Thin & Juicy Grilled Chicken

Chicken plate

Having a garden full of beautiful vegetables makes for easier dinner planning. I’m always on the hunt for easy protein dishes that complement what’s in season. All I have to do is pair a protein with a trip to my raised beds and I’m done, making dinner quick, delicious and healthy.

This grilled chicken is a family-friendly, fresh and juicy dish that’s always a hit. I simply grill it on my stovetop and serve it up with garden vegetables or over a bed of greens for a main course salad.

The key to this chicken is the prep technique for your chicken breasts prior to grilling. I discovered this technique in the incredible, wonderful Home Cooking with Jean-Georges cookbook and it’s a keeper.

Chicken prep

Thin & Juicy Grilled Chicken

Jean-Georges Thin and Juicy Chicken Method:

To get an even 1/4-inch-thick chicken breast, you don’t simply pound away.

Put the chicken breast smooth side down on a work surface. Cut a slit lengthwise straight down the center, stopping 1/4 inch from the bottom.

At the base of the slit, turn the knife 90 degrees and cut along one side to parallel to the bottom of the chicken, but don’t cut through the end. Repeat on the other side.

Open the two flaps you’ve just created. Gently pound the chicken until nice and flat. Now your chicken is prepped and ready to grill.

I often butterfly and pound it out mid-day while the kids are at school and just cover the chicken with a drizzle of olive oil and store on a cookie sheet in my fridge. Then, when dinnertime comes I crank up the grill to medium-high heat, add some salt and pepper and quickly sear it.

For grilling: grill two minutes on one side, flip and do two more on the other side. Repeat, doing two more minutes of each side, but this time laying the chicken in the opposite direction. The goal is to make hashtag marks on the meat— for the pre-Twitter era people, that also means to make it look like the pound sign.

After the chicken is cooked, place on a platter, drizzle with more olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, a handful of fresh herbs from the garden, sea salt and a pinch of red chili flakes. That’s it!