Orange-Rosemary Grilled Chicken
Updated: Jul 11, 2022
Easy and flavorful. That pretty much sums up this chicken. It really packs a punch on your tastebuds, but it's so easy, you'll want it all the time. And trust me, your family and guests will be happy too.
My mom gave me this recipe years and years ago and she used to make it when I was a kid, probably starting in the middle school or slightly younger years. I loved any grilled chicken as a kid, but this one always stood out as the best.
Grilled chicken can be boring. If you're like me, a lot of times you just use a bottled salad dressing or pre-made marinade and there's certainly nothing wrong with that (like I said, I do it a lot), but sometimes you want to bring your lean protein to the next level without spending any extra time or effort on it. Enter this orange-rosemary chicken.
In the summer, we grill a lot. It's easy, there's minimal clean-up, and nothing goes together quite like summer and the grill. But simple grilling options can get a little mundane. This chicken marinade will change all that. Even the person who grumbles a little when they hear grilled chicken is for dinner will perk up when they know it's THIS grilled chicken for dinner.
Honestly, the best part about this recipe is that it makes a TON of marinade. I will marinade many chicken breasts (like 7lbs. worth... Hello Sam's Club/Costco!) at once then freeze them. Now I have deliciously marinated chicken ready to go whenever I want it. Grill it up and serve it with some veggies and my twice-baked potatoes. Or try slicing it over a salad or making a chicken sandwich with arugula and an herb mayo. It is really versatile and again, so so so yummy.
Be sure to check the recipe notes + variations section below to read about how to freeze these for a later use.
Orange-Rosemary Grilled Chicken (Makes ~ 2.5 C. of marinade) Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 12-15 minutes
1- 12oz. container of frozen orange juice concentrate (thawed)*
1/3 C. dry white wine**
2.5 TB dijon mustard
2.5 TB honey
2 TB finely minced fresh rosemary
1/4 C. soy sauce (low sodium preferred)
2 tsp. hot sauce (such as Tabasco or Cholula)
1/2 tsp. jarred minced garlic (or 1 fresh clove finely minced)
Boneless chicken breasts (will depend on how many people you are feeding. This makes enough marinade for 7-8lbs. of chicken if you want. See recipe notes at the end)
With a whisk, combine all of the ingredients except the chicken in a bowl or quart-sized measuring cup.
Pour over chicken in a gallon-size ziplock bag (if using all the marinade with lots of chicken, you will need 2 bags).
Marinade for 12-24 hours (though 30-60 minutes will work fine in a pinch).
When ready to cook the chicken, preheat grill to about 400°
Remove chicken from marinade, shaking off excess marinade. Cook over medium heat for 6-8 minutes per side, depending on the size and thickness of your chicken.
When cooked through, remove from heat and enjoy!
*Recipe notes + Variations*
*To quickly thaw frozen OJ, keep in the container and place in a bowl of hot water. It should mostly thaw in 5-10 minutes. Do not put the container in the microwave as many of these containers have metal!
**If you don’t want to buy a whole bottle of white wine since you only need 1/3 C., buy the 4-pack of small individual servings or the small box wine. I buy these for cooking all the time because I don’t drink white wine but I enjoy cooking with it.
I suggest only grilling this and not baking or pan searing. Because of the orange juice, the marinade has a higher sugar content and likely will burn before it's done cooking from the other methods.
This recipe makes A LOT of marinade and because you're using a container of OJ concentrate, it doesn't really make sense to cut it in half and discard the extra OJ. I suggest either marinating a bunch of chicken together for 12-24 hours then freezing the extra you don't need for dinner that night. The best method to do this is lay each piece of marinated chicken onto a sheet tray then freezing them on the tray. Once they are solid, throw them into a ziplock bag and put them back in the freezer until ready to use. This allows you to pull as many pieces out at a time as you need without them being frozen/stuck together.
Also because it makes so much marinade, it makes it a great option for a larger cookout or dinner.
If you don't want to do the above step, freeze the extra marinade to use at a later time.
Prefer chicken thighs? Go for it!
Try marinating fish (salmon or halibut perhaps) for 10-15 minutes then basting as you grill. Let me know how this is! I haven't tried it yet.
This is great simply grilled with veggies and a starch on the side. But it also makes an awesome protein for a salad (weekday meal prep, yes!) or a great sandwich. This is another reason why I love freezing a bunch because it can be so many different meals.