Thursday, October 4, 2012

Grilled Citrus Chicken Breasts Recipe

This week our weather in the mountains has been deliciously cool, with temperatures in the seventies during the day, dropping down into the fifties and low sixties at night. Our windows are open during the day to enjoy the cool breezes and sleep comes easily with the windows open at night under a quilt.

We want to spend as much time as we can outdoors enjoying this crisp autumn weather before it gets cold and we become housebound and have to flee to the warmth of the south.

In the heat of the summer we tend to rely on grilling rather than heat up our kitchens. I think that in the fall when the weather is gorgeous, it’s also the perfect time for grilling. Neither of us pretends to be great grillers, especially moi who doesn’t even know much more than how to turn the gas grill on. This recipe was a joint effort. I put together the marinade and Meakin did the grilling. Works for me.

I may not know much about grilling, but I do know that if you aren’t careful you can overcook chicken, whether on the grill, on the stove, or in the oven. When you overcook it, it will be dry and tough. Marinades bring a lot of flavor to foods that will be grilled and this one is full of flavor with the citrusy oranges and lemons, and the perfume of the rosemary. Regardless of how much flavor you have in the marinade, if you want to preserve the moisture, avoid grilling the chicken too quickly over too high heat because it will end up scorched and dry.

Grilled Citrus Chicken Breasts
Adapted from Bon Appétit – serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing while grilling
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
½ cup fresh lemon juice
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 teaspoons (or more) fresh rosemary, minced
2 teaspoons kosher salt

4 skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts (about 2 ½ to 3 pounds)
2 oranges, cut into quarters
2 lemons, cut into quarters
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves for garnish

In a bowl whisk together the 2 tablespoons of oil and the remaining marinade ingredients. Place chicken breasts in a large zip-lock bag and pour the marinade over the chicken, zip bag, and chill overnight (or at least 3 hours).

Build a medium-low fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to medium. Remove chicken breasts from marinade and set marinade aside for later use. Place chicken on grill, skin side up. Cover and grill, moving chicken to different spots on the rack for even cooking but without turning, until slightly charred and almost cooked through, about 20 minutes. Turn chicken. Brush orange and lemon quarters with a little olive oil and arrange around chicken breasts on the grill. Continue grilling until chicken breasts are golden brown and cooked through and orange and lemon quarters are caramelized, about 10 to 15 minutes longer.

Transfer chickens to a platter and surround with grilled oranges and lemons for squeezing. Cover loosely with aluminum foil. While the chicken rests, bring marinade to a boil in a small saucepan and cook until reduced to a glaze consistency (about a third of a cup). Season glaze with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper, then spoon glaze over chickens and garnish with parsley. Can be served hot or at room temperature.

This weekend the John C. Campbell Folk School in nearby Brasstown, North Carolina will be celebrating its 39th Annual Folk Festival on October 6 and 7th.

Wood Carver

Located in the scenic Blue Ridge mountains, the Folk School offers year-around weeklong and weekend classes for adults in crafts, art, music, dance, cooking, gardening, nature studies, photography, and writing. On my previous posts you’ve probably noticed how many crafts we have at our local farmer’s market and the Folk School is one of the reasons there are so many talented people in our area. There will be demonstrations at the Festival of some of the crafts that are taught at the school. One example is the woodcarver in the photo above.

Below are a spinner and a broom maker. For information about the Folk School and the classes they offer, click this link. I wrote a post about the Festival a couple of years ago with lots of pictures of the different festivities. Here’s a link.

Spinning wool

Broom Maker

 This will be shared with Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farms, Miz Helen’s Country Kitchen Full Plate Thursday, Foodie Friday at Simple Recipes, Foodtastic Friday at Not Your Ordinary Recipes, Seasonal Sunday at the Tablescaper, and On the Menu Monday at Stone Gable.


  1. That sounds like a very tasty marinade! This was the first summer I've been without a grill and I have to admit I do miss it. Enjoy the folk festival:@)

  2. Absolutely scrumptious! That is a dish I wouldn't mind eating anytime...

    An interesting place.



  3. Now, that is something I would love to do, Sam. Go to a folk festival. I have a small collection of outsider/folk art, and I love it. That man's jiggling dolls looked fun!

    And your chicken breasts look fabulous! You are a marvel. If I go to your blog or Cathy's early in the morning, I am out trolling for food by lunchtime. LOL! Of course it would help if I could cook, but that's what restaurants are for, no?

    Enjoy those cool breezes until you return to us. It's rather odd weather here. It looks like it should be cool, and it's kind of sticky damp. It cooled off some weeks ago, but we are sort of in a weird front right now. It's hot to me. Mr. Magpie was in Miami yesterday, and he said that is was glorious, balmy and beautiful, but hot (around 89 degrees). Tampa, on the other hand, was just hot. He was there earlier in the week.



  4. Couldn't live without my grill in the summer. Now that it is getting cooler I have to think about using my oven and stovetop again. Citrus and chicken are a winning combo and the addition of rosemary is brilliant. Yum!

  5. I have an entirely different view of your blog since spending time in your home and kitchen with you and Meakin. I can see you preparing this beautiful chicken dish and see Meakin at the grill. I do hope to spend some time at the Folk School now that our daughter and family has moved to this beautiful area of North Carolina. Once again, Sam, it was total pleasure for Dale and me to meet you and spend time with the two of you. By the way, our large shrub of rosemary is looking beautiful this fall....perfect for this dish. Susan

  6. This looks delicious! :-)

    I'll be in North Carolina in about two weeks. Can't wait!

  7. Citrus and chicken are perfect together, Sam. Your recipe looks wonderful. I am so looking forward to having a grill again when I move. The one we have here is used by everyone and is down by the pool. So inconvenient.
    Enjoy the cool's still hot here, but not quite as bad as last month.

