Orange, Chili and Thyme Grilled Chicken

This makes a lot of chicken, but you can definitely cut the recipe in half for a smaller crowd or a family meal.   I just often make this in big batches, because I LOVE having leftovers of this (see below for ideas of what to do with all of those leftovers).

Chili Garlic Marinade

Many cultures/countries/cuisines have some sort of sauce that is a combo of chili and garlic.  Asian cuisines have a lot of them.  I used a chili garlic sauce from Japan one time, and a Chinese on another time.  Try this one, or this one or this one.  

Or use Sriracha or Gochujang paste, or Sambal Oelek.  Different kinds of red pepper or chili sauce have different levels of potency, so add slowly, and taste the marinade to see how spicy it gets, and decide how spicy you want it (taste it only BEFORE you put the chicken in!  Once raw meat touches anything, it’s no longer safe for consumption).  Of course the chicken won’t get as spicy as the marinade itself, but it certainly will absorb some of the heat, particularly on the outside.

Orange, Chili and Thyme Grilled Chicken

This Orange, Chili and Thyme Grilled Chicken uses a fresh orange juice and sambal oelek marinade. Leftover chicken is great over green salads.

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Leftovers are great over greens salads, such as chopped salad. Or diced and added to grain salads, such as Summer Whole Grain and Vegetable Salad, soups, such as Avgolemono Soup or sliced and made into sandwiches, maybe with a smear of Herbed Mayonnaise.  You can also add the diced chicken to stir fried rice, and even turn extra into chicken salad.

You can definitely use boneless skinless thighs instead of breasts, just give them a few extra minutes on each side when cooking.  Also, you don’t have to use freshly squeezed orange juice, but it does make a big difference.   And finally, if you don’t have fresh thyme, use dried, or sub in another fresh herb like basil or oregano or marjoram.

Orange, Chili and Thyme Grilled Chicken

What to Serve with Orange, Chili and Thyme Grilled Chicken:

Orange, Chili and Thyme Grilled Chicken

More Grilled Chicken Recipes:

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Orange, Chili and Thyme Grilled Chicken

This grilled chicken is marinated with fresh orange juice and sambal oelek. Leftover chicken is great over green salads.
Yield: 10 People
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Marinating Time 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes



  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • ¼ cup canola, vegetable or other neutrally flavored oil
  • ¼ cup minced shallots
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh thyme leaves , or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce (see intro for more info)
  • Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts


  • In a large container or a large zipper top bag, combine the orange juice, oil, shallots, thyme, chili garlic sauce and salt and pepper.  Add the chicken breasts, turn to coat and marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours and up to 8, with the container covered or the bag sealed.
  • Preheat the grill to medium high, or heat a grill pan – lightly brushed with oil – over medium high heat on the stove.  Grill or pan grill the chicken for about 5 minutes on each side, until just cooked through.  Let it sit for a few minutes, then slice and serve.


What is sambal oelek?

It’s a Southeast Asian sauce (sometimes called olek or ulek) that is made from hot red chili peppers, salt and sometimes vinegar. There are many variations on the sauce, and they can contain onion, lemon or lime juice, garlic, or sugar.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 280kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 116mg | Sodium: 379mg | Potassium: 748mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 157IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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