Grilled chicken breasts can be a tricky thing to master. They can easily become dried out when grilled, so I always try to marinate them somehow to infuse more flavor. The cooking method introduced in this recipe seems cumbersome, but the extra steps are important in order to keeps the chicken moist while still developing those fancy grill marks. This was a light and refreshing meal that came together easily on a weeknight. We served it with a Caprese salad (tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil) and some spaghetti lightly dressed with garlic and olive oil.
Grilled Lemon-Parsley Chicken Breasts
Source: Cooks Illustrated magazine, July 2007 issue
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
6 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
1 1/4 teaspoons sugar
Table salt and ground black pepper
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 Tablespoon)
2 Tablespoons water
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6-8 ounces each), trimmed of excess fat
Vegetable oil for grill rack
Whisk together mustard, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 3 tablespoons olive oil, parsley, 1/4 teaspoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in small bowl. Set aside.
Whisk together remaining tablespoon lemon juice, remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, remaining teaspoon sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, garlic, and water in medium bowl. Place marinade and chicken in gallon-size zipper-lock bag and toss to coat; press out as much air as possible and seal bag. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, flipping bag after 15 minutes.
Turn all burners of a gas grill to high and heat with lid down until very hot, about 15 minutes. Scrape grate clean with grill brush. Dip wad of paper towels in oil; holding wad with tongs, wipe cooking grate. Leave primary burner on high and turn off other burner(s).
Remove chicken from bag, allowing excess marinade to drip off. Place chicken on cooler part of grill, smooth-side down, with thicker side facing lit burner. Cover and cook until bottom of chicken just begins to develop light grill marks and is no longer translucent, 6 to 9 minutes. Using tongs, flip chicken and rotate so that thinner side faces lit burner. Cover and continue to cook until chicken is opaque and firm to touch and instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of chicken registers 140 degrees, 6 to 9 minutes longer.
Move chicken to hotter side of grill and cook, uncovered, until dark grill marks appear, 2 to 3 minutes. Using tongs, flip chicken and cook until dark grill marks appear and instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of chicken registers 160 degrees, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to cutting board, let rest, tented with foil, 5 minutes. Slice each breast on bias into 1/4-inch-thick slices and transfer to individual plates. Drizzle with reserved sauce and serve.