Introduction: Smoked Chicken Breast Using Unconventional Marinade
When your significant other doesn't let you grill those beautiful pieces of red meat so that you can "live longer and healthier", you have to compromise. And that compromise might very well be fat free, lean chicken breast!
For this reason, I have developed this recipe. We all know how dry chicken breast meat can be when you BBQ it and you can't really cook it to rare/medium rare. But long gone are those dry chicken breast days, because now you can follow this recipe and enjoy some delicious BBQ, the healthy way.
Step 1: Preparing the Marinade
Brine solution not only does wonder for turkey meat but for chicken too. And to add the extra kick of flavor, why not try to add some spices to it?
In order to prepare the marinade for two chicken breasts, you will need the following:
1 stick of cinnamon
1 tea spoon of cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
5 pieces of cloves
4 pieces of cardamon
Few slices of ginger
Dry roasted chilli (to taste)
1 tea spoon of garlic
1 tea spoon of paprika
1/2 tea spoon of coriander powder
1/2 tea spoon of garam masala
2 tea spoon of salt
Add all these spices to 4 cups of water and stir them for a bit to mix the powdered spices and the salt with the water. Once everything is mixed, put them on the stove and let the mix come to a boil. After some time, the water will start to boil like this:
Once the boiling start, leave it like that for 2 - 3 minutes and then remove the mix from the heat and enjoy the smoke coming off the marinade for a minute :)
After a minute off the heat, pass the marinade through a strainer in order to remove all the suspended spices and produce the perfect liquid marinade.
Let the marinade sit for as long as needed in order for it to come down to room temperature. If you are impatient, let it sit in the refrigerator for a hour or so.
Step 2: Marinating the Chicken Breasts
Once the marinade has cooled down to the room temperature, take a ziplock (or any other form of bag that can hold the marinade) and pour all the marinade into it. Then dunk in two chicken breasts into it, making sure that the marinade is covering the chicken breasts completely.
Seal the bag and put it in the freezer. You need to let the chicken breasts soak in all the goodness of the marinade for at least 12 hours but anything more than that will not bring the world to an end. Due to my work schedule, I marinated the meat on evening and cooked it the evening next day (so 24 hours of marination).
Step 3: Getting Ready to BBQ
Once the meat has been marinated, take it out of the freezer, drain all the marinate and let it warm up to room temperature. This is utmost important! Do not grill a cold piece of meat!!!
As the chicken breasts are cooling down, go ahead and grab some of your favorite side veggies. I used some tomatoes, red onions and potatoes. Heads up: potatoes take a long time to smoke (3 - 4 hours, depending on your grill). Dice the veggies up into nice chunks (leave the onion as big piece if you would like) and season them with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Now that you have everything ready (assuming you have given enough time for the meat to rest and come to room temperature), you can move to the fun part: BBQ!!!
Step 4: BBQ-ing!
Since I have a standard propane based grill, I had to smoke using an additional equipment. There are loads of ways to smoke meat in propane based grill (if you google/youtube, you will find all the different ways people are doing it) but I used the smoke pipe and wood pellets. You can get this smoke pipe relatively cheap through amazon.
For smoking chicken meat, using a wood with mild smoke flavor is ideal. For this recipe, I am suggesting to use maple (that is what I have used here) because the slight sweetness that you get from maple smoke compliments all the spices nicely.
Start the BBQ and start the smoker too (follow the instruction to the points of whichever smoking method you are using; bad smoke is pure evil!). Wait for the temperature to reach 250°F.
Once the required temperature has been achieved, nicely distribute all the good stuffs that you are BBQ-ing. At 250°F, it is going to take anywhere between an hour to two hours for the chicken breasts to fully cook. Occasionally open the grill to make sure that the smoking material is not on fire.
After the meat has smoked about an hour, put a meat thermometer in it to see what is the temperature. You want the center to go to 165°F before taking off the grill.
Once the chicken breasts have reached 165°F, you need to char the chicken for about 10 minutes under high heat in order to create a lovely colour on the skin.
By this time, your veggies (depending on what you are using) will be done too (other than potatoes in this case). Time to prepare the serving!
PLEASE NOTE: Always dispose off BBQ materials safely. BBQ is one of the primary cause of house fire, at least over here in Canada, only because people don't spend few minutes to extinguish and properly dispose off the burning materials. Please, please PLEASE follow proper procedure to extinguish anything that can catch fire and properly dispose it off based on your city/country's requirement.
Step 5: The Fun Part: Eating!
Now it is time to taste what you have made. As you slice through the chicken, enjoy all the juices flowing out of it. Never seen BBQ chicken breasts so soft and juicy? Well, now you know how to make it :)
You can either eat it as is by serving it in a fancy way:
Or you can make a delicious burger out of it:
Imagination is your limit!
Yes, that is a juicy chicken breast. And you are welcome! :)
Runner Up in the
BBQ Showdown Challenge