- This is citrus herb marinated grilled chicken. I think you guys should be friends!
- I might have a first grader (?!?!!!) who heads back to school tomorrow, and we did beach-plus-Dairy-Queen last night in a way that felt a little like goodbye, but SUMMER IS NOT OVER and bright citrus-y chicken with a little herb and jalapeño zing cooked on the grill is here to reassure us.
- I have a job! I haven’t had a real, actual job since 2011. I’m probably still in a honeymoon phase, but I’m working from home right here on my laptop doing freelance writing and editing, and it’s been pretty wonderful. Things may be a little quieter here on the blog, but they’re already kinda quiet these days, so hopefully ya won’t even notice! And if you need a writer, or you need your ebook or your website or your 28-page economics paper edited (but please…not that last one, I survived but I suffered)…you can find me on Upwork!
So: this chicken. I do recall that I have already given you what I said was the only recipe you would ever need for grilled chicken. That was…hasty. True, in some senses, because it’s such a great go-to and is easy to throw together any time because you don’t have to plan ahead with a marinade…but there is room in our lives for more. One day I’ll share Jay’s grilled chicken thighs that literally only have olive oil, salt, and pepper and still manage to wow people! But today’s recipe has some fun, delicious extra flavor from a quick marinade (so yes, a bit of planning ahead is required…but there is a double-batch-and-stash freezer option to make it super quick in the future!).
A food processor or blender isn’t strictly necessary – you could just chop everything up yourself – but I like to let it do the work for me, and blending the herbs with everything really helps get all the flavor into the chicken! Just put jalapeño, basil (or cilantro!), and garlic into the food processor and pulse to finely chop things up. Add lime juice, orange juice, olive oil, cumin, a couple of big pinches of salt, and lots of freshly ground pepper. Blend it up, add raw chicken, and let the magic happen for a couple of hours before you throw it on the grill!
Super easy. Tons of great summer flavor. Awesome leftovers for your salad (but, um, I went the less virtuous route of using the leftovers from 3 meals + pasta + cream to make a surprisingly amazing dinner – all that citrus and basil goodness made the sauce 👌🏽). Please let me know if you try it – you, me, and citrus herb marinated grilled chicken can keep summer alive!Print
1/2 large jalapeño pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
1/4 cup basil leaves (or cilantro)
2 cloves garlic
1.5 Tablespoons lime juice (about 1 lime, depending on size)
1/2 of a large orange, juiced
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (breasts work too!)
To make the marinade, add jalapeño, basil, and garlic to a food processor or blender and pulse to finely chop (or you can use an immersion blender to blend it after liquid ingredients have been added). Add lime juice, orange juice, olive oil, cumin, a couple of big pinches of salt, and lots of freshly ground pepper. Blend together until fairly smooth. To marinate chicken, pour half of the marinade into a gallon-sized zip top bag and add chicken. Marinate for 2-12 hours, then grill the chicken until done.
If you don’t have a blender or food processor option, you can just chop the pepper, garlic, and herbs as fine as you can and mix with the liquid ingredients by hand!
I like to make a double batch of marinade and freeze half of it for later (it works out well to use a whole jalapeño and orange, too!). A double batch makes about 1-1/4 cups of marinade, so put a splash over 1/2 cup in a labeled gallon-sized zip top bag. Squeeze the air out and fold the bag in half, so that the marinade is just in half of the bag. Lay it flat in the freezer and it will make a skinny little package when frozen! It thaws within minutes in a bowl of warm water.