The Best Grilled Chicken Recipe We've Ever Tried

If there is any more basic, reliable protein than a piece of grilled chicken breast, we're not sure what it is. A great grilled chicken breast can be sliced and used in salads or sandwiches, served as-is beside rice, potatoes, or pasta, or chopped and dropped into a soup, wrap, or just about any other food. And as long as you can make a great marinade, you can make a great grilled chicken breast.

As with most foods you grill, once you get your chicken onto the grill, there's not much you can do to improve its flavor other than avoiding overcooking it. So, take the time to prep the meat, not just the marinade, says Maren Epstein, chef and food writer behind Eating Works. "If your chicken breasts are very thick, you can sandwich them between two pieces of saran wrap and use a rolling pin or tenderizing hammer to bang the breasts into thinner pieces, making them about one and a half inches thick," she says. Any thicker than that, and you risk the exterior of the poultry starting to dry out before the interior is cooked. And, of course, make sure said interior gets cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit according to your trusty meat thermometer.

Gather your ingredients for this grilled chicken recipe

Ask a hundred different people for their list of ingredients needed to prepare a great grilled chicken recipe, and you'll probably get a good 90 different lists. But for one fine take on a marinade, grab cup of orange juice (or four fresh navel oranges, juiced), two tablespoons of honey, two tablespoons of dried rosemary, a teaspoon each of dried fennel and thyme, half an onion sliced thin, a quarter cup of soy sauce, a half cup of olive oil, three chopped garlic cloves, and a quarter teaspoon of black pepper.

Oh, and you'll need about a pound of chicken breast with fat and sinew trimmed. That will usually be about three breasts.

Make the marinade for your grilled chicken recipe

First, in case you were wondering, marinade is what you make, and marinate is what you do. So, you make a marinade with which to marinate the meat in this grilled chicken recipe. Okay, now let's make the marinade. In a medium-sized bowl (or a large freezer bag), combine the orange juice, honey, rosemary, fennel, thyme, onion, soy sauce, olive oil, garlic cloves, and black pepper. Stir to combine. (Or shake, as the case may be.)

This is a good time to brush or spray oil onto the (cold and cleaned) grates, and then preheat your grill.

Marinate the chicken for this grilled chicken recipe

Place the chicken inside the bowl, and make sure the breasts are fully submerged in the marinade. (Or, if in the bag, make sure to get excess air out so the liquid surrounds the meat.) Let the chicken sit in the marinade (refrigerated, of course) for up to 24 hours if you can, but for the record, even two hours will work well to infuse that flavor into the meat.

Note that once you remove the chicken, the marinade is trash — don't re-use it, and don't brush it on during grilling. (And certainly not after!)

Start up the grill for this grilled chicken recipe

Now, we'll grill this grilled chicken recipe to flavorful and visual perfection. And food safety standards.

It takes ten minutes to cook an average chicken breast completely through on a grill at medium to higher heat. Cook the presentation side down first, not moving the meat for five minutes. Now, flip the chicken breast over and place it on a new, unused spot on the grates. This will ensure that you get grill marks on both sides of the breast. 

Once the meat reaches 165 degrees inside (or is white all the way through when sliced), it's done and ready to serve in oh-so-many ways.

The Best Grilled Chicken Recipe We've Ever Tried
4.9 from 101 ratings
If there is any more reliable protein than grilled chicken, we're not sure what it is. If you can make a marinade, you can make this grilled chicken recipe.
Prep Time
2.17
hours
Cook Time
10
minutes
Servings
3
breasts
grilled chicken recipe cooked and served
Ready in 2.33 hours
Ingredients
  • 1 pound chicken breast
  • 1 cup orange juice or 4 navel oranges, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary, dried
  • 1 teaspoon fennel, dried
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • ½ onion, sliced
  • ¼ cup Nama Shoyu soy sauce
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
Directions
  1. Brush or spray oil onto the grates and preheat the grill.
  2. Make the marinade: In a medium-sized bowl or freezer bag, combine the orange juice, honey, rosemary, fennel, thyme, onion, soy sauce, olive oil, garlic cloves, and black pepper. Stir to combine.
  3. Place the chicken breasts inside the bowl, and make sure they are fully submerged in the marinade. Let the chicken sit in the marinade (refrigerated) for up to 24 hours. Two hours will work well.
  4. Now, grill the chicken. It takes around ten minutes to cook chicken completely through. Cook the presentation side down for five minutes. Then flip the chicken and place it on a new spot on the grates. This will ensure that you get grill marks on both sides of the breast.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 253
Total Fat 18.9 g
Saturated Fat 3.4 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 36.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 8.6 g
Dietary Fiber 0.8 g
Total Sugars 6.4 g
Sodium 474.9 mg
Protein 12.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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