Grilled Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts with Poblano-Pepita Sauce
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WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
The perfect grilled boneless, skinless chicken breasts are juicy, savory, and well browned and can be served as is or added to salads or sandwiches. We first pounded them to a ½-inch thickness so that they cooked through evenly. Soaking the... Read More
GATHER YOUR INGREDIENTS
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
Parsley can be substituted for the cilantro in the sauce, if desired. The chicken and sauce can be served alongside a simply prepared vegetable or starch for dinner; the chicken can also be used in a sandwich or sliced and eaten in a salad.
FOR THE CHICKEN: Cover chicken breasts with plastic wrap and pound gently with meat pounder until ½ inch thick. Whisk water, fish sauce, honey, salt, and pepper together in bowl. Transfer mixture to 1-gallon zipper-lock bag. Add chicken, press out air, seal bag, and turn bag so contents are evenly distributed. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (6 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.
FOR A GAS GRILL: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave all burners on high.
FOR THE POBLANO SAUCE: Toss poblanos and jalapeño with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in bowl until evenly coated. Remove chicken from brine, letting excess drip off (do not pat dry), then toss with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in second bowl until evenly coated.
Clean and oil cooking grate. Place poblanos (skin side down) and jalapeño on grill and cook (covered if using gas) until most of surface is well charred, 5 to 7 minutes for poblanos and 7 to 10 minutes for jalapeño, rotating chiles every 2 to 3 minutes. Flip poblanos and cook until lightly charred on second side, about 2 minutes. Transfer poblanos and jalapeño to bowl and cover tightly with aluminum foil.
Place chicken, skinned side down, on grill and cook (covered if using gas) until chicken develops dark grill marks, 3 to 5 minutes. Gently release chicken from cooking grate, flip, and continue to cook until chicken registers 160 degrees, 3 to 5 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes.
While chicken rests, stem and seed jalapeño. Pulse pepitas in food processor until finely chopped, 10 to 12 pulses. Add water, cilantro, vinegar, olive oil, salt, poblanos, and jalapeño (do not remove skins from poblanos or jalapeño) and process until smooth, about 45 seconds, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Loosen with water as needed and season with salt to taste. Transfer to bowl and serve alongside chicken.