Fancy marinades are all the rage these days, and chicken breast are certainly no stranger to the stuff. But sometimes you just don’t have the time to not only whip up a marinade, but also spend hours marinating the stuff. Why not cut the time down by using something that’s available in your compact refrigerator already or at least at the local supermarket. And, chances are the stuff is cheaper than the fancy bottled marinades that come with a hefty price tag and a hefty amount of preservatives and acids.
Yes, regular Italian dressing can do the trick on both chicken and fish. For our purposes, we’ll focus on chicken breasts.
1 bottle of Italian dressing (The oily kind, not the creamy Italian.) You can use whatever brand you like. If you’d eat it on a salad, then you can eat it on chicken. Remember to have enough dressing to keep your chicken submerged in.
Place the washed chicken breasts or tenders in a container that seals with a lid. Pour enough dressing in to cover the chicken. They don’t have to be swimming in it, but keep enough in so they’re slightly submerged. You could just put enough in to coat the breasts, but you may have to flip or shake the container every few hours to make sure both sides of the breasts are evenly marinated. Marinate overnight if possible, or at least a for four hours. Alternatively, inject the meat with a meat injector!
Once marinated place them on a hot grill or in a hot copper chef frying pan to initially seer the outside. This won’t take long. Reduce the heat to low-medium if in a frying pan, and cook until done. That means no pink. If on an indoor grill, move the breasts off to the sides of the fire/heat to keep from burning the outside.
Dressing has a good amount of corn syrup in it that can scorch. Again, cook until done. There’s not real trick there. Hell, if you really want, you can throw it in a deep fryer or air fryer for extra crispiness.
Good sides for this chicken are grilled portobello mushrooms and corn on the cob. For the mushrooms, mince a clove of garlic and mix is with a few tablespoons of butter. (Here are some great garlic presses for you!)
Wash the cap thoroughly and pace it face down on the grill. After about 10 minutes, flip it over and spread on some of the clove/butter spread. Cook it like this for another 10-15 minutes.
Recommended reading: Best Grilling Cookbooks
This may take more or less time depending on whether you’re using gas or charcoal. I prefer charcoal, but it can be hard to regulate the heat. If the mushrooms look too wilted, feel free to remove them. As long as the butter/garlic mixture is melted into the veil of the cap and the mushrooms are softened, that’s what counts.
For corn on the cob, you can peel back the husk and strip off the silks, or remove both and wrap it in heavy duty foil. I remove both, spread butter, salt and black pepper on it, wrap it in foil and set it on an upper rack of the grill for 45 minutes. Since you’re cooking chicken, you may want to have the cobs on as much as 15 minutes prior to putting the chicken on. This way they’ll be done at the same time. You can also sprinkle a small amount of cayenne pepper or paprika in the cob package, but do so with a little common sense. Cayenne can be mild for some and overwhelming for others. You don’t want to make it so you can’t even taste the corn.
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