Monday, October 11, 2010

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Garlic and Parsley

Chicken pancetta.

That phrase came to me tonight while I was grilling this recipe that I adapted from Wolfgang Puck's Live, Love, Eat.

Sure you can find boneless, skinless chicken breasts anywhere and they are more healthy and blah, blah, blah, blah.

I see your boneless, skinless chicken breasts and raise you chicken pancetta.

Chicken pancetta is what happens when you grill a chicken breast with skin on, skin side down. The natural fats in and under the skin renders down and crisps the cooked pancetta. You have a problem with that? Run an extra mile or two.

And yeah, you'll notice I'm not using the Big Green Egg to cook these. We are finishing staining our deck so I had to roll the old Brinkmann Charcoal Grill out into the driveway.

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Garlic and Parsley
adapted from Live, Love, Eat by Wolfgang Puck

12 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
4 chicken breasts, boneless SKIN ON
2 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp white wine
1 Tbsp parsley, finely chopped

Blanch the garlic cloves in boiling water for 1 minute. Dice the garlic and mix with the 1/4 c parsley, salt and pepper. The book didn't give an amount for the salt and pepper. I used about 1/2 tsp of each and that worked. Divide the mix in half. You'll use one half for a rub and one half for the finishing sauce.

Work about 2 tsp of the mix under the skin of each chicken breast. If you haven't done this before, just work a finger under one edge of the skin and make an opening. Then you can stuff the mix in and push it around under the skin. This is one of the best techniques you can learn for grilling chicken because as the fat renders down, it "self bastes" the meat with the seasonings and skin.

Fire up your grill to medium high heat. I used 1 chimney full of Kingsford briquettes and 2 splits of cherry wood.

While the cooking times are too short and the temps too high for smoking, the wood does still add some color and flavor in my opinion.

Grill skin side down for 6-7 minutes.

Flip and grill skin side up for about 8 minutes....see that chicken pancetta forming?

Or until the internal temp reaches 160 f. For us tonight, that was right at 8 minutes but use your meat thermometer.

Loosely tent the chicken with foil to keep warm and then melt 3 Tbsp of butter in a sauce pan. Add the other half of the garlic, parsley mix and saute over low heat until the garlic just starts to brown. Add the wine and simmer another 2-3 minutes until reduced. Add the lemon juice and simmer for about 1 minute.

Slice the breasts into medallions. Place on a bed of pasta and spoon some of the sauce over it all.

This was a good one. The only two things I would change the next time are
  1. Double the amount of sauce (pasta needs love too).
  2. Season the backsides of the breasts.
A few people mentioned not being able to find skin on, boneless breasts. I just get split bone in, skin on breast and de-bone them myself. Here's a video from Rouxbe that shows how:

Guest Post Heads Up
Alexis and I are heading to the Eggtoberfest in just a few days, where a couple of thousand of Big Green Egg owners get together to exchange ideas, lies, and recipes. You can count on a full report. Until then....
  • If you are a burglar getting ideas, we have a security system and my two boys will be here. The 21 y/o is a crack shot with his .30-06 and shotgun. Come on over, he needs target practice.
  • But more importantly, I have a great guest post coming on Fire Day Friday from Jenn at Jenn's Food Journey. If you haven't seen her grilling blog, you are missing out. I'm honored to have her fill in for me.


  1. I have NO problem with that delicious chicken skin, and if anybody else does, I'll take theirs :P

  2. What a great idea to use the skin on a boneless breast. I wish our grocery store didn't strip the skin off before they put them in the stiro packs. There's nothing like crisp chicken skin.

    Have fun at your Eggtoberfest.

  3. OH MY GOSH- this looks delectable! I am definately going to try this recipe!

    Have fun at Eggtoberfest! I can't wait to read all about it. Oh, and I don't think you have to worry about burglars at all with your son home!

    Kim in MD

  4. I'm with you and never grill chicken without the skin, but mine usually has the bone too. About the only time I use boneles/ skinless is if I'm going to pound them for a recipe. Yours looks very good. Nice to see you can still cook on that ancient low tech equipment :-).

