With summer just around the corner and the last few days so sunny and warm, I'd really been craving something from the grill. And, since I could probably eat chicken five days out of the week and there's nothing that says sunny and bright like big juicy oranges, I decided to make a marinade that would capture the sweet flavors of a sunny summer day and compliment smoky, crispy grilled chicken. It's super simple and only needs to marinate for about 30 minutes before you throw it on the grill.
The acidity in citrus juice is a natural tenderizer. It helps to break down the fibers in meats, fish and poultry and that ensures tender juicy results, every time. It can also begin to "cook" the meat or fish a little after a while, so you shouldn't leave your meat in a citrus marinade much longer than 1/2 hour.
Buying a whole roasting chicken and cutting it in half or having your butcher cut it for you, is less expensive than buying a package of cut up pieces, plus it cuts the usual cooking time for a whole roasted chicken by about 50%.
Honey Orange Grilled Chicken
- 1 Whole Roasting Chicken, cut in half (about 3 Lbs)
- 2 Lg Navel Oranges
- 1 Lemon
- 1 Tbls Honey
- 2 Tbls Olive Oil
- 2 Cloves Garlic, crushed
- Kosher Salt & Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Prepare your grill if you're using a charcoal grill. A gas grill only needs to pre-heat for about 5 minutes before it's ready for cooking.
Remove the chicken from the fridge and using the tip of a sharp paring knife, make small slits all over each piece, going about a half inch into the flesh. Set it aside while you prepare the marinade.
Zest one of the oranges and half of the lemon, then using a reamer or juicer, collect the juice from both oranges and half of the lemon. About 3/4 Cup, total. (if using smaller or less juicy oranges, you'll need more of them)
In a mixing bowl, combine the juice and zest from the oranges and lemon and add in the honey, crushed garlic and olive oil. Give it a couple of generous pinches of salt and a good grinding of pepper. (about 1 and 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper) Whisk well to combine.
Place the chicken in a shallow bowl or baking dish and pour the marinade over it, turning it several times to allow the marinade to coat the chicken thoroughly. You can also use a large zip-top bag or bags.
Marinate for anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes, but when using this amount of juice, absolutely no longer than an hour. (the meat could get a little spongy or mushy)
Cook the chicken on the grill, over medium to medium high heat, turning it often for about 7-8 minutes per side or a total of about 15 to 20 minutes. An instant read meat thermometer, inserted into the thigh meat should read 160 to 165 degrees.
To get the most accurate reading, make sure the tip of the thermometer is inserted into the middle of the thigh, between the skin and the bone.
Sorry that I don't have any pics of the chicken cooking, but it was already dark when Hubbs was cooking and I was busy preparing the broccoli. :~)
Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy! If you'd like the recipe for my Broccoli With Orange Vanilla Butter please click HERE.
You'll likely find me linking up at these fabulous parties this week.