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April 8, 2009

Chicken 101: Grilled Chicken

Meats are often marinaded or brined for several reasons. Turkey and chicken meat, for instance, is very dry because it’s low in fat and marinading it makes it juicer and more tender. When a meat is soaked in an acidic liquid the protein tissue begins to break down and makes room for moisture, therefore making it more tender.

I try to eat healthy so my diet has very little red meat in it (although I do have an insatiable appetite for cheeseburgers which I have to satisfy at least once every few weeks.) This chicken is great because it’s high in protein and has little fat since it’s grilled and not fried. I like to make big batches of it so I can eat it for the next few days. This chicken is perfect for salads, sandwiches, pasta dishes, quesadillas, etc.

This is very easy.

For four servings you’ll need:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 small white onion

2 cloves of garlic

¼ cup white vinegar

2 tbs. water

2 tbs. olive oil

1 tbs. hot sauce

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. black pepper

Cut each breast in two. If either piece comes out too thick slice it in half – they should be about ¾ of an inch thick. Set aside.

In a container of your choosing (tupperware, bowl, whatever) whisk together the vinegar, water, hot sauce, salt/pepper and oil. Roughly chop the onion and garlic and add to the mixture. Place the chicken in the marinade and make sure all pieces are evenly coated. Now cover with a lid or plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 min or up to 12 hours.

When you are ready to cook the chicken remove it from the fridge. Place a grill pan on medium-high heat (grill pans can be purchased anywhere cookware is sold.) Make sure you either spray it with cooking spray or grease it with oil to keep the chicken from sticking. Place the chicken on the grill and cook for 5 to 6 minutes on each side, turning once with tongs. And that’s it.

As for the onions in the marinade: if anyone out there is an onion lover like me, grill the onions too, they caramelize beautifully and taste amazing!

And of course this can also be cooked on an outdoor grill.