Grilled Chicken with Habanero and Orange Glaze



So Zach made this incredible habanero, honey and orange sauce while I was away in May; not that I would know that it was incredible since I didn’t get to try it, but I obviously took his word for it. We decided to have another go at it (mostly because I wanted to try the sauce) and use it in a different way. Instead of spreading it on tacos, we decided to smother chicken in the stuff; and when I say smother, I really mean smother. It was grilled to perfection and was the perfect summer’s evening meal. We paired it with a superb IPA because IPA day was yesterday, so obviously there was no other way to go. This was a match made in heaven. The chicken was perfectly sweet with just a kick of spiciness and the beer only enhanced those wonderful flavors. This grilled chicken with habanero and orange glaze is fool-proof. Easy…cheap…delicious.






Fun Facts and Opinions:

1. Sometimes, when you allow for liquids to reduce, it can take longer than you expect it to. I find that it always takes me longer to reduce a liquid. It’s essential that you keep the liquid just at a simmer. You don’t want it to boil. You also don’t want it to be too cool. Understood? This step is going to vary from person to person. Be patient. Start a half hour ahead of time. If you find that you would like for the sauce to be a just a tad thicker. Throw some corn starch into the mix (be sure to follow the instructions on your corn starch). Work it in and it will thicken in no time. This is totally optional. We have gone this route a couple of times and it seems to have done the trick.

2. Be careful when you are grilling. I always find it necessary to brush oil onto the grill when I’m grilling chicken (or really any type of meat/poultry). Even with BBQ sauce, I always find that my chicken sticks. You may think that the glaze will be enough, but sometimes it’s not. Having some olive oil on hand is always a good thing.

3. Yes, this is spicy. Habaneros. Are. Spicy. We infused them into this sauce. It wasn’t out-of-control, but it may be too much for some. Use only one if you are nervous, or if you would like some more heat, then pulverize the heck out of it and blend it into the juice.

4. If you do not know what a tea infuser is…well here you go. They are usually made from a steel mesh material. They are super cheap, and are a great investment. I don’t so much use it for tea as I do for infusing herbs. It’s a great tool to have. If you happen to not have a tea infuser lying around, and do have some cheesecloth, this will certainly do the trick. Just make a little sack and tie with some kitchen string. It will work just fine.

So as for beer, we have a new favorite around here and they go by the name of Elevation Beer Company. They are located in “centralish”/”southernish” Colorado and they are incredible. Anything we have ever had from them has been spectacular. They also do something super cool with their beers and separate them into categories of ski difficulty (intermediate, black diamond, double black diamond…you get it right?). I thought this was super cool =). So they have an IPA and it really is the perfect IPA. It’s called First Cast IPA. Go get yourself a bottle. It’s refreshingly hoppy and perfect with the spiciness of this dish.

Happy Friday Everyone! Enjoy!




Grilled Chicken with Habanero and Orange Glaze
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr, 10 min

Grilled Chicken with Habanero and Orange Glaze

This grilled chicken recipe is full proof. Marinated and grilled in a habanero and orange glaze, it is perfectly sweet and spicy.


  • 2 chicken legs
  • 2 chicken thighs
  • 4 cups orange juice
  • 2 habanero peppers, halved, stem and seeds removed
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped, plus extra for garnish


  • In a large saucepan, combine the orange juice, habaneros, a dash of salt and pepper and the honey. Place the cilantro in a tea/herb infuser (or a cheesecloth sack) and seal. Place this directly into the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat, then lower the heat to medium low. Simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until the juice has reduced by half and thickened. Remove from heat and discard of the habanero peppers and the tea infuser. Set aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile, preheat your grill to medium. Brush the grates with just a little olive oil. In a large bowl, combine the chicken legs and thighs with some salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Ladle in about a cup of the glaze and toss to coat. Transfer what''s left of the glaze to a small bowl. Grill the chicken for 10-12 minutes or until cooked through. Rotate the pieces every 2-3 minutes, and brush with the glaze after each rotation.
  • Remove from grill and let rest for 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and enjoy!


Hardware: * Cutting Board * Sharp Knife * Tea Infuser or Cheesecloth Sack * Large Saucepan * Grill or Grill Pan * Small Bowl * Brush *

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