken. This makes all the flavors pop. The spiciness of the Sriracha, savoriness of the garlic and chicken and finally the sweet, tangy sugars of the grilled lime. What would I do without that boy? More to come soon on the Lil’ Chef…He cooks dinner for our family every Wednesday evening. He’s amazing! His recipes are coming soon, so you need to keep visiting my page to see his incredible creations. People…he puts me to shame!
Enjoy this chicken with absolutely no guilt. It tastes great and is great for you.
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