An overachieving marinade for grilled chicken that comes together with two ingredients: mayonnaise and hot sauce. The oil and egg yolks in mayonnaise enrich the lean meat and help it char more confidently on the grill. Meanwhile, the hot sauce adds zing from vinegar, kick from chiles, and whatever salt and spices are in your chosen brand. I’ve tried and loved Cholula and Frank’s for this recipe, but I can’t wait to hear what you come up with. The whole point of this marinade is to be flexible, so see what’s in your pantry and roll with that. What’s more: These two ingredients also morph into a dipping sauce. I like a one-to-four ratio, but adjust it to taste until it’s spoon-licking-good. You’re the dipper after all. And if you want to put this marinade-slash-sauce toward any other grilled meat? Go for it—and let me know what you think in the comments below. —Emma Laperruque
2 or 3
boneless skinless chicken breasts (1 to 1 1/4 pounds)
hot sauce (see Author Notes)
kosher salt (optional)
hot sauce, plus more to taste
In This Recipe
Marinate the chicken: Halve the chicken breasts horizontally. (If you’re an overachiever, you can also pound them to an even thickness for more even cooking.) Add them to a container or a zip-top bag. Combine the mayo, hot sauce, and a big pinch of salt (if you’re using it) in a bowl. Pour this marinade over the chicken and make sure the meat is fully covered. Refrigerate for 6 to 24 hours.
When you’re ready to eat, heat a grill to high for 10 to 15 minutes.
While that’s heating up, remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and use your hands to squeeze off as much marinade as possible (this helps it brown better).
Oil the grill grates, then add the chicken. Cover the grill and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until charred. Flip, cover again, and cook another 3 to 4 minutes, until charred on the other side and cooked through (165°F). Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with salt.
Let rest for a few minutes while you make the spicy mayo: Combine both ingredients and taste. Does it need more hot sauce? Adjust as needed.
Serve the grilled chicken with the spicy mayo for dunking.