Prep 2 hrs 15 mins
Cook 10 mins
My husband and I love cooking with bourbon. Source: Steven Raichlen.
- 1⁄4 cup Bourbon
- 1⁄4 cup coarse salt
- 1⁄4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 4 slices lemons (1/4 inch thick)
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and gently crushed
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon coriander seed
- 4 (6 -8 ounce) boneless skinless chicken breast halves
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- barbecue sauce (use your favorite)
- 2 cups wood chips, soaked for 1 hour in water to cover, then drained (preferably hickory or oak)
- To make the brine: in a large nonreactive bowl combine the bourbon, salt, brown sugar, lemon slices, garlic, peppercorns, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, and 4 cups water; whisk until salt and brown sugar dissolve.
- Trim any sinews or excess fat off the breasts; rinse breasts under cold running water, then drain.
- Place the chicken breasts in a large zip-lock plastic bag; add in the brine.
- Let breasts brine in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours, turning breasts twice so they brine evenly.
- Set up grill for direct grilling and preheat to high—if using a gas grill, place all the wood chips in the smoker box or in a smoker pouch and run grill on high until you see smoke; if using a charcoal grill, preheat it to high, then toss all of the wood chips on the coals.
- When ready to grill, drain the brine off the chicken and blot the breasts dry with paper towels; discard brine.
- Lightly brush both sides of the breasts with the melted butter; brush and oil the grill grate, then arrange chicken breasts on the hot grate, placing them on a diagonal to the bars.
- Grill the breasts for 2 minutes, then rotate them a quarter turn to create an attractive crosshatch of grill marks.
- Continue grilling the breasts on that side for 2 minutes longer.
- Turn breasts over and grill until cooked through, 4-6 minutes longer, again rotating them after 2 minutes to create grill marks.
- **The total cooking time will be 8-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the breasts.
- Test for doneness—poke a breast in the thickest part with your finger; it should feel firm to the touch; or to be safe, you can insert a thermometer in one end—170° is done.
- Transfer grilled breasts to a platter and serve at once with your favorite barbecue sauce.