The weather is glorious! All week long, our lonesome, leaf-dusted grill has whispered my name. So we finally answered the grill call with one of the best chicken dishes on the planet.
Both savory and sweet, this grilled basil chicken with pepper jelly is exactly what warm spring days and cool nights are all about. We paired it with sautéed asparagus in olive oil, salt and pepper. The asparagus gives a great balance of flavor with the grilled chicken, but you could use any simple vegetable or salad here. We usually serve it up with a cranberry almond salad, which is just about perfect.
This dish is super easy…just the chicken, a grill, and four simple ingredients. Michael and I love the pepper jelly for dipping and pouring over the chicken when served, but it’s a little too much kick for the kids…they prefer to dip the chicken in honey or honey mustard. If you don’t want to use wine, substitute with half apple cider vinegar and half white grape juice or apple juice (or cider).
This dish is only slightly adapted from a recipe I found in Southern Living years ago. The original recipe uses jalapeno pepper jelly, which ends up too spicy for my kiddos, so we use red or green pepper jelly to tone it down.
I’d be willing to bet that most of you beat me to the punch with your grill call. But if your baby is neglected and beckoning, or whenever she beckons again (which is likely this afternoon), here’s your answer. Bring on the flames and the sweet smell of spring! And shake that booty!
Grilled Basil Chicken with Pepper Jelly
Serves 4 (simply add more chicken breasts to the same marinade to increase number of servings)
- Prep time: 5 minutes
- Marinate time: 20 minutes at room temp (or in the fridge for several hours if you want to marinate in advance)
- Grill time: 6 to 8 minutes
- 1 (10.5 oz.) jar red or green pepper jelly
- 1/2 cup wine (or substitute 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup grape juice or apple juice/cider)
- 1 Tbsp dried basil (or 1/4 cup fresh, chopped)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of all fat (approx. 1.5 lb.)
- Pour wine (or vinegar/juice), basil, salt, and half the jelly into a large zipper sealed bag and shake
- Reserve other half of jelly to serve with chicken
- Add chicken to the bag and marinate for 20 minutes at room temp (or several hours in the fridge if marinating in advance)
- Grill with grill cover closed on medium high for 3 to 4 minutes per side, using tongs to dip chicken in the marinade as you flip the breasts
- Remove from grill and cover with foil for 3 to 5 minutes prior to serving
- Serve with reserved pepper jelly (or honey or honey mustard for kids)