Memorial Day is less than a month away, and that means grilling season has come once again to Rock Hill. This Sprite-based marinade recipe will bring a little punch to the boring chicken breast and will quickly become your go-to grilling marinade.
For a process that seems so simple, grilling boneless, skinless chicken breasts can be quite fiddly. The chicken can end up too bland or too dry. The breasts can be nearly burned on the outside and still raw in the center. They can stick to the grill and tear to shreds when you take them off. Before you jump into the recipe for Sprite Marinade, check out these tips for successful grilled chicken breasts.
With the size of chicken breasts available at the supermarket these days, it’s no wonder that the outside cooks while the center stays cold. The trick to even cooking is even chicken. Make sure that all of the chicken going on the grill is the same thickness.
Cut the breasts in half sideways. You’ll get one thick piece and one thinner piece. Put a piece between two sheets of plastic wrap (or in a zip-top bag). Use the flat side of a meat tenderizer to pound the chicken to an even thickness. You can also use a rolling pin or small pan. Repeat the process for all your chicken. Once you’ve reached a uniform thickness, the chicken is ready for the marinade.
If anything you’re grilling contains a significant amount of sugar (like a marinade), the food will tend to stick. While you might not be able to eliminate sticking altogether, you can greatly lessen it by prepping the grilling surface. Set the burners to high for 10-15 minutes. Turn them down to low before oiling the grates. Using a wadded paper towel dipped in vegetable oil and a pair of grilling tongs, wipe the grill with the oil. It’ll smoke a lot, but will create a surface much less likely to stick the chicken.
- 2 cups (16 oz) Sprite
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ½ tbsp horseradish sauce
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed, halved, and pounded to a uniform thickness
Whisk together the Sprite, soy sauce, horseradish, garlic, and oil.
Place the chicken in a gallon zip-top bag. Add the marinade. Work the chicken in the bag to evenly cover.
Squeeze the air out of the bag. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 2 hours. Longer marinating can negatively affect the chicken’s texture.
While the chicken is marinating, heat and oil the grill. Turn burners to medium-high when you’re ready to grill.
Remove the chicken from the marinade with tongs, allowing the excess to drip into the bag. Place the chicken on the grill, leaving space between the pieces.
Discard the marinade.
Grill the chicken for 4-5 minutes per side or until a thermometer reads 165º F. Remove the chicken from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.