Dan Goldberg
Total Time
2 Hours 45 Mins
Makes 4 servings

This grilled chicken breast recipe gets its crunchy skin yet moist, tender meat from a final toasting over direct heat. Plus, presalting the chicken breasts and grilling over indirect heat keeps them juicy.

How to Make It

Step 1

Rinse and thoroughly dry the chicken breasts. Sprinkle all over with salt, putting some under the skin. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Let chicken come to room temperature 30 minutes before grilling.

Step 2

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for indirect heat: If using a gas grill, turn all burners to high and close the lid. When the temperature inside the grill reaches 400°, lift lid and turn off one of the burners. The area over the turned-off burner is the indirect heat area. If using a charcoal grill, light 50 to 60 briquettes and let burn until covered with ash, about 20 to 30 minutes. Mound them to one side. The area over the section cleared of coals is the indirect heat area.

Step 3

Brush the grill with vegetable oil. Place chicken skin side down on indirect-heat area; close lid on gas grill. Cook 15 minutes. Turn chicken over, close lid on gas grill, and cook another 10 minutes. Move chicken over direct heat and cook, turning once, until skin is well browned and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Watch carefully; dripping fat or any added oils or butters catch fire easily (a small spray bottle filled with water is handy for taming flames).

Step 4

Test one piece for doneness by cutting into the center. It should be slightly pink (it will finish cooking while it rests). If very pink, move all chicken back to indirect heat, cover grill, and cook for another 5 minutes. Let rest at least 10 minutes before serving.

Step 5

Once you've got the basic method down, try adding different flavors to your grilled chicken:

Step 6

Spice-rubbed. In step 1, sprinkle your favorite spice rub all over the chicken while you're letting it come to room temperature. We like the Indian flavors of 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne.

Step 7

Marinated. In step 1, coat chicken in a zesty marinade while you're letting it come to room temperature. Most vinaigrettes make great marinades for chicken. We like to mix 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary or thyme, 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Step 8

Buttered. In step 1, while chicken is coming to room temperature, rub softened butter onto and under skin. We like to use a compound butter (softened butter mixed with seasonings, herbs, or spices). For one with a bit of kick, we blend 1/4 cup butter with 1/2 minced chipotle chile (either canned, or dried and soaked in hot water until soft), 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Step 9

Herbed. In step 1, while chicken is coming to room temperature, rub herb paste onto and under skin. Pesto (homemade or store-bought) is a good choice.

Step 10

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Ratings & Reviews

September 05, 2016
Now, now Vee, don't you think that was rather rude?  My recipes is simply TRYING to show you a technique, or do you not know the difference?

June 30, 2017
It's a method of cooking.  It also gives you options to flavor the chicken in various ways, or you can use your imagination to add whatever flavors you and your dog prefer.

lfirebrand's Review

September 28, 2010
I followed this technique to grill some marinated bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts. It worked out beautifully! Thank you for sharing this technique for juicy chicken breasts!

Chicken Malai Boti

August 24, 2017
Yummy and delicious. Grilled Chicken Breasts is my favourite dish and really had a good taste. This is same recipe taste and method which I used from last time from recipe network (http://howprices.com/chicken-malai-boti-recipe/   ).Thanks for sharing such a delicious recipe.


October 27, 2017
I put an herb butter (time, rosemary, garlic, lemon juice) under and on top of the skin and then salt & pepper.  I followed the directions exactly and we enjoyed the best ever grilled chicken.   Thank you!!!

JC1271's Review

November 09, 2010
Not great, but it could use more flavoring.

JamesMH53's Review

July 15, 2014

JayshreeN's Review

February 24, 2011

signaturetaste's Review

January 03, 2012
Grilled chicken is a real treat at any time. For a delicious variation, squeeze the juice of some fresh oranges and serve with grilled vegetables. http://imunchie.com/jacob/munchies/grilled-orange-chicken-breast

Anikke's Review

August 02, 2011
To add more flavor; I do it this way all the time. Take some softened butter and whatever fresh herbs you have; mix them together and stuff under the skin. Use the leftover to slather over the top of the chicken and add salt and peppper. It's amazing!