Grilling imparts so much flavor to everything, but it is especially useful when using chicken breasts. Pounding them to an even thickness means they cook evenly on the grill. And since chicken breasts have very little fat, and consequently flavor, a little help is needed. This marinade does the trick and yields moist, flavor-filled breasts with a little smokiness from the grill. This is definitely a go-to recipe!
6 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, flattened to an even 1-inch thickness
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1 Tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
l teaspoon finely minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon finely sliced fresh chives
1/2 teaspoon finely minced fresh rosemary
(To pound chicken, place each piece between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound lightly with a meat mallet or rolling pin until the piece of chicken is all one thickness, approximately 1-inch. This allows the chicken to absorb more marinade and to cook evenly.)
Combine all of the marinade ingredients and whisk together. Place chicken breasts into a one-gallon heavy duty freezer bag and pour in the marinade. Expel any air in the bag and close tightly. Turn and massage the bag to coat each piece of chicken with the marinade. Place on a sheet pan and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or overnight, turning occasionally.
One hour before grilling, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and allow to sit on the counter. Preheat grill to medium heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade. Allow excess marinade to drip off of chicken.
Clean the grill grate and lightly oil. Place chicken on the grill and close the lid. Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until chicken has nice grill marks and can be easily lifted from the grate. Turn chicken over and cook for 10-12 more minutes, or until well marked. Test chicken for doneness: press the center with your finger. When chicken is done it will not yield to touch and will feel very firm. A better way to check is with a instant ready thermometer. Breasts are ready to be removed when they reach 160-degrees (during resting the tempt will rise to 165-degrees, which is the desired temperature for chicken). If the chicken is not completely cooked through, reduce the grill heat to low, close the lid, and cook until it is. Check about every 5 minutes.
Remove from grill to sheet pan, cover with foil and let rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.