Well Fed's Best Chicken You Will Ever Eat
The grill is not always kind to our lean, reliable friend, the skinless, boneless chicken breast. But this recipe unlocks the secrets of juicy, flavorful meat with minimal work. Infused with zing from a relatively quick brining and coasted in a fragrant blend of spices, this chicken gets a sexy finish with a drizzle of Moroccan Dipping Sauce (see separate recipe).
For the Brine:
- 2 cloves garlic (leave whole)
- 8 cups water
- 3 tbsp salt
- ½ tbsp coconut aminos (could also use soy sauce instead)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp whole coriander seeds
- 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 2-3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
For the Spice Blend:
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- ½ tbsp ground allspice
- ½ tbsp ground cinnamon
- ¾ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Place the garlic cloves on a cutting board and place the flat side of a knife on top of them. With your first, lightly strike the knife to crack the cloves, then remove and discard the peel.
- Place a 1-gallon zipper storage bag inside a large bowl so it's standing up. Pour the water into the bag, then add the garlic, salt, coconut aminos, bay leaf, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and peppercorns. Stir with your hand the dissolve the salt, then add the chicken to the bag.
- Seal the bag and place the bowl in the refrigerator for 2 hours, then rinse the chicken well, and set it in a colander to dry while you move on to the spice blend. If you want, you can stop here, wrap and refrigerate the chicken, then grill it another day; it will survive in the fridge for 2-3 days.
- If you are going to grill the chicken, go ahead and light the BBQ. Or preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Place all the spice blend ingredients except the olive oil in a small bowl and mix with a fork. Slowly drizzle the oil into the spice blend and combine with a fork.
- Coat the chicken pieces with the mixture. You can either massage it on lovingly by hand or toss it in a bowl with enthusiasm until the chicken is coated.
- Place the chicken smooth side down on a preheated grill, close the lid, and cook for 4 minutes. Flip the chicken, cook for an additional 3-4 minutes with the lid closed, until the chicken is browned and cooked through (or place in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes instead of grilling).
Leftovers don't feel like leftovers when they're sliced and piled atop a salad of butter lettuce, very thin slices of cucumber, and slivered red onion, then dressed with Moroccan Dipping Sauce. From Well Fed by Melissa Joulwan (page 69).