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Herbed Grilled Chicken Breasts


Serves 4

This could be the easiest—and juiciest—chicken you grill all summer. Pounding boneless chicken breasts into paillards minimizes cooking time so the chicken doesn’t stay on the grill very long, and thus doesn’t have time to dry out. When making paillards, keep the seasonings simple: salt, pepper or hot chile flakes, garlic, herbs, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and most important, olive oil, which adds flavor and moistness and keeps the chicken from sticking to the grill.
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  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each), trimmed and rinsed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Crushed red chile flakes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, flat-leaf parsley, or other fresh herb
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, plus 4 lemon wedges for serving
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil; more for drizzling

Lightly wet a chicken breast with cold water and set it between two sheets of plastic wrap. Pound it into a broad, flat sheet about 1/4-inch thick (called a paillard), using a meat pounder, the side of a heavy cleaver, or a skillet. Pound the other breasts into paillards the same way and arrange them on a baking sheet.

Generously season each paillard on both sides with salt and pepper and a pinch or two of chile flakes. Sprinkle both sides with the garlic and rosemary. Drizzle both sides with the lemon juice and olive oil and pat into the meat with your fingertips. Refrigerate the paillards for 20 minutes while you prepare the grill.

Heat a gas grill to high or prepare a hot charcoal fire. Brush and oil the grill grate.

Arrange the paillards on the grill grate and grill until cooked and firm to the touch, 1 to 2 minutes per side. (Use a long, wide spatula to move and turn the paillards.) Transfer the paillards to a platter or plates. Drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately with lemon wedges for squeezing.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 330, Fat (kcal): 17, Fat Calories (g): 150, Saturated Fat (g): 3, Protein (g): 40, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 11, Carbohydrates (mg): 3, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 2, Sodium (g): 590, Cholesterol (g): 100, Fiber (g): 0,

Photo: Ben Fink

I’ve made this many times. This is a beautiful and flavorful dish that is easy to make, perfect for serving guests because the chicken turns out perfectly everytime! One of my go-to recipes for grilling chicken.

This was the juiciest, tastiest grilled chicken I think I've ever had!

Husband said "best, grilled chicken breasts ever!" Admittedly, I brined the chicken using Steven Raichlen's brine recipe (1/4 cup each kosher salt & brown sugar, 12 peppercorns, 2 bay leaves, 1 red chile thinly sliced which I omitted, 1 cup hot water to dissolve salt & sugar, then add 3 cups very cold water, 1 lemon sliced, 1 small onion sliced and 2 cloves crushed garlic). Covered paillards with cooled brine and refrigerated for 2 hours. My paillards were closer to 1/2-inch thick so I used a slightly cooler grill to accommodate increased cooking time. When seasoning the breasts, I salted judiciously due to salty brine, used fresh rosemary and omitted chile pepper due to tummy sensitivities. Also, did not finish with additional olive oil and lemon juice after cooking. Still, the chicken was absolutely delicious and the entire family enjoyed it.

I agree, fast and very moist and delicious. I would hold back a bit on the spices next time.

This chicken turned out extremely moist and flavorful. I used cilantro because it was the only herb on hand.

I agree with the other reviewers - this is fast,easy and delicious. I had tarragon in the garden, so used that and it was wonderful. LOVED the lemon and oil splash at the end. Will certainly become a favorite.

These are really tasty, one of my tried & true summer recipes. Make extra to add later to a caesar salad.

The chicken came out surprisingly moist and extremely flavorful. We tried the recipe on our dinner guests and everyone enjoyed the contrasting flavors of the spices and the freshly squeezed lemon juice. I've been instructed to pass along this recipe to share with the rest of my family and friends.

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