Grilled Chicken Breasts that are Better Than Mom's

Note use leftover grilled breast in Santa Fe Chicken Soup Of course if truth be known I don’t remember mom ever grilling a Chicken breast. Just the same if she did I’m sure she would have trouble toping mine. You see, since I have never really been a very big fan of white meated chicken breasts I had to reach way down into my bag of tricks to make boneless grilled chicken breasts worthy of my discerning palate. I remember the day like it was yesterday.

My wife loves chicken breasts and I used to bring home chicken thighs. This was long before I became the wonderful and thoughtful husband that I have become. One day after years of having it my way I noticed chicken breasts on sale and thought it might be nice if I fixed some for my deserving wife. So I grabbed some cheap chicken breasts for the wife and kids and a big rib eye for me. I might be thoughtful but I wasn’t stupid. Once I got home I informed my wonderful wife that since I appreciated all that she does I was going to fix dinner and would be serving her favorite, grilled chicken breasts. Of course she was ecstatic. Who wouldn’t be?

After helping my wife to a chair, (out of the blue she was feeling a little wobbly, probably overcome with joy), I began to mix up a sauce for my rib eye. Ever since the old days where I was cooking in the Marine Corps I used to use a simple combination of ingredients on my hamburgers and steaks to bring out that natural caramelized favor. So just as in the days of old I grabbed some fresh garlic, olive oil, onion powder, black pepper and soy sauce and mixed it all together and slammed my big thick juicy rib eye into it.

Now let me share a secret with you. Not just any soy sauce will do to enhance the flavor of the meat. To get that natural caramelized flavor you must use the very cheapest of soy sauces. Do not, I repeat, do not use the naturally fermented type soy sauces that are all the rage in the fancy oriental restaurants. No, those are only for folks who don’t understand the delicate balance of chemicals needed to bring out the nuances of the natural caramelized, grilled meat products flavor.

Once my steak had marinated for the required minimum amount of time, (15 minutes), so as to take on the natural flavor of the sauce I placed the boneless chicken breast in the residue and commenced to firing up the grill. Once the grill was hot I cooked the breasts on medium heat until about half done and then threw my steak on. I like my steaks medium rare which means about 4 minutes on each side on high heat if the steak is at least an inch and a quarter thick. Soon the steak and the chicken breasts were done. My steak was delicious and so were the chicken breasts. In fact I tried some of the chicken and I actually liked it too. Now I bring home several pounds of boneless chicken breasts whenever they are on sale, which is quite often and soak it in my sauce for that natural caramelized flavor that can not be beat. It’s good enough to make mom jealous. Recipe below:

Place chicken breast in bowl. I always cut my chicken breast in half because one side is so much thinner than the other and will cook quicker. I hate dried out chicken. Then add several ounces of cheap soy sauce. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil. Generously shake some onion powder into the bowl with black pepper and a couple of cloves of garlic smushed through a garlic press. Mix everything together and allow to sit for fifteen minutes or so and then grill away. I know this recipe is a bit vague but the truth is I never measure. Besides if I gave you the exact measurements then I may have some trouble winning the next Pillsbury Cook-off. Not that I don’t trust you but….

by John Smith-author of Confessions of a Butcher-eat steak on a hamburger budget and save$$$. Available from Ark