Cook the Book: Grilled Chicken Breasts with Tangerine-Maple-Black Pepper Glaze

Cook the Book: Grilled Chicken Breasts with Tangerine-Maple-Black Pepper Glaze

Book CoverToday's Cook the Book recipe, the first to be excerpted from Bobby Flay's Grill It!, combines two unlikely ingredients: tangerine juice and maple syrup. But before you wrinkle your nose, consider the harmonious balance of sour and sweet. If you can’t find tangerine juice plain old orange juice will work in a pinch. Bobby uses soy sauce in place of salt for an earthier, rounder flavor.

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Grilled Chicken Breasts with Tangerine-Maple-Black Pepper Glaze


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
  • Grated zest of 1 tangerine or orange
  • 1 quart tangerine juice or tangerine-orange juice (not from concentrate)
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • Perfectly Grilled Chicken Breasts (recipe follows)
  • 2 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • 4 (8-ounce) boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. 1.

    Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over high heat, add the onion, and cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the zest, juice, and thyme; bring to a boil; and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to approximately 1/2, cup, 20 to 25 minutes.

  2. 2.

    Strain the mixture into a bowl and whisk in the syrup, soy sauce, and pepper. Let cool to room temperature. The glaze can be made 2 days in advance, covered, and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before using.

  3. 3.

    Brush the glaze on the chicken breasts during the last minute of grilling. Remove from the grill, place on a platter, and brush with more of the glaze. Tent loosely with foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with the green onions before serving.

  4. 4.

    Perfectly Grilled Chicken Breasts

  5. 5.

    Heat your grill to high.

  6. 6.

    Place the chicken between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and, using a meat mallet or the bottom of a heavy sauté pan, pound the chicken lightly to an even 1/2-inch thickness.

  7. 7.

    Brush the breasts on both sides with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the breasts on the grill, skin side down, and cook until golden brown and slightly charred, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the chicken over and continue grilling until just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes longer. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should register 155°F.

  8. 8.

    Remove from the grill, tent with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.