Charcoal-Grilled Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
It's imperative to coat the breasts with a little oil so they don't stick to the grill. Note the short brining time here; the chicken will be finished brining by the time the charcoal is ready.
- 1/2 cup kosher salt or 1/4 cup table salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 1/2 to 1 3/4 ls) tenderloins removed and reserved for another use
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Ground black pepper
- Dissolve the salt and sugar in 1 quart of cold water in a gallon-sized zipper-lock plastic bag. Add the chicken breasts; press out as much air as possible from the bag and seal. Refrigerate until fully seasoned, about 30 minutes.
- Light a large chimney starter filled with charcoal (about 2 1/2 lbs) and allow to burn until all the charcoal is covered with a layer of fine gray ash. Build a modified two-level fire by spreading all the coals over two-thirds of the grill. Set the cooking rack in place, cover the grill with the lid, and let the rack heat up, about 5 minutes. Use a wire brush to scrape clean the cooking grate. The grill is ready when the coals are hot.
- Meanwhile, remove the chicken from the brine, rinse well under cold, running water, and dry throughly with paper towels. Toss chicken in a medium bowl with oil to coat. Season with pepper to taste.
- Cook the chicken, uncovered, smooth-side down, directly over the hot coals until the chicken is opaque about two-thirds up the sides and rich brown grill marks appear; 4 to 5 minutes. Turn and continue grilling until the chicken is fully cooked, about 4 minutes. (If using a glaze or paste, cook for 3 minutes after turning the chicken, brush the glaze or paste on both sides, and cook another minute or so, turning once.) To test for doneness, peek into the thickest part of the chicken with the tip of a small knife (It should be opaque at the center), or check the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer, which should register 160 degrees.
- Transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Serve hot or at room temperature, with a dipping sauce if desired.
Korean-Style Dipping Sauce
Makes about 3/4 cup
Enough for 4 chicken breasts or 6 chicken thighs.
For a Korean-style barbecue, simply divide this sauce in two and dip the chicken into the sauce before grilling. Serve the chicken, sliced, with extra sauce on the side, along with steamed plain short-grain rice and hot Korean pickles known as kimchee. Be sure to use light soy sauce, as the chicken is already well seasoned from the brine. This sauce lends itself best to boneless chicken thighs, as the strong soy flavor is balanced by the richer dark meat.
- 1/2 cup light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp hot red pepper flakes
- 4 scallions, whites and green parts, sliced into thin rounds
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- 2 tsp Asian sesame oil
Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Serve as a dipping sauce with sliced, grilled chicken.
So I didn't snap a picture of the chicken breasts and brining ingredients since they're so basic, but I followed the directions for brining exactly and am pleased with how moist the chicken breasts remained during and after cooking. I once again chose to grill indoors mainly because it was 102F outdoors the day we did these and neither of us really wanted to stand out by the grill! Too hot! I have decided that I desperately need a better vent hood if I'm going to do much more indoor grilling! :) Here is a photo of the ingredients I used for the dipping sauce:
You'll notice that I did NOT use reduced sodium soy sauce (lite soy sauce) because I didn't have any on hand, but I would highly suggest it since the chicken was a bit salty with the brining AND sauce. Next time I'll use the "lite"...just gotta get to the Asian market to get some (darn! just HATE having to go there...LOL!) I did follow the directions for this one exactly as well and then followed the note suggestion to divide it in two and dip the breasts in it before grilling. Here's a picture of the sauce before refrigerating:
This was some great chicken! Here's a picture of the final results. This also reheated well the next day for lunch...
Hope you'll give it a try and let me know what you think! And don't forget, you can click on the thumbnail pictures to see it bigger...