This light and easy dish is perfect for summer, and it has always gotten rave reviews when I’ve made it. The key is not to burn it – I have a reputation for completely scorching chicken, so I’ve included more specific instructions that I use. But if you just watch the flames and watch the grill temperature, this recipe will turn out perfectly.
Citrus Grilled Chicken
- 3/4 c orange juice (no pulp)
- juice of a lime
- 3 T extra virgin olive oil
- 2 t fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 t red pepper flakes
- kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
- 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
In a small saucepan, heat the orange juice and lime juice on medium-high heat until reduced by half (~15 minutes). Note that if the heat is too high, the juice will boil over. Once reduced, whisk in the olive oil, thyme, pepper flakes, and a pinch each salt and pepper. Set aside.
Preheat the grill to high.
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season well with salt and pepper. Oil the grill grate with a balled-up paper towel dipped in vegetable oil, using tongs to hold the paper towel. Put the chicken, skin side down, on the grill and cook to sear the skin, covered, over direct heat ~3 minutes, depending how hot your grill is (you don’t want them to burn especially if flames kick up). Move to indirect heat (i.e. move them to one side of the grill, turning off the burner(s) directly underneath), and grill 15 minutes. Flip and grill another 20 minutes.
Dip each thigh in the orange glaze and grill 2 minutes per side, covered, over direct heat. If flames kick up, move the chicken to another part of the grill. The grill burners may need to be turned down if flames kick up too much – you want to caramelize the glaze and finish the internal cooking, not burn them. Chicken is done when until internal temperature reaches 165F. Larger chicken pieces may require an additional 5 minutes cooking. Remove from grill and let rest 5 minutes before serving. Serves 4.
This chicken dish pairs amazingly with Quick Black Bean and Corn Salad.