Grilling season is upon us and chicken is one of my favorites on the grill. Italian seasoned grilled chicken with a homemade salsa and drizzled with good balsamic vinegar can’t be beat. The salsa tastes a little spicy and when combined with the balsamic and Italian seasonings it takes the chicken breast to another level.
Honestly, this is one of the best chicken breasts I’ve ever had. It was super moist and had layers of flavors.
Brine the Chicken
The chicken gets brined before grilling which keeps the meat extra moist. You may have tried my Chicken Brine for Grilling recipe…that is a great brine for skin-on chicken. The brine I used for this boneless, skinless chicken breast is just salted water. So easy. 2 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of salt.
Place the breasts in a gallon sized plastic bag with the brine. Let the chicken soak refrigerated for at least 30 minutes, but no longer than 2 hours. Mine soaked for 1 hour.
These breasts were all natural with no saline solution injected and they were about 8 ounces each. Make sure that the chicken you use hasn’t been salted before packaging. An easy way to check this is by looking at the nutrition label. The sodium level should be 2 or 3 %. If the chicken you use has a high sodium content, you should skip the brining.
The salsa is pretty simple but don’t skip it. This is what brings this whole Italian seasoned chicken breast together. It’s diced Roma tomato, red onion, garlic, fresh basil, and grated parmesan. And this gets topped with some good balsamic vinegar.
Most chicken breasts that you buy are uneven in thickness. I used a tenderizing mallet and plastic wrap and gently pounded the breasts to about 3/4″ thickness. Here’s a step by step demonstration from theKitchn.com if you need a refresher on how to do this. When the chicken is the same thickness, it will cook evenly.
Take the breasts out of the brine and give them a quick rinse with cold water then dry them well with paper towels. Season both sides of the chicken by drizzling a bit of olive oil on them and then black pepper and Italian seasoning. No need to salt them since they will be salty from the brine.
I used Penzey’s Italian blend. If you don’t have Italian seasoning, you can make your own pretty easily. Just combine equal parts of dried oregano, basil, marjoram, thyme, and rosemary. Mix this together in a little jar and mark it Italian seasoning.
Grill the chicken on medium heat. I have a gas grill with Grill Grates so it is easy to check the temperature with a laser thermometer. I grilled these at 450°.
If you use a charcoal grill, let the coals burn down a bit so they are not super hot. If you do a lot of grilling, you know how to use your charcoal grill.
At 450°, I grilled each side for 4 minutes. The internal temperature was 150° when I removed them from the grill. Put the breasts on a plate and cover with aluminum foil for 5 to 10 minutes. They will continue to cook a bit and retain their juices.
The U.S. FDA, (food and drug administration), recommends that chicken be cooked to 165°. That’s a good temperature for legs and thighs, but I’ve always been a rebel when it comes to white meat. The chicken will be a bit more tender and juicy at 150°. Use your own discretion about the temperature.
Serve the chicken with a big spoonful of the salsa on top and then drizzle with some Good balsamic vinegar. Aged balsamic is the best, but some 50 year old vinegar is $20.00 an ounce. I have pretty good balsamic that was $20.00 for 8 ounces. Use what you can afford.
What to Serve With Grilled Chicken
There are lots of good sides to go with the chicken. We had brown basmati rice and a simple side salad. You could also try:
- Caesar salad
- Green beans with bacon
- Grilled potato salad
- Parmesan roasted Brussels sprouts
- Pressure cooker mushroom risotto
- Pressure cooker warm potato salad
And here’s a link to all of our side dishes.
If you try this recipe and like it as much as I do, please write a review and give it a 5 star rating. And be sure to share on Facebook and Pinterest.
Italian Seasoned Grilled Chicken
- 2 8 oz. chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
- 2 cups water
- 2 tbsp. salt
- 1 one gallon plastic bag, leakproof
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
- black pepper
- 1 Roma tomato, seeds removed and small diced
- 2 tbsp red onion, small diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- balsamic vinegar
- Trim excess fat from chicken breasts. Cover breasts with plastic wrap or a plastic bag and use a mallet or other tool to pound the chicken to even thickness, about 3/4".
- Place the breasts into a one gallon leakproof plastic bag. Mix 2 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of salt in a measuring cup and stir to dissolve. Pour this into the plastic bag and seal it tight. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
- Pre-heat your grill.
- Remove the breasts from the brine and give them a quick rinse under cold water. Dry the breasts thoroughly with paper towels. Place the breasts on a plate and coat both sides with olive oil, black pepper, and Italian seasoning.
- Grill the breasts on medium temperature with a gas grill or medium low temperature charcoal grill. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until the internal temperature is 150°. Remove from the grill to a clean plate and cover with foil for 5 to 10 minutes to rest.
- Serve topped with the salsa and drizzled with balsamic vinegar.
- Mix all of the salsa ingredients together in a small bowl, (except the balsamic vinegar). Serve at room temperature. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
- Store leftover grilled chicken in an airtight container, refrigerated for up to 4 days.