  5. I'd run 5 extra miles for that! Wow, that looks fantastic. Looks like I'm gonna have to go on a mission for skin on chicken breasts. mmmmmmm!!!
    Thanks for the great promo for my guest blog too! I'm the one that's honored, believe me :)
    Can't wait to hear all bout the Eggtoberfest!

  6. well, seeing as how I have no problem eating PORK pancetta, I highly doubt that I would have any issues eating regular pancetta. And I mean, I should be applauding myself on choosing the chicken version over the pork. Right? Love the garlic and parsley flavors.

  7. You don't have to convince me about crispy chicken skin (or fish skin either). I love it. I have never heard it called pancetta, but I love that name too.I'll be sure and stop by ti visit Jenn on Friday have a great trip. GREG GREG

  8. I sure hope "Live Love Eat" isn't turned into a movie with Julia Roberts being overly self-involved for two hours.

  9. I missed reading your blog and drooling over my keyboard so it's good to be home and caught up - the chicken looks delish - and I've still not had my share of pasta so this might be our weekend meal - I'm anxious to get back into the kitchen!

  10. Julie:
    I'm with you!

    Ours does too. These were bone in chicken breasts originally, I just took a sharp knife and de-boned them myself.

    Kim in MD:
    I think you'll like it. The sauce is very good. Puck says you can pan saute the chicken instead of grilling.

    Ancient is right....check out the front left "wheel" on that grill :)


    Just get bone in, skin on breasts and debone them yourself. I'll upload a video in a second.

    I like the way you think!

    It just sounded good at the time so "chicken pancetta" stuck. It's kind of like pancetta, just not;)


    Pots and Pins:
    Glad you guys are back safely. Really enjoyed the Italian travelogue.

  11. Another great dish. I'd more than nibble this one.

  12. Love the crispy skin! This looks like a fabulous way to enjoy chicken. I hope you have a blast at the eggtoberfest!!!

  13. These looks absolutely fantastic!!!!!!!!!! Love the skin left on. Hey we all need a little fat in our diet.

  14. Great looking chicken there Chris! Have a great time.

  15. Chicken skin is good for you. At least that's what people should be thinking. :) You are so lucky to have a grill at your finger tips! It's hard to get chicken skin that crispy on anything else.

  16. Season the backsides of the breasts.. love the idea in more ways than one.. hahaha... my mind.. lord help it.

  17. Well it looks like that old Brinkman did a mighty fine job! Great photo Chris. I'm with you Chris, leave that skin on! Have a great time at your fest, can't wait to hear all about it. And the disclaimer to the burgler - too funny.

  18. I would definitely do an extra yoga class for this! It would be easy to stretch that sauce will a little more herb, garlic and some (heart healthy) EVO oil. Your f.p. is amazing as always. My favorites are the shots of the chicken skin-side-up and the plated meal. I really enjoyed this post, Chris!

  19. Love your breasts! They look incredible - and the fire is what got me excited - then the video!
    I think - rather, I know, I will be back!

  20. I am loving this chicken...look at all the garlic! It looks perfectly cooked and so moist and tender. Have fun at the Eggtoberfest.

  21. I was told not to use the skin when I cook them, but I am thinking I might go on a skin diet, I bet that would help me loose weight, and I am a willing Guinea pig!

  22. As a big lover of fire and chicken is impossible to grill chicken-skinless!
    In a trance with that pictures - you've done a chicken with a variant of chimichurri and I'm a huge fan of it :)



  23. Chicken pancetta where have you been all my life? How positively delicious! Hope you're having a great time!

  24. yum! great looking recipe!

  25. When I tried once to serve my dad a boneless skinless breast on a bed of spinach he said I didn't love him anymore, so I get it.~Mary

  26. Looks delicious Chris! Have a wonderful time at Eggtoberfest! Can't wait to see your posts from the festivities :-)

  27. Chris - I'm loving the way the chicken looks so clean and fresh on top of the pasta. I keep going back to your picture of the plated meal. It's giving me serious cravings. That garlic and parsley sauce......oh man. I could put that stuff on everything!

  28. That video on how to debone the chicken is very helpful! I'm cooking for a couple of friends tonight and guess what my recipe will be? This one! Thanks for sharing. :)


Comments are moderated and won't appear immediately.