Mandarin Garlic Chicken on the Grill

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I love summertime cooking. I am the ‘grill master’ in my house and usually two-three times a week I am grilling something up. Yesterday, I visited the Carrboro Farmer’s Market because I heard that my favorite farm, Perry-Winkle Farms, had fresh whole chickens. Ayla and I visited their farm during the Piedmont Farm Tour, you can read about that here. Anyway, I bought a fresh bird, and some fresh garlic they just pulled from their garden and dreamed of grilling it up tonight. I had originally thought I would make a lemon garlic marinade for the chicken, but as I was gathering my ingredients, I realized I didn’t have any lemon. Hmmm..I need a citrus.. we have little mandarins we give the kids in their lunches, that should work!

Then, I thought, mandarins, garlic.. could I do an Asian inspired marinade? Yes, I had sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, Braggs Aminos, and other ingredients that would make the chicken very tasty.

Mandarin Garlic Chicken

  • 1 whole chicken cut up or you could use 6 pieces of whatever pieces you like
  • 1 whole head of fresh garlic – chopped fine, if you can’t find fresh, a bunch of green onions would work just fine
  • 4 mandarin oranges – juiced  – can substitute with clementines or regular naval oranges
  • 1 TBS sesame oil
  • 2 TBS rice wine vinegar
  • 1 TBS Braggs Aminos or low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp red pepper flake
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper

Prepare the marinade. Chop the garlic and juice the mandarins. Add the garlic and juice to a medium-sized bowl and then add the spices, vinegar and sesame oil. Mix all the ingredients together. Place chicken pieces into a shallow baking dish or into a gallon sized ziplock bag. Pour the marinade over the chicken, and make sure it covers all of the pieces. Cover the chicken with a lid or plastic wrap and put it in the fridge to marinate. You should let it marinate for at least an hour. I have let mine marinate all day.

You can either bake in the oven or put it on a hot grill. I am going to choose the grill today since it’s so nice outside and the chicken from Perry-Winkle is soo amazing when it’s fresh and hot off the grill.

Turn grill on high heat and preheat it with the lid closed for 5 minutes. Place the chicken skin-side down on the hot grill and close the lid. Turn down the heat to medium high and let the chicken grill for about 5 minutes. You don’t want to turn it too early. Look at the grill marks and if they are getting nice and deep brown, go ahead and flip. I took some of the remaining juices from the marinade and spooned it on top after I flipped all the pieces. Continue grilling and flipping every five minutes or so. Turn down the heat on the grill if they are getting too dark. The chicken is done when you cut into it and the juices run clear. Remove from the grill and let set for five to ten minutes before eating.

We served the chicken on top of some roasted broccoli, sugar snap peas, and green beans and topped with sesame seeds. I have to say it was amazing and the kids were LOVING it too. I will definitely make this recipe again! One for the books!


Artisan Angela