Grilled Rosemary Orange Honey Garlic Chicken is super easy, requires only a handful of ingredients, and cooks quickly. It’s the perfect recipe for grilling weather and goes great with some creamy coleslaw and potato salad.
What You Need to Make Grilled Rosemary Orange Honey Garlic Chicken
I have a Traeger Grill, which uses a combination of electricity and all-natural wood pellets. It is, hands-down, the best and most versatile grill I’ve ever used. It delivers incredible wood-fired flavour, maintains incredibly consistent temperatures at the push of a button, and couldn’t be easier to clean and maintain. Unlike conventional gas or charcoal grills, Traeger Grills work similar to a convection oven in that they use a central heat source and fan to circulates hot air. Nevertheless, the newer models can reach temperatures of 500F, which is hot enough to get a great sear, as you can see with this Grilled Rosemary Orange Honey Garlic Chicken.
If you don’t have an outdoor grill, you can cook the chicken on a grill pan or roast it on a sheet pan in your oven at 425F for around 35 minutes.
You can use just about any cut you like for this Grilled Rosemary Orange Honey Garlic Chicken: breast, thigh, drumstick or wings, bone-in or boneless, skin-on or skinless – the choice is yours. I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs because it’s what I had on hand at the time and they cook quicker than bone-in pieces. Truth be told, it’s probably my favourite cut of chicken because of how delicious and versatile it is. Not to mention the fact that it’s very hard to overcook. Dark meat is juicier, fattier and more flavourful (and cheaper!) than white meat, but if you love chicken breast than feel free to use that.
Alternative Cuts of Chicken
If you decide to use a different cut of chicken here, keep in mind a few things. Bone-in pieces take longer to cook than boneless so be sure to account for that before making the recipe. When grilling bone-in chicken, I recommend cooking it over medium, direct heat with the grill door closed and flipping fairly regularly to prevent it from burning. Once the grill door is closed, the grill functions similar to an oven by trapping heat, causing the meat to cook a bit quicker. Because all grills have hotspots, it will be up to you to keep on eye on each individual piece of chicken because chances are some will cook more quickly than others.
If cooking on a Traeger grill, I recommend positioning the chicken along the perimeter of the grill where it gets hottest. That way the honey in the marinade can caramelize and char a bit. However, don’t put the chicken all the way to the edge or rendered fat can drip below the grease pan and cause a grease fire.
Probably the easiest herb to grow. Seriously, if I can keep a pot of it alive for more than a month, you can too! Fresh rosemary is key here. It’s far more aromatic and mellow in flavour than dried. If you don’t have rosemary, you can try fresh thyme or sage for a different flavour profile.
Fresh Orange Zest and Juice
You’ll need the zest and juice of an orange. Any variety will do. The zest is what gives the chicken its main citrus flavour. The acid in the juice of the orange will flavour and tenderize the meat a bit. If you don’t already have a microplane zester, it’s an excellent tool to have.
I’ve also made this recipe with grapefruit and it is SPECTACULAR! In fact, I might even prefer it to orange because it adds a slightly more sour element that balances the honey.
Using a natural sweetener like honey makes all the difference. The sweetness isn’t just delicious, but it also caramelizes and chars a bit on the grill. Look for an all-natural one, but I wouldn’t recommend anything expensive. After all, any nutrients in the honey will likely be destroyed by the heat of the grill.
You can also use all-natural maple syrup, if that’s what you have or prefer.
For a Whole30-compliant option, try substituting date syrup.
Because you can never have enough garlic in your life.
Grilled Rosemary Orange Honey Garlic Chicken
- Zest and Juice of 1 medium orange
- 3 cloves garlic – finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
- 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- In a bowl, combine the orange zest, orange juice, garlic, honey, olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper and stir until combined. Pat chicken dry with paper towel and add it to the marinade. Toss to coat, cover and refrigerate for 1 to 8 hours.
- When ready to cook, preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Place the chicken over direct heat and cook, flipping occasionally, until slightly charred and the thickest part of each thigh registers around 175F, around 15 minutes total. If using a Traeger Grill, cook the chicken near the edge of the grill where it gets hottest.
- Transfer the chicken to a platter and serve immediately.