Okay, even though it's still raining, cloudy, and cold in Oregon, I wouldn't let them stop me from grilling food outside. The weather was much better weeks before; this week is definitely wetter. I made this Honey Citrus Chicken at the end of February and was pleased with the recipes. The chicken was marinated with pineapple, orange, and lime a day before. The marinade was then mix with honey to be used for brushing the chicken while they're grilled. The remainder of it was reduced to make a sauce. I didn't put the jalapeno in the marinade because my son wouldn't be able to eat it; instead, I sliced it thinly for my husband and I.
This was paired with Orzo Salad with Vegetables and Herbs; an unapologetically refreshing combination and a sign that I couldn't wait for the spring to come.
Honey Citrus Chicken
3 large oranges
2 cups diced pineapple
1 3-inch jalapeno pepper, seeds and membranes removed
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons honey
8 6- to 7-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, trimmed of excess fat
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Vegetable oil for oiling grill rack and for brushing chicken
Grate enough orange peel from oranges to yield 1 teaspoon and then juice them to yield 1 cup. Grate enough lime peel from the limes yield 1 teaspoon and then juice them to yield 1/2 cup. Set aside both zests and juices.
Combine diced pineapple, jalapeno, and garlic in a food processor in a food processor or blender and process until mixture is almost smooth. Pour marinade into a large, nonreactive shallow dish, and add orange and lime zests and juices, soy sauce, chopped cilantro, chopped basil, and 1 tablespoon black pepper. Stir to blend. Remove 1/3 cup of the marinade to a small nonreactive bowl and whisk in honey. (Cover and refrigerate the honey mixture until ready to grill chicken.) Add chicken to dish and turn to coat in marinade. Cover and refrigerate 4 to 5 hours, turning several times.
Remove chicken from marinade and using a rubber spatula, scrape excess marinade from breasts. Strain marinade into a heavy, medium saucepan. To make sauce, boil marinade in saucepan until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 15 minutes. Whisk in butter and season with additional pepper and salt if desired.
Oil a grill rack and arrange 4 to 5 inches from heat source. Prepare grill for a hot fire (high temperature). Brush chicken with oil and grill, turning several times and basting with reserved honey mixture, until chicken springs back when touched with your fingers and juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a sharp knife, 4 to 5 minutes per side.
Arrange breasts on a serving platter with sauce.
Source: adapted from The Big Book of Backyard Cooking by Betty Rosbottom