BBQ 25 Chicken

I’ve said this before – I am not a big fan of boneless/skinless chicken breasts. They almost always end up being kind of dry and flavorless.  But my dear wife likes to have some around for lunches and chicken salad, so I decided to give this version from Adam Perry Lang’s  BBQ 25: The World’s Most Flavorful Recipes-Now Made Fool-Proof a try. I figure anything brined and basted can’t be all bad.

The Brine
8 – 12 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grated or finely chopped red onion
2 cloves grated or finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons chopped scallions
1 bunch fresh marjoram or basil
1 bunch fresh thyme
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
Juice of one lemon
4 cups cold water

Combine everything but the chicken in a zip-top bag. Mix to combine. Add the chicken and turn to cover. Stash in the fridge for at least 3 hours, overnight is best.

The Glaze
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons chopped scallions
1 bunch fresh thyme, leaves only
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots

Combine all of the glaze ingredients in a shallow, flame-proof pan (a disposable 9×13 foil pan works great).

The Cook
Set your grill up for a direct cook at medium high (400°F) heat. Set the pan containing the glaze on the grill and heat until the butter melts. Stir the glaze to combine all the goodies, then remove the pan from the heat. I set mine right next to the Big Green Egg to keep it warm and handy.

Remove the breasts from the brine and put them on the grill. Grill the breasts 10 minutes on one side, flip and baste with the glaze. Grill 5 minutes on the second side. Brush with the glaze and grill for 5 more minutes. Flip, brush, and grill until just this side of done – the juices will be just a little pink  and the internal temperature of the chicken hits 155°F.

Remove the breasts from the grill and set them in the glaze pan. Turn them to coat with the glaze. Return the pan to the grill and heat until the glaze comes to a boil and the internal temperature of the chicken hits 160°F (about 5 minutes).

Remove the pan from the heat. Let the breasts rest for 10 minutes in the glaze before serving. Top with remaining glaze.

The Verdict: ★★★★★
Another winner from Lang’s BBQ 25! The breasts stayed moist and tender from the brine while picking up all the buttery/herby deliciousness of the baste. They not only made an excellent dinner, but were also great for lunch the next two days. Even nuking them in the microwave at work didn’t dry them out. Now that’s the test of a juicy chicken breast.