What could be better to eat at a July 4th party than naturally sweetened grilled chicken breasts and bacon? This is a favorite summertime recipe for grilled chicken which incorporates two celebrity ingredients: pineapple and bacon! Bacon can never be discounted, as far as grilled food goes. With food websites popping up all over the internet, quick searches can pull up entire sites completely and utterly dedicated to the love of bacon!
Novice cooks or gourmet chefs can use this quick, easy and delicious recipe to make a hit at a 4th of July barbeque or party. Once inspired by a French’s recipe, the ingredients and style of cooking were modified to enchance the flavors of the bacon-wrapped chicken breasts.
- 6-10 chicken breasts
- 20 oz. can crushed pineapple (in juice, not syrup)
- ½ cup regular prepared mustard [used French’s]
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 pounds thick-sliced bacon (prefer Hormel)
- 6-10 toothpicks (one per chicken breast)
How to wrap the bacon before the marinade bath. Photo by Trish Meyer
- Take the chicken breasts and give a thorough washing. Pat dry and set aside.
- Mix the crushed pineapple, mustard and brown sugar in a very large bowl.
- Take 2 bacon strips and wrap around each individual chicken breast. Secure with toothpicks. Any leftover bacon can be wrapped around a breast with 2 already (more bacon is always better!)
- Put the prepared chicken breasts into the large bowl with the pineapple marinade mixture.
- Refrigerate to marinate 8 hours or at least overnight.
Marinaded breasts prepped for the oven. Photo by Trish Meyer
You have 2 choices to cook the chicken: Option (A) in the oven then finished on the grill or option (B) completely on the grill.
Option (A): baked in the oven, then finished on the grill:
- Prepare a raised edge cooking sheet or 10×13 oven pan by either covering with a sheet of parchment paper or spraying with a non-stick spray.
- Take the marinated chicken breasts out of the bowl and onto the cooking sheet/pan [make sure there is a little space in between your chicken breasts].
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40-50 minutes or until the center reaches 180 degrees (ovens vary so much, so it’s better to be safe than sorry). DO NOT OVERCOOK or the meat will be dried out!
- Take the baked bacon-wrapped chicken breasts out of the oven to slightly cool.
- Prepare your grill [medium to high heat] and place the chicken breasts (with bacon still wrapped).
- WATCH THEM CAREFULLY, as the bacon can quickly catch fire.
- Once the bacon is completely browned, remove from the grill and serve.
- TOTAL TIME: Approximately 1 hour
The advantage of cooking in the oven before grilling is that you know the chicken is thoroughly cooked before finishing on the grill and this requires little supervision. This is another plus if the weather is not cooperating.
Watch the bacon carefully – will catch on fire! Photo by Trish Meyer
Option (B): completely cooked on the grill:
- Prepare your grill and place the bacon-warpped chicken breasts on a hot grill.
- WATCH THEM CAREFULLY, as the bacon can quickly catch fire. [Having a water bottle nearby is always a good idea].
- During the grilling, leftover marinade juice can be sprinkled onto the chicken breasts to keep the meat moist and juicy.
- Once the chicken breast is completely white in the center and registers an internal temperature of 180 degrees, the chicken is ready to be served.
- TOTAL TIME: Approximately 50 minutes
When hosting a party, it’s difficult at times to make sure to engage with the guests, make sure things are running smoothly and that the grill is not taking too much of the host’s time.
- Using Option (A) of pre-cooking the chicken in the oven may be the best solution to a great 4th of July party!
- Look at the menu options and the weather report to see which cooking option is best for the party.
- Remember, grilling chicken takes time and patience!
Happy 4th of July!