  8. That chicken looks sooooo good! I'm definitely trying out this recipe - thanks for sharing!! xo

  9. Oh you're like me..don't ask me to light the BBQ:) J's the griller..
    Love citrus with chicken..your festival looks like fun..Do you head south after Christmas

    Bet you miss both places when you are at the other:)

  10. Looks wonderful Sam. David is my griller too. I love citrus with chicken. It won't be long before we will be making the trek to Florida.

  11. I love lemon chicken, so sure I would like this even bettr.

    The folk festival sounds like lots of fun. Take care Diane

  12. I love grilled chicken and was craving it the other day! I wish I was up in the mountains with you! Yum! I was taught by my father how to grill (I don't have any brothers so I was passed down the grill knowledge). My husband doesn't do anything in the kitchen or on the it's a good thing I know how to grill! But he enjoys everything I make...without any complaints! ;)

  13. The dish looks delightful Sam. Kent does most of the grilling at our house, but I tend to stand right next to him, making sure things don't get burnt-lol.

  14. I love simple chicken dishes like this, and I agree the weather right now is perfect for grilling!!

  15. These are some perfectly grilled chicken!
    Is there a difference between 'grill' and 'bbq'?

  16. I love citrus with chicken...this looks mighty good. We will be grillin' this weekend!

  17. I don't do any grilling either, nor do I have any desire to learn. Michael can take care of that. I cook enough miracles already!

  18. Sounds delicious -- citrus brightens everything so well. And such a beautiful presentation!

  19. Like you, Sam, I'm not able to grill very well at all, leaving it up to my husband! I love marinaded chicken on the grill tho and find it quite moist and juicy if not over-cooked. I appreciate the Campbell Folk School more than you'll ever know and all of the Appalachian craft heritage and artisans. The semi-annual Southern Highlands Craft Show in Asheville is quite an event with the highest quality crafts marketed to the public under one roof. My days of over-spending on mountain crafts tho have come to an end as I've just simply run out of shelf space! Those that I've purchase from the mountains, I will love always! Enjoy those temps, Sam . . . it was 88 degrees hear today with very little fall color. My parents arrived for the winter (from Iowa) and simply can't get over how little color has happened yet here in mid-SC!


  20. Bone-in chicken breasts are my favorite on the grill. The bones do something to keep them more moist than skinless/boneless breasts. What a delicious recipe!

  21. your presentations are always so beautiful!! I love this recipe...but I dry out the chicken when i grill it. I have resorted to only baking chicken now to keep it moist...maybe i was overcooking this whole time?! thanks for the tips.

  22. How perfect for a fall evening. This looks and sounds delicious.

  23. Wow, this chicken looks amazing! I'm so ready for oranges and clementines and all that great citrus flavor. Your recipe is the perfect way to welcome in the season!

  24. Beautiful chicken, Sam! I think we have another good month of grilling weather...and this is one dish I need to try~

  25. this looks amazing. i love grilling with citrus.

  26. The grilled citrus looks beautiful. I used to be a dismal griller, but this summer I finally bonded with our gas grill. Meakin did a beautiful job with the photography.

  27. You appear to be excellent grillers from my viewpoint! The marinate looks particularly nice, and I loved the visit to Folk School!

  28. That's what I love about barbecuing. We prep and someone else does the cooking. Thanks for reminding me to keep on grilling.

  29. I don't know if you guys are great grillers, but it looks like you turned out a great product. I love the effort you put into getting a beautiful presentation. We considered coming over for a little camping this next week as Madison is out of school, but she just started at Sylvan and we don't want her to miss this soon.

  30. First of all, the chicken looks spectacular, and the photos look like they should have been in Bon Apetit. Very inspiring. Second, I was dying to go to that folk festival, I'm going to time my visit to my dad next year to coincide with it. I bet it was a blast, so jealous!

  31. Hi Sam,
    I would have so much fun at your Folk Festival, I just love spending the day at a wonderful Fall Festival.

    Your combination of the Citrus and Chicken is one of my favorites. Your recipe is exceptional and the chicken looks delicious. Your dishes always inspire me!

    Enjoy your weekend and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  32. Your food always looks so inviting, Sam. Makes me want to eat it.

  33. This chicken is delicious....
    I think it will be my dinner..
    I have a blog of Italian dish but sometimes i like change flavors..
    You have more good recipes
    Bye from italy

  34. Dear Sam, Sounds like a perfect marinade. I can smell the deliciousness grilling as I type! The festival looks like fun, as I am sure it is. Blessings dear. Catherine xo

  35. A delightful chicken & citrus recipe! I have made similar recipes as this one in the past but must make yours!

    The endresult says it all: EAT ME RIGHT NOW!! I would serve this with a tasty mixed salad with a citrus dressing & potato croquettes! Yummmmmm!

    A stunning & tasty creation, dear Sam!

  36. I'm always looking for new on the bone recipes. This looks great.

    - The Tablescaper

  37. you have the best chicken recipes look wonderful wish you were nearer master gardener could learn from you

  38. Orange and rosemary what a great contrast. Thanks for sharing your delicious chicken on foodie friday.

  39. This looks delicious and almost too beautiful to eat. Visiting from Seasonal Sundays. xo

  40. Looks like this should be a Sunday Supper...a fabulous recipe and my very favorite chicken!!! Hope everything is great with you, Sam and have a good week. Mona

  41. I pinned the heck out of that! You know I loved it. We're going to be in your neck of the woods next week, gonna email you. Would love to get together.

  42. The chicken is going to be on my menu this weekend; it looks wonderful!
    By the way, that woman is spinning wool, not weaving wool.


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