So, the chicken breasts… One of the cheapest cuts you can get, and one might think, quite simple to cook. But here’s the catch – this cut is one of the leanest ones as well, so, to keep it succulent and tender, you will find all kinds of marinating, brining and wrapping techniques suggested in the recipes. No, I am not saying these methods won’t work… On a contrary, they will, and you’ll most probably love the results, but… what if I told you there’s a way to grill an ultimately juicy and tender chicken breast completely fuss-free and ridiculously simple? Do I have your attention now? Good! Let’s go!
So, the ultimate secret of this method – buy a skin on and bone in chicken breast. Reason is it’s two way protection. Skin and it’s underlying fat layer will prevent the meat from drying out, and bone will do pretty much the same once you flip it on your grill. So, bone in and skin on it is. Should you decide to discard the skin despite it’s absolutely mouthwatering crispness – hey, that’s your choice! I serve it skin on.
Spices wise, you may choose any rub you like, or not to rub it at all, going down the minimalistic path using salt and black pepper only… But any of those paths you walk, you will always want to use some really good extra virgin olive oil to rub your chicken breast before moving on. Extra layer of fat will protect the meat from drying out, but the main role of the olive oil is the taste and the color it will give to the meat once it’s done. Oh well, it’ll help the spices to stick to the meat too.
Making a long story short, you’ll need:
- 4 chicken breast halves, skin on, bone in
- 5-6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp spice rub (I use my own from here, but you can do any you like…)
Preparation stage – just rub the meat with olive oil and sprinkle the rub on top.
When grilling chicken skin on, my all times preference is to start with direct grilling on medium heat for about 10 minutes, skin side down, to make the skin nicely browned and crispy, and then flip it to the bone side and continue grilling indirect, medium heat, lid closed, for another 23-25 minutes. The reason for this approach is the skin will protect the meat from drying out, get crispy and tasty, and while flipped, the indirect grilling will ensure the bone side isn’t charred and the heat distribution is equal.
So, preheat the grill to medium heat, place the breasts skin side down on the grates and give them about 10 minutes. If you see flare ups (and since the fat which is melting is going to drip down and there will be flare ups), simply move the chicken to another place on the grates. After 10-11 minutes flip the chicken to the bone side and place on the grates away from the heat. Using a gas grill, simply turn one of the burners off and place the meat above. Close the lid and grill indirectly on medium heat for about 23-25 minutes, or until the instant read thermometer shows you 75-76C (170F).
Let it rest for about 5-7 minutes, slice and enjoy!