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5-Ingredient Chicken Breast with Basil Butter

Al Roker and Pitmaster Chris Lilly grill chicken and sweet potatoes
TODAY Show: Al Roker and Pitmaster Chris Lilly grill chicken with basil butter and sweet potatoes. -- June 12, 2015Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
Cook Time:
40 mins

Chef notes

Cook crispy skin-on chicken breasts in a cast-iron skillet with a quick and easy butter that's flavored with fresh basil.


Chicken Breasts
  • 4 airline chicken breasts (skin on breast with only the wing drumette attached)
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
Basil Butter
  • 3/4 cup (1½ sticks) butter
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil



With a sharp knife, remove the bones and cartilage from the underside of the chicken breast. The only bone left in the breast should be the drumette bone. Season the chicken breasts lightly on both sides with salt and black pepper. 


Build a two-zone fire in a charcoal grill by situating the coals on only one side of the grill, leaving the other side empty. Preheat the grill to 400°F.


Melt the butter in a small pan. Add the basil and mix well.


Place the chicken breasts directly over the coals skin side down and baste with half the basil butter. Grill the chicken for 5 minutes or until the skin is golden brown and crisp. 


Transfer the chicken to a shallow baking pan skin side up and place it over the void side of the grill. 


Baste with the remaining basil butter.


Cover the grill and cook with indirect heat for an additional 35 minutes. The internal temperature of chicken breast should reach 160˚F.


Slice the chicken breast across the skin and into small medallions to serve.