Sunday in the Kitchen with Mark & Bruce: Lemon-and-Herb-Marinated Grilled Chicken Breasts

Make a batch of these juicy chicken breasts and enjoy dinners and lunches all week long.
Everyday GourmetSunday with Mark and Bruce

Batch cooking is all about big, bold flavors. But when the base ingredients are made in advance and sit in the fridge for several days, their flavors can dull with time and ambient humidity.

That’s why fresh herbs and bold flavors are essential. These marinated chicken breasts fit the bill. On Sunday morning we can stir up the marinade, set the chicken breasts in it and leave them in the fridge for hours.

Meanwhile, we can go about our Sunday routine: church, gardening, the kids’ pickup baseball game in the neighborhood or just the newspaper on the deck. Come afternoon, we’ll grill up the whole batch and have it ready for dinner that evening, as well as meals for the week ahead.

Feel free to double this recipe if you’re cooking for a larger group (although you’ll most likely have to grill the breasts in batches) or halve it if you don’t need so much for the week to come.

Let’s get into the kitchen this Sunday! But let’s not spend too much time there. Summer’s waiting. And with a little effort and some fresh herbs, a whole set of meals are, too.

Lemon-and-Herb-Marinated Grilled Chicken Breasts

Makes 16 servings

PointsPlus® values | 3 per serving

Although the marinade contains vinegar, the amount is so small, you don’t have to worry about its “cooking” the breasts as they sit in the fridge. Just make sure you stir everything well so all the breasts are evenly and thoroughly coated in the marinade.


  • 1/4 cup minced rosemary leaves
  • 1/4 cup oregano leaves
  • 3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp chopped pre-minced jarred garlic (or 6 medium garlic cloves, minced)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp minced lemon zest
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Sixteen 4-oz (to total, 4 lbs) boneless skinless chicken breasts


  1. In a large bowl, combine rosemary, oregano, vinegar, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Add chicken breasts. Mix thoroughly with two wooden spoons, turning chicken until it’s completely coated by herbs and other ingredients. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6 hours.
  2. Prepare a grill for high-heat cooking — or spray a large grill pan with cooking spray and heat it over medium-high heat. Cook breasts on grill rack directly over heat for 6 minutes, turning once after 3 minutes. Or cook them in grill pan in batches for about 7 minutes, turning once. Place any leftover chicken breasts on a large platter, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Serving size: 1 boneless skinless chicken breast
Sunday-night dinner
Grilled Chicken with Asparagus and Romaine Salad
For supper, serve these tasty chicken breasts with some grilled or steamed asparagus spears on the side. And as long as the grill’s on, or the grill pan is heated up, split a head of romaine lettuce through the root end, spray the cut side with cooking spray, and grill it a few minutes until lightly browned at the edges. Chop it up and toss with some balsamic vinegar and a little olive oil — or even a little bottled lowfat Caesar dressing.

Tips, hints and suggestions
1. Do not substitute pounded-out, thin chicken cutlets or chicken tenders for the chicken breasts. You want them plump.
2. Some boneless, skinless chicken breasts, particularly those sold in large packages, are doped with plenty of salt — and even other flavorings. Look for words like “contains up to 10 percent of a solution” with a trailing-off ellipsis that leads down to a footnote on the label. If at all possible, avoid these chemical shenanigans and buy pure, unadulterated chicken breasts. If you can only find packages of the pre-doped breasts, omit the salt from this recipe.
3. Four-ounce, boneless, skinless chicken breasts are rarely thick enough to hold an instant-read meat thermometer — but if one can, the temperature reading when cooked properly should be 165°F. If not, slice a breast open to make sure it is cooked through and the juices run clear.
4. In truth, a boneless, skinless chicken breast is in fact half a chicken breast. After all, we’re talking about one lobe of meat from the front part of the chicken. But common parlance has made our language slippery, so we speak of “chicken breasts” when we mean “chicken breast halves.” Ah, well. What are you going to do? Nothing, except cook up this quick, easy dinner.
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