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07/12/2022

~ How to Indoor-Grill Amazing Chicken Tenderloins ~

6a0120a8551282970b02a308d6e4e2200cI recently purchased a countertop grill in order for me to grill a few things indoors -- not everything, just a few things.  I am here to tell you, I love it.  It controls the heat perfectly, it's easy to clean, and, most importantly, I am no longer at the mercy of, hot or cold, the weather, to grill a few of my favorite proteins --  boneless-skinless chicken tenderloins, pork tenderloins and shrimp. In honesty, I am simply not an outdoor kinda gal, so indoor grilling is perfect for me.

A bit about indoor grilling on indoor grills in general:

6a0120a8551282970b02a2eeccf7b1200dLet's start with nothing is perfect -- nothing.  It's important to know that just like outdoor grilling (or any other method of cooking for that matter), when you are dealing with a heat source, you can't just walk away and take a nap.  Indoor grilling requires attention. It's super-important to remember that you are indoors, and, there can and will be smoke resulting from food that are rich in fat -- highly-marbled steaks, fat-rimmed pork chops, bone-in skin-on chicken breasts, etc.  To reduce smoke generated on your indoor grill, trim all excess fats from all proteins, and/or choose lean cuts -- chicken tenderloins or boneless-skinless breasts and pork tenderloins are my favorite, but,  flank steaks, shrimp and, of course, all vegetables work great too.  Some open grills can let fat or excess marinade drippings drip down into heating elements, and, while the risk of fire is minimal, be cautious because it can happen.

Indoor grilling is simple, straightforward & quite successful:

6a0120a8551282970b02a308d6e499200cTo marinate or not to marinate -- that's completely your choice.  Marinades are flavorizers not tenderizers.

6a0120a8551282970b02a2eeccea00200dA common misconception is:  to marinate is to tenderize.  It doesn't work that way.  In the food world, marinades for proteins act as flavorizers, not as tenderizers, meaning:  the longer you marinate, the more flavor will be infused into the protein.  Even 15-minutes will go a long way to flavoring the finished dish.  Moral of the story:  The tenderness of the protein being cooked is dependent upon knowing the proper cooking method.

How to indoor-grill boneless-skinless chicken tenderloins.

6a0120a8551282970b02a2eeccea72200d2-4  pounds whole, boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins, about 10-20 large tenderloins

1  cup of your favorite marinade for chicken (optional)

6a0120a8551282970b02a308d6e438200c 6a0120a8551282970b02a30d444681200b~ Step 1. Sandwich tenderloins between two pieces of plastic wrap on a flat work surface.  Using a flat-sided meat mallet, lightly pound them to a thickness of about 1/2" -- do not smash them to smithereens.

6a0120a8551282970b02a308d6e452200c 6a0120a8551282970b02a2eecceadf200d~ Step 2.  In a 1-cup measuring container, stir together all the optional marinade ingredients.  Pour marinade into a 1-gallon food storage bag, add the pounded tenderloins, seal bag and toss to coat.  Marinate in refrigerator for about 4-6 hours or overnight. Remove from refrigerator 1-1 1/2 hours prior to grilling.

6a0120a8551282970b02a308d6e4a6200c 6a0120a8551282970b02a308d6e4a6200c 6a0120a8551282970b02a308d6e4a6200c 6a0120a8551282970b02a308d6e4a6200c~Step 3.  Spray grill grids with no-stick cooking spray and heat the grids over medium-high heat. Remove chicken from optional marinade (allowing excess marinade to drizzle back into the bag), place 6-8 tenderloins, side-by-side on hot grill grids and cook until golden and just cooked through on both sides, turning only once, 7-9 total minutes, about 4-5 minutes on the first side and 3-4 minutes on the second side, regulating the heat carefully, as the honey in the marinade (like sugar) can scorch.  Transfer the meat to a plate and repeat process with remaining tenders. Only work in batches that are sized to comfortably fit the surface area of the grill without overcrowding, as well as your ability to manage the quantity, meaning:  know your own limitations.

Use any way you want, or, as directed in specific recipe.  Great in sandwiches, on salads or as a main-dish w/all sorts of sides. 

6a0120a8551282970b02a2eecceb56200dHow to Indoor-Grill Amazing Chicken Tenderloins:  Recipe yields 2-4 pounds chicken tenderloins/10-20 chicken tenderloins/6-12 servings

Special Equipment List: plastic wrap; flat-sided meat mallet; cutting board; chef's knife; 1-cup measuring container (optional); 1-gallon food-storage bag (optional); electric countertop grill; spatula or tongs

6a0120a8551282970b02a2eeccec96200dCook's Note:  If you are a lover of Tex-Mex fare too, I just happen to have a go-to marinade for that too. Try my garlic & onion powder, Mexican oregano, chili powder and lime laced ~ Tex-Mex Marinade for Beef, Poultry or Pork ~.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2022)

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