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Searching for grilled chicken breast recipe (no turning)

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Years ago a friend shared a recipe for marinated boneless chicken breasts on the grill, which you cooked without turning. I lost the recipe.

This is what I remember. You took boneless chicken breasts and marinated them a few hours in a mixture containing things like lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, and fresh tarragon I think.

The marinade was thick. You cooked the chicken breasts (covered in the marinade) on the grill without turning them. They were tender and delicious.

I think the recipe came from the midwest, Illinois region. Sound familiar?

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  1. I don't know that particular recipe, but I use Brianna's Mandarin dressing, and while I turn mine, the real key is cooking on low heat. The breast doesn't dry out and the longer time allows for some nice surface caramelization.

    The marinade in this recipe has the most delicious flavor, I'm sure it would be wonderful on breast meat, too, and even with tarragon in place of rosemary, using regular lemons: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/an...

    1. I'm not sure how you could cook anything on a grill successfully without turning it.

      Even on indirect heat you still need to move your protein or it will cook unevenly.

      Turning isn't much of a bother...

      A good marinade is Dijon mustard, soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic and the herbs of your choice, plus a little olive oil.

      2 Replies
      1. re: C. Hamster

        The no turning is what makes this recipe different. You don't turn it and don't need to. It cooks just fine.

        Hoping someone who makes this recipe recognizes it. I have combed the internet, can't find it. I got the impression it's popular in the Chicago area. Fingers crossed. Thanks.

        1. re: C. Hamster

          I imagine it could work fine as long as the grill is closed during cooking.

        2. Are these breasts paillards? If not it would be hard to cook them evenly.

          Maybe you should start by looking at recipes for Chicken Tikka. That's grilled still covered with the thick, yogurt-based marinade.

          1. Are you talking about grilling them in say an aluminum pan with enough of the marinade to completely cover them, sorta like a braise? Never seen anything like that. Interesting thought...

            1 Reply
            1. re: THoey1963

              Thanks Grey, it wasn't Chicken Tikka, no yogurt.

              TH, It is interesting. Basically it was boneless chicken breasts, either thin or pounded down a little and cut in half. Marinaded in a lemony, mustardy, tarragon mixture, then put on the grill with marinade all over it, grill cover put down, (I think that's the key),cooked for several minutes and then it's done. No need to flip it, all cooked through.

              This sounds weird I know, but the recipe was given to me by a friend who's no longer with us, and it worked. I made it 20 years ago, and for several more years until I lost the recipe, and my friend.

              She was from Illinois, and I got the impression it was a popular recipe in her neck of the woods. I just bought a new Weber grill, so if this recipe turns up, I'll be making it, happily. ;-)

            2. I almost always cook chicken parts, with skin and bone, on indirect heat with no turning. Turns out perfect, evenly cooked chicken every time. I lay out marinated, cut up parts across the center of my gas grill, after preheating the grill to about 400 and wiping the grates several times with oil. Before placing the chicken on the grill, the center burner is turned off and the other two turned to a medium-low level, low enough to keep the chicken at a constant 350 or so temperature. Takes about 45 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of the parts.

              If you're asking about the marinade, what you've described should be pretty easy to replicate. If I were making this for like four boneless breast halves, I'd start by whisking the juice of a whole lemon or two, a tablespoon or two of dijon mustard, and salt and pepper, then whisk in a couple of glugs of olive oil, and a handful of fresh tarragon, chopped. I've done this kind of marinade using white wine instead of lemon juice, which is equally nice. The dijon mustard makes the marinade creamy.

              Good luck!

              1 Reply
              1. re: janniecooks

                Thanks Janni,

                Since it may be unlikely I'll get the exact recipe again, I'll make it as close as I remember it, which would be: Olive oil, dijon mustard, lemon juice, fresh tarragon, salt/pepper, maybe a teaspoon of honey. It may be the honey and mustard that made it thick.

                Thanks for the tips.

              2. This recipe was originally published in 1995 Taste of Home (popular Midwest cooking magazine) and does not mention turning the chicken while grilling.

                http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Gr...

                3 Replies
                1. re: MidwesternerTT

                  Wow, congrats on finding that recipe based on Trish's description. I'm amazed.

                  Reading the recipe, I am surprised. I was thinking it would be a "low-and-slow" recipe (with vents nearly closed, and with chicken not over the hot coals but off to side). If it's low-and-slow, then flipping doesn't make a huge difference, whereas flipping definitely makes a big difference if you're directly over hot coals (and rotisserie or spit-roast is the ultimate -- essentially flipping continuously). But this recipe says "Grill chicken over hot heat..." so it's not low-and-slow at all.

                  1. re: drongo

                    Actually, that recipe is pretty minimalistically written and I read it as implying that the chicken should be turned periodically, as anyone who grills over high heat would know.

                    Nice piece of detective work finding it though!

                  2. re: MidwesternerTT

                    TT, Thank you for some fine detective work, most appreciated! Not sure it's the one, but you know what, it's all good! I'm gonna experiment a little using your recipe as a starter base and we'll see how it goes!

                    Trish