20-Minute Honey Dijon Grilled Chicken

Memorial Day always sneaks up on me.

Maybe because New England weather is often still chilly and rainy and decidedly not summer-like in late May.

But every year, I’m shocked when I realize: Memorial Day is only a week away!

Meaning the official start of summer is nearly here.

I usually panic slightly because here it is, almost summer, and I have no summer plans whatsoever.

But mostly it’s always the best kind of ‘finding a $20 bill in your back pocket’ surprise.

Because I definitely have a Top 4 List for Embracing the New Season:

1) New summer uniform: store away the heavy black boots and slip on the breezy flip-flops.

2) New work schedule: the best benefit my company offers is called ‘summer hours.’  We work extra hours Monday-Thursday so we can take Fridays off and enjoy long weekends throughout the summer months. Every office should do this, all year long, in my opinion!

3) New way of life: lazy evenings outside that stretch on endlessly because the sun won’t set until 8:30pm.

4) New method of cooking: fire up the grill!

I like to grill, but I pretty much always lack the forethought to whip together those grilling marinades that need to be prepared 24 hours ahead of time.

That’s why I love this chicken.

You can cook it up on the grill and it’s ready to eat in 20 minutes.

I always have the ingredients on hand, so I know this will be my go-to recipe this summer.

And it does the trick, transforming chicken breasts from blah to slightly savory, slightly sweet, richly flavorful, and tender.

Here are the only ingredients you’ll need (plus skinless, boneless chicken breasts and salt and pepper, of course) – so easy!

Begin by preparing some fresh thyme.

Grab a thyme sprig and hold it at the tip.

Slide your other hand down the sprig, pulling off all the leaves along the way.

Then add some Dijon mustard, honey and the thyme leaves to a bowl and whisk.

Slowly whisk in some extra virgin olive oil.

Season well with salt and pepper.

Prepare your grill for medium heat.

Next, season the chicken with salt and pepper and place on the hot grill.

One of the keys to keeping your chicken moist and tender: once you’ve set it on the grill, don’t touch it.

(Don’t keep flipping it, don’t move it around on the grill, and definitely don’t press down on it with your tongs or spatula).

After about 6 minutes, flip the chicken.

Allow the second side to cook for about 6 minutes more, again without touching it.

When the chicken is just cooked through (if you’re not sure, you can test it for a reading of 165 degrees F with a meat thermometer), brush on the honey dijon sauce.

A couple of reasons you want to really watch your chicken and remove it from the heat as soon as it’s cooked through:

  • the right timing is one of the keys to delicious, moist, and juicy chicken.
  • charred, blackened meat contains cancer-causing substances that are best to avoid.

If you haven’t heard much about the link between grilled meats and cancer, here’s a quick and useful guide from CNN Health.

To quickly sum it up, it’s okay to grill meat once in a while in the summer, just follow some key tips to healthy grilling:

1) remove any excess fat from the meat before cooking

2) don’t allow the food to cook so long that it becomes blackened and charred

3) if you notice any blackened or charred pieces when you’re eating, just remove and discard.

Flip the chicken and brush the remaining sauce on the second side.

Transfer the chicken to a platter, cover, and allow it to rest for about 5 minutes.

Allowing it to rest for a few minutes keeps it nice and moist and tender when you serve it.

Then serve!

The savory Dijon mustard mixed with the sweet honey combined with the fresh thyme is so richly flavorful.

Who knew grilled chicken could taste this amazing in under 20 minutes flat?

Perfect for Memorial Day Weekend or any lazy, laid-back, warm evening, all summer long!

Here is the complete printable recipe:

20-Minute Honey Dijon Grilled Chicken
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Healthy Chicken Dish
Total Time:  20 minutes
Prep: 3 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Inactive: 5 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, fat trimmed
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Prepare the grill to medium heat.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the honey, dijon, and chopped thyme. Slowly whisk in the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and place on the hot grill. Allow the first side to cook for about 6 minutes, and allow it to cook without pressing down or moving the chicken. Flip to the other side and allow it to cook about 6 minutes more.
  4. When the chicken is just cooked through, brush on the honey dijon sauce. Flip the chicken and brush on the remaining sauce.
  5. Remove the chicken from the grill and allow it to rest about 5 minutes, covered. Serve.

Comments

  1. says

    We get cancer .. from everything those days – and the next days we don’t … and there is cancer that has nothing to do with our eating habits to do neither – so every 5th of us will get cancer if we eat grilled meat or not. This is just down my alley – so this goes on file .. my file is so packed now – trying to work my way through, but I need dishes that suits a lonely diner. This I can adjust. Sure that Calvin will eat chicken too and I hope so … but no bones, please. Your photos are stunning, little chef.

  2. says

    Jen – this looks delicious. I love honey mustard with anything, especially french fries. Try it if you haven’t, it’s so good. And even better with chicken tenders.. this is a great idea to get that chicken taste without the fried stuff. :-)

  3. Food Stories says

    I love your Top 4 List for Embracing the New Season. Thx for the mention regarding the correlation between cancer and grilled meats. I still grill but just not as frequently as before.

  4. says

    Definitely like your Top 4 list of Embracing the New Season! I think the summer hours will not work here in a tropical country but it’s a good idea nevertheless.

  5. Eve says

    Made this for dinner tonight. Didn’t have thyme so used fresh rosemary instead – delicious!! Can’t wait to have the leftovers in my salad for lunch tomorrow!

  6. Alan P. says

    I was going to say grilling is bad for health in general then I see you also mention about the burnt char. Nice reminding people should not overdo when grilling. I love chicken!!

  7. says

    This looks fantastic and I have all the ingredients here. Change of plans, I’m making this for dinner tomorrow. I can’t wait to try it.

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