Grilled chicken gets a bad name. Most people over cook it which leaves it dry and flavorless. However, if you know what temperature to cook the chicken and you have a little flavor help from an easy marinade, you can make a fantastic meal. I originally wrote grilled chicken marinade article for Char-Broil's website but today I'm going to modify it a little bit and include some pics of some awesome grilled chicken sandwiches with bacon, cheese and jalapenos that I've been enjoying lately.
Chicken Marinade Instructions
This is a simple marinade. Mix ¼ cup of olive oil with ½ cup white wine vinegar. Take a whole head of garlic and peel each clove. Rough chop the peeled cloves and toss them in with the oil and vinegar. I usually toss the unpeeled cloves in the microwave for about 8 seconds and then crush them with the side of a knife. Doing this method the garlic clove pops right out for chopping. Lastly add 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and 2 tablespoons of black pepper.
Mix it up!
Note: After making this marinade for a few months now I learned that you can make it even easier by using one of those jars of pre chopped garlic. At first I was repulsed by this idea. Then I tried it and realized the same flavor comes through. So if you want to replace the whole head of garlic, use about 2-4 heaping tablespoons of the jarred chopped garlic.
I have been enjoying marinating chicken drumsticks with this marinade. One easy way to do this is to marinate the drumsticks for a few hours, no more than 8 hours. Put the drumsticks on a smoker for about 1-2 hours at low smoking temperature. Aim for about 250 degrees. The goal is to simply smoke the wings, not cook them. After the hour or so, get your grill going for high heat to finish cooking and to char them a little bit. This is a great snack to make while you are smoking a brisket or pork shoulder. Of course you could skip the smoking step and just grill them.
As soon as the drumsticks reach 165 degrees internal temperature they are finished. At this stage they taste amazing plain, or if you want an easy BBQ sauce to put on top, that will work well too.
As I mentioned earlier, I have been doing this grilled chicken marinade recipe on regular old boneless skinless chicken breasts. I have been making big juicy grilled chicken sandwiches.
Big Grilled Chicken Sandwiches
When you use a medium heat you can cook the chicken breast over direct heat the entire time. This is handy for a quick gas grill cookout. I used my Thermapen and had the thickest part of the breast around 167 degrees.
On man look at that chicken sandwich. As I said, grilled chicken gets a bad name. You invite someone over for a cookout and tell them "we are having grilled chicken..." they will cringe. Try serving these babies and they'll be craving your grilled chicken sandwiches at every cookout. Remember, the key to doing this is to marinate it with the following grilled chicken marinade recipe, grill over direct medium heat (or you can grill the chicken breasts using this method), cook the breasts to 165 degrees, and then use a thick cut bacon, spicy sharp cheese, jalapeno peppers and a fresh pretzel roll. That's a sandwich!!
Grilled Chicken Marinade with Pepper and Garlic
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ cup white wine vinegar
- 2 -4 tablespoons of pre-chopped garlic in a jar; or use a whole head of fresh rough chopped garlic
- 2 teaspoons of kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons of black pepper
- Mix all marinade ingredients into a zip top bag and mix well.
- Add chicken to the marinade and mix well.
- Let the chicken marinate for at least 2 hours and up to about 8 hours.
- Grill chicken until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.