Until I made this recipe, I didn’t think that juicy boneless chicken breasts on the grill were possible. I had tried all sorts of marinades and brines and tricks. They helped, but it was never quite what I wanted. But this grilled breaded chicken breast? This is exactly what I want.
It was years ago that I saw a recipe for grilled breaded pork chops. Or at least I think it was a pork chops. It’s been a while. 🙂 Before I saw that recipe it hadn’t occurred to me that you could bread meat and grill it and not burn it or have the breading fall off into the grates of the grill. It turns out all you need is a very simple and light breading along with a very thin piece of meat. Once I knew that, I knew also I needed to try it with chicken. Because a juicy, simple grilled chicken breast recipe? That was something I needed and didn’t have in my life.
I do remember, however, where I saw my inspiration for the salad. It was a recipe in The New Basics. This is a cookbook which formed the basis of a lot of my cooking, and was the one I turned to first for many years. I have no doubt any number of recipes I make have a little germ of an idea from it, even if I usually don’t remember exactly where I got that idea. It’s hard to think back to those dark times when all tomatoes came wrapped in cellophane and there were three types of cheese in the cheese case. The New Basics was part of the wave of bringing fresh and diverse foods to the American palette.
Anyway, they served a tomato salad with breaded chicken. (Not grilled though, shallow fried!) I also remember that the tomato salad had an incredible, amazing, huge amount of olive oil. 2 cups! Wow. I will admit I never made the recipe exactly to the cookbook. I couldn’t do it, but I did love having a garlicy tomato salad with chicken breast and have kept that idea over the years.
All together, salad and chicken, this recipe is one of my 20 minute meals. Even with heating up the grill, the chicken takes mere minutes to cook through, so in 20 minutes you can have dinner ready! If I’m keeping my carbs low, I like to add some simple steamed broccoli or green beans along side. Or, if I’m throwing carbs to the wind, a crusty bread is great for soaking up the salad dressing. Either way, it’s a great, quick meal!
One note: I do find that dry bread crumbs work better in this recipe than fresh. I’ve done it with fresh and they can get soggy and slip off the chicken as you’re cooking, which defeats the purpose of the bread crumbs. They can’t protect chicken and help keep it juicy if they aren’t there! Also, if your cutlets are really thin, then, with a good and hot grill, you will only need a minute or maybe a titch more on the second side.
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
- 1 lb thin sliced boneless chicken breast
- 1½ cups dry bread crumbs
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 4 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- Begin heating the grill. For a gas grill, heat it for 15 minutes with all burners on high.
- Lay out the chicken breast pieces on a cutting board and pound each of them to ¼ - ½ inch thickness. They don't have to be perfectly even in thickness, but make sure they aren't any thicker than ½ inch.
- Get out two shallow bowls and a tray for holding the raw, breaded chicken. Put the breadcrumbs and salt into one bowl and put the olive oil into the other bowl. Dip a chicken breast cutlet into the olive oil to coat it all over. Lift it out and let much of oil drip off until you have a fairly thin coat. Move the chicken to the bread crumbs and press them in so they adhere well, then lay the chicken on the tray.
- Once all the chicken has been breaded, make the tomato salad. Put the tomatoes and scallions in a medium bowl. Whisk together the garlic, salt, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. Toss the tomatoes with the dressing.
- Grill the chicken on high (gas grill) with the lid open, 2 minutes on each side. Serve the chicken with the tomato salad.
And save the extra virgin for the salad. A nice, basic pure olive oil is great for the breading.
For extra thin chicken - where they are at most ¼ inch thick - grill them for 1-1½ minutes only on the second side.