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Spiced Citrus Marinated Chicken

Johnny Zone's Spiced Citrus-Marinated Chicken
Johnny Zone's Spiced Citrus-Marinated ChickenTODAY
Cook Time:
30 mins
Prep Time:
20 mins

Chef notes

There is a meat market in LA called Villalobos that sells this chicken prepared in a similar recipe. I love to pick it up on my days off and just make a pico de gallo, heat up tortillas and grill away, beer in hand.

Technique tip: Brine the chicken before marinating to make it extra moist and juicy.

Swap option: It's fun to serve this recipe with different sides whether its grilled corn, salsa, tomato salad or beans and rice.


  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems only, chopped
  • 1 white onion, sliced into 1/2-inch wide strips
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon celery powder
  • 2-4 cups fresh orange juice, depending on size of chicken (enough to cover)
  • 1 3- to 3¼-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
To serve
  • Grilled tortillas
  • Grilled tomatoes
  • Jalapeño peppers
  • Avocado
  • Pico de gallo
  • Lime wedges
  • Sliced radish



Remove chicken from brine. Combine all ingredients, except for the chicken, in a bowl and whisk. Set aside 1/4 cup marinade; place remaining marinade in a large resealable plastic bag. Add chicken, seal bag, and turn to coat. Chill at least 1-2 hours (or up to 12 hours).


Preheat grill to medium- high heat. Brush grill grate with oil.


Remove chicken from marinade and place, skin side down, on the grill over a moderately hot section of the grill. Discard marinade. Grill chicken until lightly browned, and cooked through about 8-14 minutes. Turn; continue to broil until cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of thigh registers 165°F, 12-15 minutes longer.


Serve chicken with reserved marinade brushed over, grilled tortillas, grilled tomatoes, jalapeño peppers, avocado, pico de gallo, limes and radish.