How to make your grilled chicken better: Beat it

I don’t know about you, but when I first started cooking grilling chicken was one thing I could not figure out.  I’d throw a chicken breast on the grill.  Flip it.  Pull it off.  Result: Half was already dry and gross.  Half had pink in the middle.

The problem: chicken breasts don’t come in a uniform thickness.  You can easily have a chicken breast that is 2 inches thick on one side and 1/2 inch thick on the other.  There is no way to cook that completely without overdoing one half.

My solution: Beat it.  I put the chicken breasts I plan to grill in a large plastic bag with whatever marinade I am planning on (barbecue sauce, lemon and olive oil, etc).  Get out my metal ladle, put the bag on the floor and go at it until the chicken is a uniform thickness.  The kids can even help.

At this point, my kids know what I am up to when I start walking over to our rug with a bag of chicken and a metal spoon.  They run and get their ladles and join in the fun.

This time I was using Bryant’s BBQ sauce.  A favorite for KC natives.

I focus on the large ends of the chicken breasts and work to get them even (or much closer to even) with the other half.

The result:  Easily grilled chicken.  I preheat my grill on high, place the chicken on the grill, and then turn the grill down to medium.  I flip the chicken once it has released from the grill (you shouldn’t have to pry it off), which is usually about 5 minutes.  Around 4-5 minutes on the other side and you have tender, moist chicken that is done all the way through.

Bonus: The kids say they “helped cook” the chicken.  And my kids always eat things even better when they’ve helped make it.  This is an easy and safe way for them to help cook chicken without getting completely gross or making a total mess.

Happy cooking!


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