Labor Day BBQ: Garlic-Citrus Chicken Marinade

by Chrissy

Labor Day Weekend is just around the corner.


Since my family did a trial run this past weekend, full of BBQ goodness, I’ve just been dying to share the loot with all of you!


Since this was for a birthday/back to college/newly-weds are moving kind of a gathering, we went all out. We made so many tasty BBQ essentials that I’ll need two make this post a two-parter.


Truth be told, I had to have two large heavy-duty paper plates in order to get a taste of everything.

No judegments there, I hope.

I also learned that day that I am a natural born competitive/marathon eater. There is no other explanation for how much food I was able to put down in under 10 minutes, flat. And then go swimming after.

I won’t disclose the details of my 5 hour stomachache from that smart decision.

For part 1 of the Labor day BBQ series, I’d like to share a simple, but flavorful chicken marinade. You can easily throw this together in a couple of minutes.


Be forewarned though, that marinated meat is usually best when prepped a full day ahead, so that they have plenty of time to bask in the seasoning and the glory.


Sure, you can make this the same day as you plan to cook the meat, but why only let them marinate for a couple hours when they have so much more flavor potential? You are basically responsible for stunting its tastiness, if you cut it short.


That’s like letting a kid have coffee at a young age so they end up being a short and stubby grown-up, from caffeine-stunted growth.

Oh wait, the research doesn’t back that up and I’ve been lied to my whole childhood?? Not cool.

While I tend to the scar that one caused me, you should be adding this recipe to your Labor Day Weekend BBQ lineup!



Here are some other great ideas:

Killer Carne Asada Tacos (using a similar marinade)

Corn on the Cobb with Cilantro-Lime Compound Butter

Lemon & Kale Quinoa Salad

Charcoal Grilled Baby Back Ribs & Cinnamon Spiced Dry Rub

Sweet Herb & Melon Salad


Garlic-Citrus Chicken Marinade

Makes 6 large chicken breasts


1/4 cup olive oil

juice from 2 big lemons

juice from 2 oranges

5 garlic cloves, m inced

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Pinch of salt and pepper

6 large chicken breasts



In a mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, fresh lemon and orange juice, garlic and cilantro and whisk together to help emulsify the mixture.

Sprinkle a small amount of salt and pepper on both sides of the chicken breast and with a fork, poke each side of the chicken breasts, several times; place into a large Ziploc back. Add the marinade to the bag and completely seal the bag, pressing out as much air as you can. Push the contents around to equally distribute the marinade and place in the fridge, laying flat over night. The next day (or after several hours) push the contents around again, flip the bag over and store in fridge for another several hours.

When you are ready to grill them, over a medium-high flame, cook the meat for about 6 minutes on one side and then 4-5 minutes on the other side; timing will depend on your grill, and you can always double check by cutting a slit into the thickest part of the chicken breast, ensuring that there is no pink color, and the juices run clear.


From the Little Yellow Kitchen,


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7 Responses to “Labor Day BBQ: Garlic-Citrus Chicken Marinade”

  1. Ahhh I love that you say you’re a marathon eater… I totally am, too. We need to have a food blogger eating competition!! All of this food seriously looks like the best BBQ ever!

  2. This marinade sounds wonderful! We will be trying this soon!

  3. I have got to try that marinade + fire up the grill at least once more before summer fades away 😉

  4. An approaching holiday is always a great reason to cook and try out the menu goodies ahead of time. Then on the holiday, the encore! Hurrah! and Yummy! Enjoy your write-ups and pictures, too! Thanks for this entertaining food blog!

  5. Chrissy

    Yes! You must! This marinade is the perfect way to “end” the Summer…although lucky for us San Diegans, the Summer sun is just warming up!

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