Cumin and Citrus Marinated Chicken

cumin and citrus chicken grill

Wow…it’s been a while since I’ve posted any recipes, huh?  Hopefully, this will mark the beginning of a comeback into the foodblogosphere! 

Southwestern flavors, summer grillin’. It’s been hotter than demons around here this summer, which means lots of grilling to keep the house cool. After a while, though, it seems like we eat the same thing over and over. So, I went digging into my old recipes and found this one, revamped it some and wondered why on Earth I haven’t made it recently. It’s really quick and easy, too. Paired with a little side of rice and a white bean salad, this was a perfect summer lunch. The chicken is great this way, but would also be great on a salad, or in fajitas, or even chopped up for nachos.

Chicken breasts on the grill can be a tricky sort of business, I usually wind up overcooking them for fear of contracting salmonella, so they tend to be dry. Not these, though! The citrus in the marinade really keeps the meat juicy. I think I figured out the trick to not over-grilling them, too…sear the breasts on both sides over fairly high heat, then reduce the heat to low and raise them up higher for the remainder of the cooking time.

cumin and citrus chicken

Ingredients (for 6-8):

2 pounds (1 kilo) whole, boneless, skinless chicken breasts
juice of 2 lemons
juice of 1 orange
1 red onion, minced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
5 cloves garlic, minced (or more)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons chili powder
cayenne pepper to taste
salt and pepper


Mix together marinade ingredients in a large bowl or Tupperware.
Add in chicken and coat with marinade.
Cover and refrigerate for about an hour, turning chicken periodically.
Heat grill to fairly high heat and sear chicken on both sides (about 2 minutes per side).
Reduce heat to low and place chicken on upper rack to cook through. This should take about 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken.
To serve, top with cheese, sour cream and lettuce.

67 Responses to “Cumin and Citrus Marinated Chicken”

  1. I have the same issue with cooking chicken so I leave it to the hubs. That chicken sounds so great

  2. Yum!! That looks amazing! Is that sour cream in your pic or something else?

  3. Welcome back Nik we have missed you. Great comeback recipe. I knwo you have been enjoying a summer of beach excursions in the islands….sigh..

  4. Coming back with a bang, hey!! Wow, what a recipe!!! We have missed you so!!!

  5. Welcome back, Nikki! This looks delicious. I hope to see more posts from you!

  6. Nikki!! Im so happy!!! You come back again I missed you a lot!!!! hurrah!!!

    Lovely recipe and beauty pictures as always, kissess,
    bienvenida cariño, gloria

  7. i’ve missed you, nikki, and your gorgeous, delicious food. i’m crazy about the presence of orange in this–great plate!

  8. Nikki!!! Yay!!!

  9. Hi everybody! Thank you all so much for such a warm welcome back! :D I’ve missed you all, too.

    Molli, that’s actually fat free plain yogurt and low cal cheese (I’m trying to lighten up a little), but yeah, sour cream would work, too. :D

    Thanks so much for your sweet comments, I really appreciate them. :D

  10. This looks wonderful! I love those flavors together, and yogurt…mmm…

  11. Making this tonight. Looks delicious!

  12. I’m so glad you are back! I don’t know that I’ve ever posted a comment before, but I have read and enjoyed your blog and your wonderful recipes for quite some time! Welcome back! :-)

  13. Welcome back, indeed! You were missed! I’ve done something similar for bone-in chicken, that I’ll post about in the near future, but I never thought of doing something like this for grilled chicken breast. Yum!

  14. Ooooh, nice way to make a comeback! Looks awesome, as usual!

    Hope we see more from you!

  15. Hi Nikki– been a while, so just dropping by to let you know I’m alive.

    Starting to get cold here, which is good soup weather. Made some pozole a few weeks ago– everyone seems to like it that tries it, so I must be doing something right. Would love to see some more soup recipes.

  16. Hi Nikki……….Like everyone else, REALLY missed your presence……..I was beginning to get worried something serious had happened between you and the nosy neighbour, and I bet I wasn´t the only one! I checked every so often to see if you were back and just resigned myself to you being a “desaparecida” and thinking my kitchen (and me) will be all the worse for you not being around. I checked this morning and THERE YOU WERE!!!!!!!!!!! Great that you´re back.

