Lemony Grilled Chicken Breasts

When I wake up in the morning a little panic-stricken thinking about what I’m going to prepare for a large crowd coming in for a holiday weekend, I approach the menu by considering my entrée options first. My go-to’s are grilled Premio Sweet Italian Sausage from Costco, Brooks’s Marinated Pork Tenderloin, and marinated chicken breasts.


Next, I consider my sides, which I prepare depending on what is in season. Often, though, I delegate the sides to guests. The beauty of this approach is you get to try other people’s specialties, and that is always a fun and tasty option. Desserts are my favorite food to cook, and for a large crowd, I like to make a hotel-sized pan of the ever crowd-pleasing Pumpkin Bread Pudding only made with seasonal fruit instead of pumpkin, and either Italian Sesame Seed Cookies.


or Ricotta and Lemon Cookies.


I was never a fan of grilled chicken breasts until I saw my friend from Tiverton, R.I., Sheila, a master at feeding huge crowds, carry Ziploc bags full of pounded-flat marinated chicken breasts out to the grill. By pounding the breasts flat Sheila could ensure the chicken would cook quickly and evenly throughout. I’ve been pounding chicken breasts ever since.



Whole chicken breasts (for these photos, I made 24 breasts equalling 8 pounds)
@JudysChickens Everyday Salad Dressing
1-2 lemons, sliced thinly (depends on how much chicken you are preparing)
10 stems of thyme, rough chopped
a couple shakes of white balsamic vinegar, if you have it.


Rinse chicken breasts and trim fat.


Pat dry with paper towels.


Place each chicken breast in a thick bag and pound flat with the smooth side of a meat mallet.


Marinate pounded breasts in @JudysChickens Salad Dressing along with lots of sliced lemons and sprigs of thyme. You could add a little white balsamic vinegar and Grey Poupon for even more flavor if desired. Allow to marinate for a few hours to up to two days.

Grill for no longer than ten minutes.

Favorite Flavor-Enhancers: The Acids!

My mother always kept a bottle each of white and red balsamic vinegar in the fridge. She especially loved the white. Add a few shakes of white to the marinade for an extra burst of flavor.

Other Foods That Are Good To Serve At A Cookout
Sliced Beet Salad
String Bean Salad
Amazingly Delicious Sautéed Carrots
Marlin’s Black-Eyed Pea Salad
Grandma’s Italian Fried Cauliflower
“Croatian Cheese” a Flavorful and Exotic Appetizer Made with Feta and Goat Cheese
The Classic Pimiento Cheese Sandwich


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© 2014-2018 Judy Wright. All rights reserved. Photos, videos, and text may only be reproduced with the written consent of Judy Wright.

20 thoughts on “Lemony Grilled Chicken Breasts

  1. Can’t wait to try this! Also for the sausage, do you purchase it at Costco in the marinade or do you do your own. Want to try that too! mb

  2. Sounds delicious! I am adding this one to our rotation too (along with others of yours). Planning to use your salad dressing as a marinade for another dinner this weekend. Hope you enjoy yours~

  3. I will try this the next time I do chicken in the oven! I think I tend to overcook chicken, but have been having good results with parchment paper…and of course it’s hard to dry anything too much in a crockpot, which is my fallback method for pretty much everything 🙂

    1. I love using parchment paper for oven-roasted foods, too. I’ve never cooked chicken in a crockpot. That’s something to think about. Thanks, Quinn! Hope it starts to cool off this weekend for us and for you.

  4. Hey there Judy, You inspired me this morning with your latest post! So before work, I made some of the salad dressing — so easy! I happened to have all the ingredients in my house. I took some sad chicken breasts needing to be used, unthawed them, drizzled them with the marinade and slices of lemon (the last one in the house, thank goodness). Now I know what’s for dinner. You’re the best!

    Now I want to share with you a marinade I make for grilled chicken. I think it’s pretty good but I’ve never measured how I do it. Maybe we can get together sometime and do that! But first try it and see what you think. I adapted it from a recipe in my old Southern Living “Cooking Lite for Two” cookbook. That page was very splattered before I finally donated the cookbook to the St. Luke’s Thrift Shop. Cookbooks sell well there, by the way! Anyway, here’s how I do it:

    Place chicken breasts in a bowl or lg. plastic ziploc. Add salt and Emeril’s original essence seasoning (from Costco of course). Drizzle with honey. Cover with olive oil. Add a few drops of soy sauce (maybe a tablespoon total), some crushed garlic and a splash of orange juice (or whatever citrus juice you have on hand). Let marinade for a few hours. Grill or cook however you want to but I usually grill it. The honey gives it a little sweetness and slight crustiness. I started adding local honey to a lot of recipes because Will suffered from seasonal allergies and it made tennis season outside extra challenging. I had heard that eating local honey helps build up your immune system against seasonal allergies. I don’t know if that’s true or not but I know I love eating honey any old way 🙂

    1. Jennifer! Hope your chicken turns out well! Your chicken recipe sounds delicious. I’m going to Costco tonight and will look for the Emeril’s seasoning. Agree with you on the honey. I eat it by the spoonful. I’ll give your recipe a try and we’ll discuss. Thanks for the newsy note! xoJudy

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