The secret ingredient for juicy, flavorful grilled chicken breast that’s never dry

If cottage cheese and celebrity-approved sandwiches from the ’90s can make a comeback, why not chicken breast? This boneless cut of chicken is often considered the black sheep of chicken varieties because it is in many cases dry and tasteless. As the sun continues to shine and we delve deeper into more barbecue and cookouts, the summer season calls for easy, inventive, flavor-packed meat that the whole party can enjoy. And believe it or not, chicken breast can be all of those things.

To jazz up a chicken breast for summer, you can consider any number of seasonings or one of the many seemingly endless recipes, or you can try a simple but surprising single-ingredient trick we just discovered : marinate the chicken in feta cheese brine.

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Why you should marinate chicken breast in feta brine

If you’re not familiar with feta brine, as the name suggests, it’s the liquid that feta cheese is often packaged in when you buy it at the grocery store. To get feta with brine, be sure to grab a block of feta instead of the container of crumbled feta.

The brine is certainly a secondary character to feta, but it has many advantages. The mixture of water and salt, along with the creamy, umami flavors of the cheese, is packed with concentrated flavor (much like a salty brine you would make yourself at home). It’s also full of lactic acid, which changes the shape of the chicken’s protein strands and, therefore, tenderizes the meat. Marinating the chicken in this liquid gold before the meat hits the grill ensures that you will have tender, flavorful chicken instead of dry slabs of white meat.

Related: Baked Feta Pasta Recipe

How to Marinate Chicken Breast in Feta Brine

Take a container of brined feta cheese. When you’re at the store, look for blocks of feta packaged in cans (Whole Foods has several options), which will contain the most brine. Look for a 14-ounce container of feta, which should hold enough liquid for this recipe. Pour about 1/2 cup of brine into a large resealable plastic bag, then add 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of chicken breast. Seal the bag tightly, then transfer the bag to the refrigerator and allow the chicken to marinate for 8 to 24 hours. Once done, remove the chicken from the bag, dry it with a paper towel and stick it on the rack.

Do you have some feta brine to spare? Add some to your martini for a quick and easy cocktail that tastes like a fancy hotel bar.

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