Chicken Grillin’

For the last few years, I have been cooking chicken breasts for my wife to put on the salads that she takes to work.

The plan was to create a simple and quick recipe, this way I would be able to prepare it every week, no matter how busy I was. Having gotten this process to a place of semi-perfection, (nothing I do ever gets to really be called perfect, just exceptional near misses) its’ time to share what I have learned.

Essentially, I am marinating two large boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a 12 oz freezer bag and letting them infuse with flavor over night in order to be cooked off the next day. I use a basic marinade base – 6 oz salad oil to 2 oz of white vinegar. Different ingredients are added to this base to create a specific flavor. The addition of an acid, the vinegar and lemon juice, break down the protein and tenderize the chicken. The addition of salad oil spreads the flavor over the chicken as well as aids in the grilling process by not allowing the breast to stick to the grill grates.

If the juice of a citrus fruit is added, you may want to reduce the vinegar a little. On the marinades with heavier flavors, try red wine vinegar instead of white. On the liter flavored marinades, try rice wine vinegar instead of white.

The first step is to pound down the thick side of the breasts. (When the handles of my old rolling pin broke off, I converted it to a cutlery bat.) Place the breasts in the freezer bag and close the zip lock. Now, firmly and steadily pound down the thick side with a cutlery bat or the flat side of a meat hammer. Don’t pound is so hard that it tears; five or six good hits all around that area should be sufficient. Flattening that thick end helps them to cook more evenly; locking it in the bag keeps the raw chicken from flying all over your kitchen.

The chicken can be cooked on the grill, or, the entire contents of the bag can be poured into a small roasting pan, covered with foil, and baked at 400 until done. Try cooking it one way, then the other, and you will taste a significant difference in the flavor and texture.

All recipes were seasoned with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

A few more comments that may be useful.

When adding the flavoring to the bag, put half the ingredients on one side and half on the other.

If you are able, flip the bag over a few hours after it goes in the fridge.

Put the bag in a container, it may leak. I learned that the hard way!

When storing the chicken after using the baking process, leave behind the oil, but keep the herbs and onions, or garlic.

Below are the combinations that my lovely wife chose as her favorites.


Dionysus Delight.

1 – 2 Tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped with stems.

Juice from 1/2 Large Lemon. Sometimes I rough chop the squeezed lemon and put that in the bag too.

2-3 Large cloves garlic, peeled, chopped.

Roman Holiday

Basil, 3 – 4 Tablespoons, chopped

Parsley, Flat, 1/2 cup, chopped, leaves and stems

Lemon, Large, 1/2, squeezed for the juice

1-2 Large cloves of fresh garlic, peeled, chopped.

Sub salad oil for olive oil.

Mexican Holiday

One half of a medium sized onion, peeled, med dice

Cilantro, 1 cup, chopped, stems and leaves

Cumin, 1Tablespoon

Chili powder, 1/2 Tablespoon, optional

Liquid smoke, 1/4 Teaspoon, optional

Picnic in Brittany

Basil 3-4 Tablespoons chopped, leaves and stems

Parsley, Flat, 1/2 cup, chopped, leaves and stems

1/2 Teaspoon green peppercorns, in brine, crushed

Half of a medium onion, peeled, med dice

Picnic in Brittany – the following weekend

3 Tablespoons of rosemary, chopped

1/2 Lemon, large, squeezed for the juice

1/2 Table spoon, capers, chopped

1 Garlic clove, peeled chopped

Happy Cooking and be thankful for what you have !

3 thoughts on “Chicken Grillin’

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