Grilled Chicken Breasts with Lemon-Thyme Sauce

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Lemon-Thyme Sauce
Photo: Kate Sears
Prep Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
50 mins
6 to 8 Serves

This winning technique for grilled chicken pecks out any dry—or bland—results. A few juicy secrets: Choose small cuts, and pound them flat so they cook quickly and evenly. Then, for maximum flavor without flare-ups, finish with a robust sauce like this lemon-thyme number.


  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (each about 8 ounces)

  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

  • ¾ teaspoon sugar

  • ½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes (optional)

  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for grill

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Place chicken breasts between two layers of plastic wrap and lightly pound them to an even thickness (about 1/2 inch). Let stand at room temperature about 30 minutes.

  2. While chicken rests, whisk together lemon juice, thyme, sugar, red-pepper flakes, oil, and 2 teaspoons salt.

  3. Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper. Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking; let grates get very hot (this ensures a good sear without drying out meat).

  4. Oil grates and cook chicken, turning occasionally, until charred in places and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes total. Transfer to a serving dish. Pour or spoon sauce over pieces while still warm; serve.

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