Grilled or Broiled Boneless Chicken

The fastest, most flavorful way to cook boneless chicken.
TIME 20 minutes
MAKES 4 servings
4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1½ pounds)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 or 2 lemons, quartered, for serving, optional

1 Prepare a grill or turn on the broiler; the heat should be medium-high and the rack about 4 inches from the heat source. If the thickness of the breasts is noticeably uneven when you spread them out, put each between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound each breast to uniform thickness; blot them dry with paper towels.

2 If you’re grilling, put the chicken in a pan or on a plate, toss with the oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. If you’re broiling, do the same on a rimmed baking sheet. If you have time, cover and marinate the chicken for an hour to develop the flavor.

3 Put the chicken directly on the grill grates or in the pan under the broiler and cook until the side facing the heat browns, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn and repeat on the other side. To check for doneness, cut into a piece with a thin-bladed knife; the center should be white or ever so slightly pink. Serve right away or at room temperature, with lemon if you like.

  • Grilled or Broiled Boneless Chicken Thighs: Follow the recipe, but let them cook a little longer, 7 to 10 minutes per side, depending on their thickness.
  • Grilled or Broiled Chicken Tenders: Follow the recipe; they’ll take only 2 or 3 minutes per side to cook.
  • Grilled or Broiled Boneless Chicken with Herbs: Rub herbs or spices into the chicken along with the salt and pepper. Choose whatever you like; the quantity depends on your taste, but a good rule of thumb is 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herb leaves or 1 teaspoon ground spices.

  • Thin, boneless cuts of meat are also known as cutlets. Boneless breasts are done so quickly that they’re almost impossible to undercook; boneless thighs take a few minutes longer.
  • If you like chicken salad, this is a good basic recipe for cooking the meat.

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