Parsley and Tangerine Marinated Grilled Chicken recipe. Moist grilled chicken drumsticks and thighs marinated in a sweet and citrusy tangerine marinade.
Have you ever created an amazing marinade for chicken drumsticks or thighs, only to have most of it burn off on the grill? It’s a delicate balance to properly grill dark meat chicken, while keeping the outside moist and flavorful. This Parsley and Tangerine Marinated Grilled Chicken recipe is designed to keep optimal flavor. – Within this recipe post you’ll learn a simple technique to grill marinated chicken and meats with perfectly crisp skin, while safely cooking the inside. –
This method can be use in most grilled chicken recipes; especially with thick, wet sauces. My Sweet and Spicy Beer Barbecue Chicken uses a similar technique. The trick is to pre-roast the chicken in the oven to more evenly cook through the center of the meat (more details on this in the cooking tips below). The next step is marinate the chicken in a parsley and tangerine mix. This fresh, crisp pairing is a delightful Summer treat.
Tangerines are an ideal citrus choice for this marinade. While similar to oranges, they have a lower pH level and are less acidic. This is beneficial for many reasons. You get a sweeter, less sour taste; which creates a subtle sweet and savory effect. To heighten this, I’ve added a bit of honey to the the tangerine marinade to bring out more sweetness.
With less acid in the marinade, you can marinate the chicken longer. High acidic marinades, like lemons or limes, tend to cook the meat before even grilling. This is how ceviche works, which is seafood that is cooked with acid, instead of heat. More marinading time, means more flavor in the meat. The bite of the parsley, garlic and onion powder create a full bodied marinade for this Parsley and Tangerine Marinated Grilled Chicken.
Cooking Tips: Why you should pre-bake chicken before grilling for juicier meat
Pre-roasting delicate meats like chicken drumsticks or pork before grilling creates juicy meat, and prevents the marinade or sauce from burning off. This is why ribs are often pre-baked at a low temp like 200º for a couple hours. Then you coat with sauce and quickly grill to crisp up and add more flavor. If you only grill meat, you would burn off your marinade. This is especially true for sauces with any type of sugar that caramelizes. I little bit of charred crispness is wonderful for flavor and texture, which is why you grill at end.
I this recipe I also suggest brushing tops of the chicken with marinade during grilling. This adds more flavor as well as moisture. It prevents it from drying out or crisping up to much.
Products used in this recipe:
Flavor profiles: Meaty, savory, sweet and citrusy.
Texture: Moist, tender and flaky grilled chicken
Dietary Options/Substitutions: This recipe is gluten-free. For vegetarian, you could try grilled portabella mushrooms with this marinade
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Parsley Tangerine Marinated Grilled Chicken
- 8-10 chicken drumsticks or thighs, skin on (2 ½ – 3 pounds total)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh squeezed tangerine juice
- 2 teaspoons grated tangerine zest
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ¼ cup minced fresh parsley leaves
- 3 –4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons dried onions
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
This is a 2 step recipe:
- Preheat oven to 400º. Pat outside of chicken with paper towel to remove excess moisture (This is an important step that creates crispier skin). Sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper. Place on a foil lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 25–30 minutes, or until inside of chicken reads 165º F with an instant read thermometer. It won't be completely cooked yet. Remove from oven and cool slightly.
Marinade and grill chicken
- Place all marinade ingredients in a large ziplock bag and shake to combine. Add pre-roasted chicken, seal and shake to evenly coat. Let sit for at least 45 minutes to 4 hours for marinade to soak in, rotating halfway through.
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat; I used a gas grill. drumsticks directly on racks of grill (save marinade). Cook, covered for 7-9 minutes. Rotate drumsticks then brush tops with marinade; discard remaining marinade. Cover and cook chicken an additional 7-9 minutes, or until chicken is browned, tender and reaches an internal temperature of 180º F.