flavor? check! tenderness? check!

Ever since reading about roasting citrus at The Kitchn I have wanted to try it. I googled something like “citrus roasted chicken,” then looked at the image results, since it’s all about the picture for me. I found one that looked super yummy, and the recipe sounded great. But, I’ve had my share of disappointments in the past when baking or roasting boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Words that come to mind are: dry, boring, no flavor, tough…I proceeded with caution and decided to add a quick brining process to (hopefully) keep the chicken moist, or at least moister. I thought it was quite pretty all assembled with the citrus wedges and the thyme stuffed chicken.

Given my low expectations, even though the recipe sounded delicious, I was pleasantly surprised. This chicken was packed with flavor and I believe I said that my piece was “oozing tenderness.” Here’s my slight adaptation from the original, along with the quick brine instructions.

Balsamic Citrus Infused Chicken
adapted from Citrus Spiked Chicken

  • 4 Tbs kosher salt
  • 4 c water
  • 4 boneless chicken breast
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbs marmalade
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • bunch of fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2/3 c pearl onions

Combine kosher salt and water in a gallon size ziplock bag. Add chicken breast pieces and let soak for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine juice of 1 orange, juice of 1 lemon, balsamic vinegar, marmalade, and olive oil. Zest one half of each of the juiced fruits. Stir into juices. Slice the remaining orange and lemon in half and then into quarters.

Cut 3 diagonal slashes into each breast. Fill slashes with a spring of thyme. Arrange in a shallow baking dish. Spoon sauce over breasts. Salt and pepper to taste. Arrange the sliced oranges and lemons and pearl onions around the chicken. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees until chicken reaches 165 degrees at thickest portion. Cover with foil and let rest 5 minutes before serving.

*I cooked at 350 deg F using the “convection roast” option on my oven.