What is Triple Threat Chicken? Chicken breasts that have been 1) marinated, 2) grilled and 3) glazed! Delicious! I have been making this chicken for about five years now, and it has always been well received. I served it last week at the Grand Opening of my Little Free Library(more about that later*), and one of my friends said, “If you post the recipe for this chicken, I’ll be tempted to start grilling again”. Here it is! Fire up the grill.
One of the advantages of this recipe is that you probably have all the ingredients for the marinade and the glaze on hand. Well, all the ingredients except one, do you have Raspberry Vinegar on hand? If you don’t, substitute Red Wine Vinegar, but if you buy Red Raspberry Vinegar on your next trip to the grocery store, you will have some on hand for the next year or two (vinegar doesn’t go off)!
The disadvantage of this recipe is that you have to make two sauces, one for the marinade and one for the grilling, so it’s a few extra minutes measuring and pouring in the kitchen. Just make both sauces at the same time, because some ingredients are in both sauces.
I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but boneless, skinless thighs can be used just as easily if you prefer darker meat (any chicken parts can be used in this recipe, the boneless, skinless ones are just easier to grill). I cut-up the chicken breasts, and cook the same pieces at the same time to ensure even cooking. Don’t even think of cooking a whole breast, it’s too difficult, because the breast varies so much in thickness.
This is how I cut up the chicken breast:
First, I cut the tenderloin off; then I cut off the lower triangle of the breast; when I have just the thickest part of the breast left, I cut that in half. I get four pieces of chicken from one breast. The tenderloins and the triangle pieces are thin and cook the most quickly. The thick pieces from the top of the breast take much longer to cook so put them on the grill first and the tenderloins on last.
Now here’s the most important tip for grilling the chicken: half cook the marinated chicken on the grill, then take it off the grill and dunk into a pan with the glaze, then return the chicken to the grill to finish off. This enables the chicken to cook before the glaze burns! Novices will use a brush and brush the glaze on the half cooked chicken. Silly novices. Brushing does not get enough glaze on the chicken, and a lot of the glaze drips onto the coals, which causes flare ups, which causes hot hands and more burned spots than necessary.
But before grilling, you have to marinate, and that part is easy. The chicken needs to sit in the marinade for 2-4 hours, so start early in the afternoon. Remember to start your coals approx 40 minutes before you want to start grilling. Grilling the thickest parts of the chicken might take 20 minutes, the thinner tenderloins might take only 5 minutes. All of these times are approximate, and all depend on how hot your fire is. Use common sense. Don’t freak out. The chicken would cook at different times in a pan on the stove, too. Just keep your eye on each piece of chicken, judging it as an individual, and you’ll be fine. The picture above was taken on the tiny balcony of my daughter’s apartment, the first time she made this chicken, and only the third time she had ever BBQ’d. Doesn’t it look great?
Don’t forget to have s’mores for dessert, you don’t want to waste all those lovely coals! For sides, we like to grill sliced zucchini and tomatoes fresh from the garden, but corn-on-the-cob, potato or pasta salad, baked beans, and garlic bread are also classic accompaniments. Leftovers are great on a green salad the next day, or diced in a quesadilla or burrito, or added to stir-fried veggies and served over rice.
Polly’s Triple Threat Chicken
Desired number of boneless, skinless, chicken breasts each cut into 3 pieces (see note above). One recipe of marinade will do for 6-8 breasts. For more chicken, just double the marinade. You’ll have enough glaze for a double batch.
For the Marinade
· ½ cup soy sauce
· ¼ cup vegetable oil
· ¼ cup red wine vinegar or raspberry vinegar (I keep a bottle of raspberry vinegar on hand just for this recipe)
· 1 teaspoon dried oregano
· 1 teaspoon dried basil
· ½ teaspoon black pepper
· ½ teaspoon dried parsley (or 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh parsley)
· 1 crushed and chopped garlic clove (or ½ teaspoon garlic powder)
For the Glaze
· ¾ cup ketchup
· ¾ cup honey
· ½ cup soy sauce
· 3 crushed and chopped garlic cloves
· a few drops of Tabasco (I live in fear of hot and spicy food, so I only use about ¼-½ teaspoonful)
- Place your chicken chunks into a large Ziploc bag or marinating tray. In a small measuring cup or bowl, combine all ingredients for marinade. Pour the marinade over the chicken. Refrigerate, and marinate chicken for 2 to 4 hours. Remove from refrigerator one hour before grilling so the chicken can be at room temperature before putting on grill.
- While chicken is marinating, prepare the glaze. Combine all ingredients and place in a bowl or container (the container should be big enough to hold chunks of half cooked chicken and be able to withstand the heat of half cooked chicken. I use a large flat Tupperware container), stir well to combine.
- Drain the room temperature chicken from the marinade. Grill. Pick out similar size pieces of chicken and put them next to each other on the grill. Put the thickest pieces on first, then the tenderloins, then those thin triangular pieces. Turn as needed. When the pieces are one-half to two-thirds cooked, remove from grill and dunk completely into the prepared glaze, turning to get a good coat. Return the chicken pieces to the grill for an additional 2-3 minutes on each side. The glaze will caramelize and look completely yummy. Allow the chicken to get grill marks, but remove from heat before charring!!
- Remove chicken to a serving platter, and dig in!
NEWS FLASH! Look what was in the San Jose Mercury News today, August 1, 2013. The cutie patootie is my 2 month old grandson, awwwwww.
OK, now more about my Little Free Library. I found a cabinet at the Goodwill, painted it to match my house, filled it with books and magazines for adults, along with one shelf of children’s books, and then I set it out on my front lawn for my friends and neighbors to use. When they pass by my house they can take a book (and keep it), donate a book, return a book, write me a note, or just browse. It’s my way of making my neighborhood a bit more special If you’d like to learn more, here’s a link to the Little Free Library organization. And here are a few pictures of Little Free Library #7652, mine!