The Unexpected Citrusy Boost You Need For Your Next Chicken Dinner

A close-up of grapefruit roasted chicken
A close-up of grapefruit roasted chicken - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

A match made in culinary heaven, chicken and citrus hardly ever disappoints. Of course, if you frequently use orange, lemon, or lime in your chicken dishes, you probably know this already. The citrus family is extremely diverse, however, so don't limit yourself to just those fruits. Branch out a little with grapefruit for a different take on this marvelous pairing. It's a twist new and sophisticated enough to enchant the whole dining table, but still holds the familiar brightness that makes citrus so dearly beloved with chicken in the first place.

Recipe developer Ksenia Prints brought this pairing to life with her roasted grapefruit chicken thighs recipe, and the result is a shining example of why it's such a good idea. Dancing on your palate is a medley of sweet, tart, and zesty notes, falling into perfect harmony with the chicken's savory base. Every now and then, herby and garlicky hints chime in and layer the dish with delightful aromas. The flavor depth is refreshingly exquisite and balanced, showcasing the best of what the main ingredients have to offer. It's a stunning choice for any occasion, whether it's a fancy dinner when you're aiming to impress, or just a regular weeknight meal.

Read more: 12 Different Ways To Cook Chicken

Three Main Ways To Pair Grapefruits With Chicken

A plate of rice, chicken, and grapefruit
A plate of rice, chicken, and grapefruit - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

A glaze is as foolproof as it gets, especially if you want a luxurious flair. It could be accompanied by honey for sweetness, white wine to highlight that acidic tone, or heavy cream if you want to build up the richness. Coating the golden, brown-edged exterior of the roasted (or grilled) meat, it infuses the dish with an irresistible flavor. Pop fresh grapefruits and a bit of herbs in between the chicken and you've got a dish that looks as good as it tastes.

For flavors that sink straight into the tender meat, a marinade is what you want. It could be a simple mix of soy sauce, brown sugar, and grapefruit juice, or something more elaborate with grapefruit zest, fresh herbs, mustard, and robust spices. Left to marinate for a few hours, all the tumultuous ingredients seamlessly fuse into a complex taste you'll adore.

A sauce is another outstanding choice for those who want the grapefruit to take center stage. With chicken, cream sauces have been proven to be a stellar addition. You can take a spin on the infamous chicken piccata and replace the lemon with grapefruit, or just opt for the usual combination of heavy cream, white wine, salt, and pepper. Leaning more into the savory side, BBQ sauce is a fantastic candidate for this grapefruit twist. If nothing else, a regular grapefruit sauce sprinkled with your own flavorings of choice will do the trick just fine.

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