Chicken is a nutritious and versatile food that goes well with almost any food imaginable. There are a number of methods that you can use to prepare chicken breasts to achieve different flavors, textures, and serving styles. One of the easiest and most straightforward ways to prepare chicken breast is to grill it. This gives you a crispy, tender and tasty dish that you can enjoy with family and friends.
- 4 chicken breasts
- 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 teaspoons of salt
- 2 teaspoons of ground pepper
Part 1 of 2: Thaw and season the chicken
Step 1. Thaw the chicken breasts in the refrigerator for at least five hours
Frozen meat of any kind should best be slowly thawed in the refrigerator for several hours. If you don't have the time, you can defrost the chicken in cold water for two to three hours, or in the microwave if necessary.
- Thawing in the refrigerator is safer than the other methods because it doesn't expose the chicken to any additional bacteria that can multiply in warmer temperatures. It also helps the meat retain its aroma.
- If you bought the chicken breast fresh (unfrozen), you can skip this step.
Step 2. Mix five tablespoons of olive oil, three teaspoons of salt, and two teaspoons of pepper in a bowl
Mix the ingredients together thoroughly with a spoon or pastry brush. For more flavor and texture, you can add other herbs and spices such as garlic, thyme or fennel seeds to the mixture.
The olive oil enhances the aroma of the meat and helps the spices stick to it better
Step 3. Spread the seasoning mixture over the meat with your hands or a pastry brush
Before cooking each chicken breast, give yourself enough time to coat it with the mixture as thoroughly as possible.
After you've treated each chicken breast this way, you can add salt, pepper, and other spices to add flavor
Step 4. Spray a large baking sheet with baking spray
Spread the baking spray evenly and generously all over the baking sheet. If the meat sticks to the tray while grilling, the seasoning and some of the flavor could be lost.
Alternatively, you can spread a very thin layer of olive oil evenly on the baking sheet
Step 5. Spread the chicken breasts a few inches apart on the baking sheet
Make sure the chicken breasts don't touch. Each breast should get full heat while grilling.
Spreading the chicken breasts a little apart will make it easier to turn them later
Part 2 of 2: Grill the chicken breasts in the oven
Step 1. Place the baking sheet in the oven at a distance of 15 cm from the heat source
The chicken should not be too close to the grill element to prevent it from burning on the outside.
The thicker the chicken breasts, the further away they should be from the grill element. If your chicken breasts are a bit bigger, you should move the baking sheet several inches deeper into the oven, given its thickness
Step 2. Preheat the oven on its grill function for about five minutes
Most ovens only have two grill settings: on and off. However, if your oven has multiple settings, choose the lowest.
Step 3. Slide the baking sheet with the seasoned chicken breasts under the grill element
It is best to use oven gloves so you don't burn your hands. Remember that you are working with direct heat and the oven will be very hot.
For best results, slide the baking sheet into the middle rack
Step 4. Grill the chicken for about ten minutes with the oven slightly open
The oven flap should not be fully open. Leave it ajar, however, so that the steam can escape better.
Too much steam can prevent the chicken breasts from getting crispy on the outside - which is certainly one of your reasons for grilling
Step 5. Keep an eye on the chicken breasts while grilling
To prevent the thinner portions of meat from burning, you can cover the chicken breasts with aluminum foil as soon as they start to turn brown around the edges.
Grilling creates a lot of heat and chicken will burn quickly if you are not careful. The size of the chicken breasts and the temperature of your oven can affect the cooking time
Step 6. Use metal tongs to turn the chicken breasts once they are browned on one side
In general, you should turn the meat after about ten minutes. The top of the chicken breasts should be golden brown at this point. Use long metal tongs to avoid burning your hands on the grill element.
It is best not to use a fork or other sharp objects to turn the chicken breasts. If you prick the meat, the good juices will flow out, making it taste dry and lose its aroma
Step 7. Brush the chicken breasts again with olive oil and spices
This ensures that the meat remains juicy despite the hot grill temperatures.
Brushing the oil and seasoning will also help replace the seasoning that was lost when you put the chicken breasts on the baking sheet
Step 8. Grill the chicken breasts for another ten minutes or until cooked through
Continue grilling until the juice is clear and the center of the meat is no longer pink. The exact cooking time depends on the thickness of the meat.
To make sure the chicken breasts are completely cooked through, you can measure their internal temperature with a meat thermometer. They should be done at a temperature of around 74 ° C
Step 9. Take the chicken breasts out of the oven and let them sit for five minutes before serving
Put on oven gloves to take the baking sheet with the chicken breasts out of the oven. The meat will be very hot, so let it cool down briefly before you eat it.
- If your chicken breasts are too thick or uneven to grill easily, you can use a meat tenderizer to pound them thinner and more evenly.
- For a more health-conscious dish, skin can be removed from the chicken breasts before serving.
- You shouldn't wash the chicken breasts before grilling. Cooking with sufficient heat kills all bacteria and washing would only increase the risk of bacteria-contaminated water reaching the kitchen work surface, stove or other surfaces for food preparation.
- Always wash your hands with very warm water and soap after exposure to raw chicken. The bacteria can be transferred from your hands to other surfaces, so they can make you or your family members sick when they are ingested.