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August 1, 2023

Grilled Chicken

Plain grilled chicken meets its match with this simple marinade of herbs, garlic, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire, and brown sugar. Mix up a batch next time you grill for super juicy chicken breasts.

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grilled chicken sliced on a serving platter
Photography by Gayle McLeod

An Easy Grilled Chicken Breast Recipe

We’re all about the back pocket recipe. Those trusty recipes you can turn to when dinner panic sets in, you’ve got hungry folks to feed, and just the staple ingredients at hand. That’s when we break out recipes like this easy grilled chicken marinade. You can round out the meal with some fluffy Rice, a big salad (like our fresh Pesto Zoodle Salad or Chopped Salad), some sliced fresh veggies and call it a day!

Chicken, olive oil, garlic, thyme, basil, salt, pepper, lemon zest, mustard, Worcestershire & brown sugar in prep bowls

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Ingredients You’ll Need To Make Our Favorite Grilled Chicken Marinade

We’ve extolled the virtues of a well-stocked pantry before, and this recipe is one that leans heavily into those pantry standards. Check out our Pantry Essentials: Condiments guide for more thoughts on stocking up for dinner emergencies!

  • Garlic cloves

  • Dried herbs – Thyme and basil are what we call for, but parsley or oregano would work nicely too.

  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper – Chicken breasts must have proper seasoning!

  • Lemon zest – Even the oldest lemon in the fridge has some life to give this marinade!

  • Dijon mustard – Adds an unmistakable mustardy heat to the marinade.

  • Worcestershire sauce – Impossible to pronounce, and a must-have for delivering a depth of flavor only fermented condiments can bring.

  • Brown sugar – For a little hint of sweetness. Maple syrup would also work in a pinch.

chicken being marinated in olive oil, garlic, thyme, basil, salt, pepper, lemon zest, mustard, Worcestershire & brown sugar

How To Grill Chicken

  1. Marinate the chicken for at least an hour, and up to overnight. Any longer, and the texture of the chicken changes to an unpleasant toughness and can be unsafe to eat.

  2. Preheat the grill on high. Place the chicken on the grill, then reduce the heat to medium-high.

  3. Cover the grill and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until char marks are present.

  4. Flip and cook, turning occasionally, until the internal temperature registers 165°F on an instant read thermometer.

  5. Let the chicken rest. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

4 chicken breasts cooking on a grill
4 grilled chicken breasts on a serving platter with a serving fork

How to Store Grilled Chicken Leftovers + Tips

  • Store leftover grilled chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

  • A simple preparation hack involves freezing chicken in the marinade. Freezing stops the marinating process, and once you place the chicken in the fridge to thaw, you’ll be halfway to dinner time!

  • Grilling tips! The ideal temperature range for grilling chicken is between 425°F-450°F. A hotter grill might make the chicken more prone to sticking to the grill. Sometimes a chicken breast that is sticking to the grill just needs a little more time (30-60 seconds) to easily release from the grill.

  • If chicken breasts are on the small side, test the temperature after both sides are charred.

4 grilled chicken breasts on a serving platter with a serving fork

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Grilled Chicken

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time:  1 hr 5 min
  • Cook Time:  12 min
  • Calories: 367

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¾ teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1¾ pounds)

Method

  1. In a medium bowl or plastic zip-top bag, combine the olive oil, garlic cloves, thyme, basil, salt, pepper, lemon zest, mustard, Worcestershire, and brown sugar.

  2. Add the chicken to the marinade and toss to coat the chicken well. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.

  3. Preheat the grill on high. Place the chicken on the grill, then reduce the heat to medium-high. Cover the grill and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until char marks are present. Flip and cook, turning occasionally, until the internal temperature registers 165°F on an instant read thermometer, 7-8 minutes more

  4. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories367
  • Protein40 g
  • Carbohydrates4 g
  • Total Fat23 g
  • Dietary Fiber0 g
  • Cholesterol114 mg
  • sodium838 mg
  • Total Sugars3 g

Grilled Chicken

Questions & Reviews

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  • Jenn

    The best grilled chicken! Juice and flavorful!

    Thanks Jenn! We are so glad you loved it!