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The Best Grilled Chicken for your Salad (VIDEO)

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What makes this chicken the juiciest and the most flavorful, delicious grilled chicken for your salad?

  • It's the marinade!

  • It's the timing!

  • It's the proper way of cooking on a grill!

grilled chicken on a fork

One of the things on my summer bucket list each year is to grill outside. It’s fun, delicious, and gives me a break from the hot kitchen! This grilled chicken recipe is a great addition to the grilling repertoire. It’s easy to make and packed with flavor that the whole family loves.

grilled chicken on a platter

These chicken tenders are so" tender," juicy, flavorful and delicious that even your fried chicken lovers won't skip it. Serve nice and hot but room temperature is great too. It's perfect for your next picnic potluck party, perfect for picky eaters and just great to have on hand in the fridge for the whole week. This recipe I often make and keep in the fridge just in case I need to fix a quick meal. If you are like me and refrain from eating preservatives, and are trying to avoid cold cuts in your diet, then this recipe is for you.

I think absolutely everyone should have one foolproof marinade chicken recipe or really any protein for that matter. Chicken is one of the most popular proteins unless you are vegetarian. It's great on salad, perfect to add to your mac & cheese or other pasta, rice dishes, and is an excellent option for sandwiches as well. My boys love to use this chicken on their open-face sandwiches. Oh and my boys need protein, especially meat protein almost 3 times a day.


First, it's all about the marinade. It provides not only flavor but tenderness as well. This amazing marinade is a beautiful addition to any cuisine and is perfect to use for any dining occasions. The key to a successful exceptional marinade isn't just in the ingredients; time is your marinade's best friend! It takes time for the meat to tenderize and for the flavors of the marinade to permeate the meat.

Second, to create the perfect grilled chicken; do not overcook it! I have noticed that many folks are terribly fearful of getting sick so they cook all their protein until it has a rubbery texture. Please don't overcook!!! Even my husband is one of those overcooking culprits.

Third, the combination of sweetness from the maple syrup (or honey) with the savory flavors of fresh herbs, onion, garlic and spices give this dish the classic combination that everyone loves and brings joy to your palette with every bite of your salad. It turns out there is a scientific reason for this! According to Dr. Robert Margolskee, of the Monell Chemical Sense Center, found "that the SGLT1 receptor — which transports sugars into cells only when sodium is present — on sweet taste cells on the tongues of mice. That salt enhances the absorption of the sugar in a food, making the combination of biological benefits to the body."

The final reason is this great marinade has a combination of an acid and a fat plus the herbs and spices you choose. The fat helps flavors absorb into the meat and the acid helps tenderize and flavor the meat. If you want to adapt this recipe, just remember that the acids (red wine vinegar in this case) and fats (olive oil) are important! Marinating chicken is an easy way to add lots of flavor and make a dish really pop.


  • Add chicken and marinade to a non-reactive container. Such as metal or use glass instead.

  • To avoid flare-ups on the grill, allow the marinade to drip off the chicken before cooking.

  • Marinate chicken in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and maximum 8 hours.

  • Flip or stir meat at least once while marinating.


kebabs on a griddle
glazing whole chicken with a brush
chicken and rosemary

Why is Buying Organic Chicken Important?

Battery-raised chickens are subjected to crowded living conditions and often-substandard feed; they require frequent doses of antibiotics and growth hormones to reach adulthood. Many develop cancers, and these cancerous chickens are not necessarily discarded. According to researcher Virginia Livingston Wheeler, these cancers can be transmitted to humans. The source of organic, cage-free or pasture-fed chickens from the farmers market is well worth the additional price.

Let's do it...

Prep time: 10 minutes

Waiting time: 1- 8 hours

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Total time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Author: Inna of

Serves: 4 generous portions

ingredients for the recipe


1&1/2 - 2 lb. chicken tenders or chicken breast

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/2 cup red wine vinegar or lemon juice

1 cup chopped parsley (stems only)

1/2 cup maple syrup (or honey)

1/2 large onion

3 cloves of garlic

2 teaspoons dried thyme

2 teaspoons pink salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • First get all the ingredients ready. Cut the onion in chunks and add to the food processor. Then add the remaining ingredients except the chicken.

  • Process everything until pureed. Pour into a bowl (don't use any metal for this), glass or plastic. Add chicken.

  • Mix all together. Cover with a plastic wrap and place the bowl into a fridge for 1-8 hours or even longer.

  • Take chicken from the bowl, Pick up each piece with a kitchen tong and shake off the excess of the marinade. Place on a preheated grill for about 2-3 minutes per side. Please check the chicken with a thermometer and make sure the temperature is between 160-165F, and if so, you are ready to remove it from the grill. Remember when the meat is resting on the platter, the cooking process continues for a few more minutes. This is why I say, "Please, don't overcook it!"

chicken tenders on a griddle

Enjoy right away or keep in the fridge for 5 days. Great to prepare during the weekend and then you have a weeks' worth of lunch salads.

chicken grilled on a platter

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