Not to brag or anything, but I make darn good grilled chicken breasts. Like, my-sister-requests-them-for-her-birthday-dinner good.
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts often get a bad rap for being the iceberg lettuce of the protein world…a bland necessary evil but absolutely nothing to get excited about. However, I really struggle with the texture and flavor of chicken thighs or bone-in chicken, so I’ve made it my mission to crack the code on delicious chicken breasts.
My best friend (my Cheese) put me on to brining a few years ago, and it’s become an invaluable tool in my arsenal. I often forget to put chicken in to marinate in the morning before I leave for work, and so what I will often do when I get home at night is make up a brine, throw the chicken in, go for a run, and fire up the grill as soon as I’m back.
Now, I’ve read a number of things on brining, and none of them agree fully. For instance, I haven’t tried putting sugar in my brine (though I plan to). But overall the technique is very flexible and forgiving—and it scales based on how much time you have. You wouldn’t want to use the same amount of salt for an overnight soak as you would for a 30-minute one! And this works equally well for grilling or baking.