This Easy Citrus Chicken Marinade Recipe is fresh, zesty, and bursting with the many happy flavors of summertime. Enjoy this delicious and easy Citrus Marinade Recipe with chicken breasts, thighs, and drumsticks.
Citrus recipes abound on TFS and include Avocado Citrus Chickpea Salad, Citrus Smoked Salmon Salad with Sweet Orange Mustard Vinaigrette, and Oven Roasted Citrus Chicken with Pomegranate Molasses Marinade.
(Originally posted August 25, 2015)
Fact- marinated grilled chicken is better than non-marinated grilled chicken. Actually, just kidding, I don’t know if this can actually be proven. But if my own taste buds count for anything, they tell me that marinated chicken is always better.
Several years ago, after finally purchasing a grill, I decided to start making my own marinades. This Citrus Chicken Marinade Recipe was my very first and it has since remained my summertime favorite. Bursting with ALL THE FLAVOR, I highly recommend eating this chicken on salads, wraps, sandwiches, or with a big fruit salad.
INGREDIENTS IN THIS CITRUS CHICKEN MARINADE
- Oranges- juice + zest
- Lemons- juice + zest
- Limes- juice + zest
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Dried rosemary
- Dried parsley
- Dried basil
This humble, yet flavorful, chicken marinade is composed of three primary parts- the citrus, the garlic, and the dried herbs. In other words, a magic, winning combination.
TIPS FOR MAKING THE JUCIEST GRILLED CHICKEN
Of course, marinating chicken doesn’t guarantee that it will be juicy. However, there are a few tips and tricks for making the very best grilled chicken possible.
- Pound your chicken. In other words, pound it to be flat, and to an even thickness. No, not like a pancake. Chicken breasts are often super fat in the middle and thin on the outside, which makes them a terrible meat to place on a grill when prepared improperly.
- Don’t set the heat too high. Medium heat is the goal, aka between 300-450 degrees.
- Clean the grates before grilling.
- And lube them up a bit since, you know, chicken breasts have virtually no extra fat.
- Keep an eye on yo meat. Chicken cooks fast- somewhere between 3-6 minutes per side, depending on thickness. But into the chicken breasts or purchase a digital meat thermometer. Chicken breasts should read 160 degrees.
- Finally, don’t forget the citrus chicken marinade 😉
CHECK OUT THESE OTHER CHICKEN RECIPES
- Loaded Chicken Ranch Pasta Salad
- Easy Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce
- Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Bowls
- Chicken Molé with Homemade Molé Sauce
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Citrus Chicken Marinade
- 6 chicken breasts, or thighs
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, approx. 2-3 limes
- 1 tsp lime zest, finely grated
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, approx. 2-3 lemons
- 1 tsp lemon zest, finely grated
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice, approx. 2 large oranges
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp dried basil
- First, zest one teaspoon of both the lime and lemon. Set aside in a small bowl. In another small bowl, combine the fresh lime, lemon and orange juice. In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients (yes everything) and pulse until a uniform puree forms.
- Pour marinade into a large plastic bag (I always double-up just in case of leaks!). Add chicken, seal bag, and turn to coat. Allow chicken to marinate for at least 20 minutes, or overnight (be sure to keep chilled in the refrigerator).
- Once ready, cook according to appropriate cooking time and method (this will vary between thighs and breast). In our case, we decided to cook our chicken breasts on the grill.
- For the grill- prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat (350-450 degrees). Remove the chicken from the bag and discard remaining marinade. Grill over direct medium heat with the lid closed until the meat is no longer pink in the middle, 10-15 minutes, turning once (we have fairly thick chicken breasts, so cooking times may vary). Remove from the grill and allow 3 to 5 minutes for the chicken to rest and cool.