    Colleen (vecina de Tenerife)

  17. Great recipe. Thank you so much for posting.

  18. I thought you were making a comeback?! :-) We are still patiently waiting for more Canary Girl recipes!

  19. Looks and sounds great. This recipe was worth waiting for.

  20. Nikkiii donde estás cariño!!! I missed so much, I hope you are well my friend , huggssssss gloria

  21. come on baby!!! besoosssssss

  22. Wait a sec, what happened?? A nosy neighbor ruined her blog? That is so sad!!!

  23. So much for this recipe marking your triumphant return to the blogosphere. I’ve been somewhat absent as well…hope all is fine in your world.

  24. Where did the General Tso’s Chicken recipe go? It was delicious!!!

  25. Looks delicious … great marinade!

  26. I just came across your blog. There are so many great recipes here! This marinate chicken looks sooo good!!

  27. It’s really my first time to see your blog but welcome back! this recipe looks great, might try this out myself next time. thanks for sharing! I sure will be coming back to your blog for more :-)

  28. My name is Sarah and I am a classical singer and teacher in Kansas City. This is an ADORABLE blog. My colleague told me about it when we were discussing food and blogs, instead of teaching bratty music students.
    I hope it’s okay for me to stop by every once in a while and get some cooking inspiration!
    Love your funny writing too!
    Oh, and I’m getting fatter too, for the same delicious reason. Wine. And I LOVE IT. You should leave a bottle of wine on her doorstep, thanking her for the compliment.

  29. Hello Nikki,

    I love the combo – chicken, rice and white beans – yummyyy! I would love to come and visit some more and see more of your cooking.



  30. I LOVE cumin with chicken! this dish is wonderful!

  31. Hi Nikki,
    I am from Minnesota, too! I graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1988. Then I got married and we have since lived in the Pacific Northwest (Seattle area and Boise, Idaho) and now we live in Virginia. I love your blog and hope you come back to the web. You have a delightfully engaging style, beautiful photography and yummy recipes!

  32. Where did you go? Come baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

  33. Looks like your public need you Nikki…….

  34. When i see the first picture ,i thought it was toasted bread.This marinated chicken must be delicious.

  35. That chicken looks ungodly good. I love the combination of cumin and citrus. Sounds tasty!

  36. Sadly I think Canary Girl flew away.

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  38. Nice to see you posting again! I just happened to click over to your blog, and WHAM= a post! I have trouble w/ chicken too. I usually pound it out so it’s all one thickness (thin) and can cook quickly & evenly.

  39. I know what you mean about being afraid of salmonella, glad you found a good marinate to keep it moist.

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  41. Where have you gone? Your recipes are amazing and your writing delightful….hope all is well and that you come back.

  42. Too bad – she had some good recipes!

  43. Nikki Where are you????? I miss you a lot!! You are special please come bak!!! gloria

  44. That looks amazing! I’m drooling for some right now. Love chicken, especially with cumin. Never tried incorporating juice from an orange in a recipe, interesting! I also found a good selection on many different spices here

  45. Hey…how do you make the rice and beans? Those look awesome too!! I don’t care that winter’s knocking at the door in MN-I’ll always grilll!

  46. This sounds yummy. I tend to overcook chicken too, trying to make sure it is done. The citrus marinade sounds like a great idea.

  47. I miss you Nicky you were one of my bests friends here in this blogging words hope some day you come back besosss

  48. I think she was just doing the blog to hawk a cookbook.

  49. Um, no, I wasn’t actually. :/ How rude.

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  58. i like chicken and your post too

  59. I do accept as true with all of the ideas you have presented to your post. They’re really convincing and will certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are too quick for novices. Could you please extend them a bit from next time? Thank you for the post.

  60. very nice to learn new recipe here on your site unique and tasty

  61. chicken is my most fav dish and i am so happy to read this this is very dilicious

  62. me too LOVE cumin with chicken

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  67. Yummy. Can’t wait to eat it.

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