Grilled Chicken Breasts with Chipotle Honey Glaze

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Grilled Chipotle Honey Chicken Breasts

Juicy Grilled Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts with a Sweet & Spicy Chipotle Honey Glaze

Boneless skinless chicken breasts are a quick and easy protein for any grillmaster. This recipe kicks it up a notch with the spicy goodness of chipotle peppers that are tempered slightly with the understated sweetness of the honey. I also brine the chicken in advance to add an extra level of juicy tenderness to the finished product.

With a little care and preparation, you never have to worry about dry boneless skinless chicken breasts. There are two keys to ensuring your chicken will grill up nicely:

  1. Brine the chicken breasts for one to two hours in a salt solution (see below) and
  2. Pound the chicken breasts before grilling so that they are an even thickness throughout.

With that in mind, here are the ingredients and recipe for these sweet and spicy chipotle honey grilled chicken breasts.

Chipotle Honey Grilled Chicken on Plate

This chipotle honey grilled chicken has all the deep smoky flavors of the chipotle peppers, but the heat gets muted by the honey and grilling. A perfect combination. It is shown here with a cauliflower and parmesan risotto on the side.

What You’ll Need

This recipe is good for four to eight boneless skinless chicken breasts.

For the Brine

  • 8 cups of warm water
  • 1/3 cup kosher or sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon white or brown sugar

For the Rub

  • 1 tablespoon of crushed ancho chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

You will also need approximately one tablespoon canola oil to brush on the chicken breasts. You can also add a pinch of salt and fresh cracked black pepper, but be careful with the salt because the brine will add a little saltiness to the chicken.

For the Chipotle Glaze/Sauce

  • 1/2 cup liquid honey
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed ancho chili powder

I used canned Herdez Chipotles in Adobo Sauce for this cook, but you can use any brand (La Constena is another brand available locally). You can find canned chipotles in many major grocery stores, usually in the Mexican or International cooking areas. Depending on how your chipotle peppers come in your can, you may need to blend them to get a smooth consistency.

Chipotle Honey Chicken Breasts On Grill

Here are the boneless skinless chicken breasts when they first go on the grill. They have been brined, brushed with oil and dusted with the rub. The glaze will be applied starting after the first turn (after five minutes).

Prepare Your Ingredients

First prepare the brine for your chicken breasts. Mix the salt into eight cups of warm water to ensure that the salt dissolves completely. Add the sugar after the salt and then set the brine in the refrigerator to chill. Do not place the chicken into the brine until the water has cooled.

Pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness. This will ensure that they cook evenly throughout. Place the breasts into the brine and allow them to brine for one to two hours in the refrigerator (covered).

Mix together the dry ingredients for the rub and set the mixture aside in a bowl.

Next, mix together all the ingredients to form the glaze/sauce mixture. Cover this with plastic wrap and set it aside. Before cooking, remove approximately one-third of the mixture and set aside in a separate bowl if you think you will want to drizzle some sauce when serving. I did not do this in this cook, but if you want an extra spice kick then this is a good idea.

One point is worth noting here. When you taste the glaze after mixing all the ingredients, it should have a fair kick of heat to it. Don’t be alarmed. The same level of heat will not be present when the chicken is done. It mellows during the grilling.

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts Chipotle

Here are the boneless skinless chicken breasts just before being removed from the grill. Total cook time at a temperature of approximately 360F was 13 minutes.

Grilling the Chicken

Remove the chicken from the brine approximately 30 minutes before you plan to begin grilling. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel and then brush lightly on both sides with the canola oil. After oiling, sprinkle the rub on both sides of the chicken and set aside.

Light your hardwood lump charcoal (or gas) grill and get the temperature up to the 350F to 375F range. If you are cooking over charcoal, this will be a direct cook. If you have an iron grill grate, go ahead and use it for this cook. Leave the grate in the cooker while your coals are heating. You want the grill to be nice and hot when you put on the chicken breasts.

Oil the grill with a paper towel that has some oil on it and place the chicken breasts on the grill. Close the lid and allow them to cook for five minutes. Open the grill, flip the chicken and apply the chipotle honey glaze with a brush. Close the lid and grill for five more minutes. Open the lid, flip the breasts once again and apply another coat of glaze. Close the lid and grill for one minute. Open the lid, flip the chicken breasts once again, apply another coat of glaze and grill for one more minute with the lid closed.

After one minute, open the lid and check the internal temperature of the chicken breasts. They should be close to the done temperature of 165F at this point. If they are not done, continue with the same process until they are done: flip the breasts, brush with glaze and cook for one minute.

Mike Belobradic
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