Grilled Orange Tarragon Chicken

Grilled Orange Tarragon Chicken for a light but totally flavorful dinner. 
Grilled Orange Tarragon Chicken for a light but totally flavorful dinner.

I love just throwing chicken on the bbq. It’s just so easy to me, although when you think about it, it’s really not that different to throw it in the oven. Oh, but wait, that smoky, delicious flavor just isn’t there in the oven. Unless of course you burned something, but then it’s just plain nasty. Often we grill with friends and sometimes we want to bring something other than burgers, but plain chicken just isn’t exciting so we need something better. Oh, sweet mercy. This is it! Grilled Orange Tarragon Chicken to the rescue!


Grilled Orange Tarragon Chicken for a light but totally flavorful dinner.


The citrus flavor with that fresh tarragon. YUM! I loooooove that you marinade the chicken, and not even for a long time, just a short little blip. I adore marinades, but let’s be honest, sometimes you haven’t planned that far out or even if you did you completely forget to get it going. This chicken still gets the benefits of a marinade, but then you add a little more sweet deliciousness by adding a sauce after it’s cooked. LOVE IT!!! The chicken is juicy, tender, flavorful and a little saucy. Everything I love. Thank you Cook’s Illustrated!!!


Grilled Orange Tarragon Chicken for a light but totally flavorful dinner.


Is Grilled Chicken Good For Losing Weight?

Chicken is always included in a healthy diet  because it is basically a lean meat, which means it doesn’t have much fat.

So, eating chicken regularly can actually help you lose weight in a healthy way.

Grilling is a healthier way to prepare chicken because there is no added fat, so the meat remains lean.


What is Tarragon?

Tarragon is an herb in the sunflower family.

It is used for both culinary and medicinal purposes.

Tarragon has a slightly bittersweet flavor and an aroma similar to anise.

It is used to flavor fish, meat, soups and stews, and is often used in tomato and egg dishes.


Grilled Orange Tarragon Chicken

We make this grilled orange tarragon chicken all summer long!
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5 from 2 votes

Grilled Orange Tarragon Chicken

Grilled Orange Tarragon Chicken for a light but totally flavorful dinner. 
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Mom's Best 100 Easy Chicken Recipes
Keyword: chicken, grilled, main dish, orange, tarragon
Servings: 3 -4 breasts
Calories: 693kcal
Author: Sweet Basil


Recipe By: Cook's Illustrated

  • 3-4 Chicken Breasts

For the Dressing

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Orange Juice
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Orange Zest
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sugar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Pepper

For the Marinade

  • 1 tablespoons fresh orange juice divided
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 medium garlic cloves minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (6 to 8 ounces each), trimmed of excess fat
  • Vegetable oil for grill rack


For the Dressing

  • Whisk together mustard, orange juice, orange zest, olive oil, tarragon, sugar, salt, and pepper in small bowl;
  • set aside.

For the Marinade

  • Whisk together orange juice, remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, remaining teaspoon sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, garlic, and water in medium bowl.
  • Place marinade and chicken in gallon-size zipper-lock bag and toss to coat;
  • press out as much air as possible and seal bag.
  • Refrigerate 30 minutes, flipping bag after 15 minutes.
  • Turn all burners to high and heat with lid down until very hot, about 15 minutes.
  • Scrape grate clean with grill brush.
  • Dip wad of paper towels in oil; holding wad with tongs, wipe cooking grate.
  • Leave primary burner on high and turn off other burner(s).
  • Remove chicken from bag, allowing excess marinade to drip off.
  • Place chicken on cooler side of grill, smooth-side down, with thicker side facing lit burner.
  • Cover and cook until bottom of chicken just begins to develop light grill marks and is no longer translucent, 6 to 9 minutes.
  • Using tongs, flip chicken and rotate so that thinner side faces lit burner.
  • Cover and continue to cook until chicken is opaque and firm to touch and instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of chicken registers 140 degrees, 6 to 9 minutes longer.
  • Move chicken to hotter side of grill and cook, uncovered, until dark grill marks appear, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Using tongs, flip chicken and cook until dark grill marks appear and instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of chicken registers 160 degrees, 2 to 3 minutes longer.
  • Transfer chicken to a cutting board, let rest, tented with foil, 5 minutes.
  • Slice each breast on bias into 1/4-inch-thick slices and transfer to individual plates.
  • Drizzle with reserved dressing and serve.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 693kcal | Carbohydrates: 3.3g | Protein: 76.8g | Cholesterol: 242.3mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 2g
Tried this recipe?Mention @OhSweetBasil or tag #OhSweetBasil!

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Carrian Cheney

Lover of all things beautiful, good and delicious. Wife, mother, friend, foodie.

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12 comments on “Grilled Orange Tarragon Chicken”

  1. Hi! Can the chicken sit in the marinade longer then 30 minutes? Perhaps a day?

  2. Looks awesome and I love CI (wonder how I missed it the magazine)! This is going into my meal plan for next week; thanks!!

  3. The grilled orange tarragon chicken makes for a great meal. Thanks a lot for sharing this recipe.

  4. 5 stars
    It looks very tasty!

  5. Pingback: Inspire Wine Club – May 2013 Selections | The Wine Feed | Delivering Great Wine Experiences to Your Door

  6. Hi Tom, I’m sorry that was confusing for you. I can see how it could be. The first that you set aside is the dressing, and the other that you put into the ziploc bag is the marinade. I’ve added labels to the recipe. It should be showing now. Please let me know if you have any other questions! It’s one of our absolute favorite grilled chicken recipes. Enjoy!

  7. Excellent recipe but not sure if I made it correctly since you describe making two some what different mixtures in two separate bowls and don’t list which is the marinade and which is for the sauce. At the same time there are all these details for grilling the chicken which is great. I read it several times and still couldn’t figure which is which. If it listed “This is for the marinade. Reserve this for the .” It would be clear. If one customer states some thing Ive heard there are 20-30 others that just don’t take the time to state it. Very good recipe and we have the fresh tarragon in the garden to make it from. Every one loved it. Using the first mix for the marinade atleast.

  8. Carrian, that just looks so yummy and lovely. Joni

  9. awesome recipe, i love bbq chicken!
    thanks fro sharing!!

  10. That looks like a perfect and yummy dinner, saving this one.