Take a look in your pantry (go ahead—we'll wait!): If you have ingredients like soy sauce, garlic powder, paprika, balsamic vinegar and garlic, you can throw together a flavorful rub or marinade in minutes. That's all you need to take chicken breast from flat to bodacious, upping its juiciness without sacrificing its lean profile. Even better when you opt for homemade over store-bought, you're in charge of the ingredients. You can skip the preservatives, colorings and additives, keep sodium and sugar in check and choose olive oil (high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats) over the less-healthy oils used in many commercial marinades. Want a break from chicken? Try other meats, fish or tofu. Download a FREE Cookbook with Our Best Chicken Recipes!
Start with boneless, skinless chicken breast, 1-1 1/4 pounds for 4 servings. Choose a rub or marinade of your choice.
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For marinated chicken: Place chicken in a shallow dish or 1-gallon sealable plastic bag. Add the marinade of your choice and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 12 hours. (The longer it marinates, the more intense the flavor.) Remove from the marinade and pat dry before grilling or broiling.
For dry-rubbed chicken: Coat chicken with the dry rub of your choice up to 30 minutes before grilling or broiling.
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To grill: Preheat grill to medium-high. Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Grill the chicken, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165°F, 4 to 8 minutes per side.
To broil: Position a rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler. Line a broiler pan (or baking sheet) with foil and coat with cooking spray. Place the chicken on foil. Broil, watching carefully and turning at least once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165°F, 10 to 15 minutes total.
Tip: Oiling a grill rack before grilling helps ensure that food won't stick. Oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.)
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Soy sauce, mirin, brown sugar, garlic and ginger combine in this teriyaki-inspired marinade for grilled chicken or pork chops.
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This sweet and savory rub relies on ingredients you most likely have on hand already—brown sugar, dry mustard and onion powder—making it a quick recipe for a night when you’re not sure what you’re making for dinner.
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Sweet-tart balsamic vinegar spiked with garlic and Italian seasoning makes a fast and flavorful marinade for just about anything you’re inspired to grill for dinner.
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A simple combination of herbes de Provence, paprika, salt and pepper makes a flavorful rub for chicken, or try it with steak or tofu.
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This tangy marinade, spiked with the Indian spice blend garam masala, is a terrific way to enliven chicken, tofu or pork chops.
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This spicy rub of coriander, caraway and hot pepper is lovely on chicken, pork tenderloin or salmon. If you prefer your food less spicy, reduce the amount of crushed red pepper.
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