In this recipe post I am sharing my favorite marinade that makes chicken breasts taste the best. I have developed an Italian marinade that can also be used as an Italian salad dressing. The secret to this Italian marinade is the use of red wine vinegar.
First, here is what you will need for the marinade:
1/2 – 2/3 cup red wine vinegar
6 Tbsp. water
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. coarse salt (kosher or sea)
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. cayenne powder
2 tsp. red bell peppers – minced
1 tsp. parsley
1 tsp. sweet basil
Note: You can substitute Italian seasoning for the parsley and sweet basil.
With a whisk, mix the water and red wine vinegar in a medium mixing bowl. While continually whisking, add all of the dry ingredients and minced red bell pepper. Whisk until all ingredients are mixed thoroughly.
For the chicken:
Use a family pack, usually about 4, boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I take a fork and poke the breasts numerous times on both sides so that the marinade will be able to get into the breast. Then I take a mallet, or the butt of my palm, and pound the breast to flatten it out, being careful not to pound it into mush. The thinner the breast, the more evenly it will cook and the faster it will cook which will help keep it moist.
Place the chicken breasts in a 1 gallon zip lock bag and add about 2 tablespoons of the marinade per chicken breast. Then close the zip lock bag and make sure it is secure. Then gently massage the marinade all over the chicken. Place on a plate and let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, but overnight works the best.
Next soak some apple wood chips and add them to the smoke box during the grilling of the chicken breasts to add a smoke-roasted flavor.
Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to 300 degrees. Remember to oil the grates to help keep the chicken breasts from sticking. Grill the chicken breasts about 8 to 10 minutes per side or until done. A meat thermometer should read about 170 degrees.
Remove from the grill and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Note: Top your favorite tossed salad with chilled leftover sliced grilled chicken.