Simply, The Best Grilled Chicken

By Christina Collins

Versatile, flavorful and easy to make. This grilled chicken recipe is foolproof!

I really enjoy a good piece of grilled chicken, but I’m always so disappointed in the results! So often they come out bland and dry. And then I stumbled on a really great recipe by “Once Upon A Chef.” After making it more time than I can count, I am declaring it the best Grilled Chicken recipe! It’s simple, delicious, and reliable- exactly what grilled chicken should be.

The chicken is marinated in a ziplock bag with ingredients most of us usually have on hand- extra virgin olive oil, dried oregano, died thyme, salt, pepper, minced garlic and the zest of a fresh lemon.

This recipe works because the lemon zest brings a complexity and brightness that balances out the savory herbs. We use lemon zest in place of lemon juice here because lemon juice in a marinade makes it tough and begins to cure it, turning it white. By using lemon zest, we get the citrus notes, but not the curing.

Feaster’s Tips!

  • 4 hours of marinating will do the trick, but overnight is even better.
  • The grill needs to be HOT and clean!
  • Take out the chicken about 20 minutes before grilling. The oil will harden in the fridge and needs to relax before grilling. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the excess oil and marinade left in the bag.

The Best Grilled Chicken Recipe!

The recipe below features the exact ingredients as the original recipe, but I broke the steps down to be a little easier to follow.

Grilled chicken

Grilled Chicken

Simply, the best grilled chicken
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people


  • Grill


  • 1-3/4 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts


  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1-1/4 tsp kosher salt (Diamond brand recommended)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon, zested


Prepare the Chicken

  • Working one at a time, remove the tenderloin from each breast. Then, work to get each chicken piece to 1/2 inch thick by slicing and/or pounding by placing the chicken in a 1-gallon zip-lock bag or between two sheets of plastic wrap.

Make the Marinade

  • Mix all of the ingredients except for the chicken together in a 1-gallon zip-lock bag. Add the chicken breasts to the bag and gently massage the marinade into the meat, ensuring all the chicken is coated. Once coated, make sure as much air as possible is out of the bag. Seal the bag and place on a plate in the fridge. Marinate for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.

Cook the Chicken

  • Remove the chicken from the fridge about 30 minutes prior to cooking to relax the marinade. Preheat the grill to high heat (about 600 degrees F.) Make sure grates are clean. (Optional – oil grates. I don’t find this necessary, but some people like to.)
  • Remove chicken from bag and place on a plate for easier transfer to grill. Place the chicken breasts on the grill and cook, covered, for about 3 minutes on one side and about 2 minutes on the other side. Do not touch the chicken until ready to flip. Do not overcook. Remove the chicken from the grill and let rest for about 2 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter and serve.


Recommended serving with Tzatziki sauce
Keyword chicken, grilled

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