Sunday, May 20, 2012

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Red Chile Oil

Summer weather is finally here to stay and so is this chicken. My dad LOVES this chicken. It has pretty much become a staple in our summer repertoire. Is it bad that I made this for mothers day, last weekend, when it is my dads favorite? My mom doesn't dislike, so I will go with its okay. Since this dinner was truly a family affair, it was rough trying to snap some pictures. My brother was hovering like a ravage beast. Apparently no one feeds him? When I was finally done, he polished off his chicken breast in record breaking speed. My dad jumped when I told him I was making this and my brother nearly chewed his hand off waiting to eat this; maybe it is a sign this is the perfect chicken for the men in your life.

The chicken gets brined, making it unbelievably juicy and moist. If you have never brined anything before, you don't know what you are missing. Make sure you let the water cool after you add the sugar and salt. If you don't, like me, nothing that terrible happens. It is probably just better to let it cool, not cooking the chicken slightly with boiling water. The little effort of a brine goes a long ways. The leftover chile oil is perfect on sweet potatoes too. If you don't want any leftover chile oil, half it. I recommend using it on veggies though or making chicken again this week!



Courtesy of Fine Cooking
For the chicken:
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 cups water
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

For the chile oil:
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground caraway seed
3 tablespoons ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne
2 garlic cloves, minced or grated on a micro plane
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar


  1. In a measuring cup, boil 2 cups of water combined with sugar and salt and stir to dissolve. Cool completely. Add the chicken breasts, cover, and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.
  2. To make the chile oil, combine all the ingredients in a medium mason jar (it is easier to mix as the spices and garlic settle) or measuring cup. Stir or shake before using. 
  3. Prepare a medium  gas grill. While the grill heats, remove the chicken from the brine, pat dry with paper towels, and let sit at room temperature.
  4. Toss the chicken in 4 tablespoons of the chile oil. Grill the chicken without moving until golden brown grill marks form, 4 to 6 minutes. Flip the chicken and grill until just cooked through. Transfer to a plate to rest a few minutes before serving. Serve and enjoy with the remaining chile oil on the side for dipping.

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