Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Orange Chipotle Glaze

For the last couple of years, I’ve been in a slump when it comes to chicken breasts.  I used to eat chicken breasts all the time.  I enjoyed the mild flavor of the white meat with a teriyaki marinade, barbeque sauce or a spice rub.  Then I stopped enjoying my go-to choice of meat.  I began to find chicken breasts, okay I’ll just say it, boring!  I switched to chicken thighs, and I appreciated the succulent flavor and texture of the thighs.   But thighs aren’t as low in fat and calories as I would like, so I have been experimenting with new ways to serve my old favorite.

The orange tree in my backyard is bursting with fruit, and the oranges are full of juice from all the rain we got this year, so I am trying to use up my harvest (I’ll have to tell you about the orange marmalade in another post).  I used the oranges as my inspiration for the glaze below.  And I love sweet and spicy together, so I added the chipotle pepper.

I few months ago, I made a Beer Can Chicken, and I had some of the rub leftover.  I sprinkled the rub on the chicken, and then Les grilled it.  I added the glaze to the cooked chicken after Les took it off the grill, and I passed the rest at the table.

My family loved Grilled Chicken Breasts with Orange Chipotle Glaze.  And when dinner was over, my thoughtful husband started to do the dishes, or I at least I thought he started to do the dishes, but no he was just looking for something else to dip into the glaze that was still on the stove!

 Grilled Chicken Breasts with Orange Chipotle Glaze
4 chicken breasts
¼ to ½ cup Beer Can Chicken Rub
Orange Chipotle Glaze

Coat the chicken breasts with the Beer Can Chicken Rub, and grill over a medium fire for 3-5 minutes per side, or until cooked through.  Brush the glaze over the cooked chicken.  Slice the chicken and pour more glaze over the top.

Beer Can Chicken Rub
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
¼ cup sweet paprika
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1½ teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon celery salt

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.  Store any extra rub in an airtight container.  Makes about a ½ cup.

Orange Chipotle Glaze
¼ cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp olive oil
Juice from two oranges
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest (omit zest if using orange marmalade)
½ cup jelly (I used homemade pepper jelly that was tangy but not spicy, you could use apple jelly or orange marmalade)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped
1 teaspoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon kosher salt

Heat olive oil in a small saucepan. Add the onion and cook until the onion is soft.  In a small bowl mix together the orange juice, orange zest, jelly, thyme, chipotle, cornstarch and salt.  Add the orange juice mixture to the onions in the saucepan and simmer until the sauce thickens.  Pour over the cooked chicken.


  1. This sounds great! I love the presentation too. I'm the same way. I cook chicken breasts but I sometimes find them boring.

  2. Hi Dawn, Thanks! I'm always looking for chicken breast inspiration. I know I should eat it more often, but it is not quite as easy as throwing a steak on the barbeque. Thanks for visiting! Janice

  3. The glaze is wonderful. It could make an old car tire taste good.

  4. Looks great Janice, I have an orange glut myself so I am trying this next on the menu:"

  5. I just made this for dinner and it was absolutely amazing. The only thing i did different was left out the chipole pepper cause i didn't have it. My husband adored it! Thank you!

  6. Hi Dana, You'll have to let me know how you like it. Thanks!

    Hi Anonymous, I'm so glad you liked my recipe, and it's nice to know the glaze is good without the chipotle pepper. Thanks for visiting!

  7. that would be perfect for dinner. =) I will try this one with glaze, chicken breasts are very easy to cook though it's a little boring, just give your best shot on doing it's flavor.

  8. Hi Kathy, You're so right. Chicken breasts are really easy to cook and quick too. That's why I haven't given up on them. I'm just need a little excitement for my chicken breasts. Thanks for reading! Janice

  9. This is a tasty way to do some chicken!

  10. Hi Kevin, Thanks for reading! Janice

  11. Made this for dinner and will be making Grilled Chicken Breast with Orange Chipotle glaze again and again....

  12. This was AMAZING. My boyfriend literally said the words "this is the sauce I've been looking for" as he's been looking for a sauce to make a chinese orange chicken with. We were both so impressed with the flavors in the sauce and loved the rub on the chicken. THANKS!

  13. Hi Anonymous, I'm glad to hear it! Thanks for visiting. Janice

    Hi IzzyE, I'm glad you liked the sauce! Thanks for your feedback. Janice

  14. I love chiptole but have never thought of mixing with oranges. I am glad I found your site as now I have a new idea for those tired breasts. What about ribs, don't you think that may be delicious, too?

    By the way, where in the Bay Area are you growing oranges? We live in San Francisco and our lemon tree only produces doll size ones!

  15. Hi Chez Us,

    I think this sauce would taste great on ribs. I like boneless country ribs, and the sauce would be great on them. (I might have to buy them for this next weekend!)

    We live a little south of San Francisco (Silicon Valley) and our orange tree is probably older than I am, so we usually have more fruit than I know what to do with. Thanks for visiting! Janice

  16. Janice --- Did you use bone-in, skin-on breasts? Or boneless, skinless?



  17. This turned out great - I made it last night and did a post on our blog too. I love the sweet heat of the glaze. Something different that a typical pan sauce.

  18. Im cooking this right now, with a litle of my own variation!! cant wait to see how it turns out, thank you



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