With just a handful of pantry staples, you're on your way to the best grilled chicken you've ever had.

Southern Living, June 2015

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Credit: CREDIT: ALISON MIKSCH; STYLING: CAROLINE M. CUNNINGHAM

Recipe Summary

total:
2 hrs 35 mins
hands-on:
30 mins
Yield:
Makes 8 to 12 servings
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A purpose of brine is different from a marinade. Although both can add flavor, brine adds all-important moisture to help the chicken turn out juicy. That matters all the more when cooking boneless, skinless chicken breasts, which are very lean, on the high direct heat of a grill. Brining is easy. Just make sure the salt and sugar dissolve in the liquid, let the brine cool before adding the raw chicken, and make sure the chicken stays submerged. Even a one-hour soak in brine can make a big difference in the juiciness of boneless chicken breasts, but don't leave them in for more than three hours to avoid turning the meat mushy or too salty.

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Stir together first 7 ingredients and 2 quarts of water in a large stockpot. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until salt and sugar dissolve. Remove from heat, and cool 1 hour. Place chicken breasts in brine; cover and chill 1 to 3 hours.

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  • Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat. Drain chicken, discarding brine. Pat chicken dry with paper towels, and sprinkle with desired amount of black pepper. Grill chicken, covered with grill lid, 5 to 7 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from grill. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Tips

This brine will season up to 12 chicken breasts.

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