Filed Under: Grilling | Weeknight

Brown Sugar & Citrus Grilled Chicken Breasts

Recipe By Tessa Arias
July 16th, 2012

The grill marks on the chicken and the sticky, thick sauce are simply mouthwatering.

Yield: 2 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Sweet, spicy, tangy, savory, just full of flavor.
Texture: The chicken is juicy and tender.
Ease: Easy enough for a weeknight meal.
Appearance: The grill marks on the chicken and the sticky, thick sauce are simply mouthwatering.
Pros: Fast, easy, simple, flavorful.
Cons: None.
Would I make this again? Definitely!

This past week has been a whirlwind. We shot the photos for my cookbook! The photographer and my agent came out to Arizona so I could prepare all the ice cream sandwiches ahead of time and not attempt to transport them anywhere to shoot. We actually bought a freezer unit so I could store the copious amounts of ice cream, cookies, and sandwiches we were shooting. Day 1 went great, we got some amazing photos that I’m so excited for you to see.

Then Day 2 happened. A few hours into shooting we noticed everything was just melting into a sad mess. It turns out the air conditioning in my house broke. In the middle of summer in Arizona. While shooting photos of ice cream. It was almost funny how totally messed up the whole situation was. Thankfully by 5pm repairmen were able to fix the air conditioner but we lost a day of shooting. The next and final day of the shoot was a long one, trying to get everything done that we had missed out on due to the air conditioning catastrophe. Miraculously we still ended up with some gorgeous photos. I seriously cannot wait to get the book in my hands and see all this hard work in person.

Right now what I’m most excited about is getting back to normal life. The past month all my time has been dedicated to preparing ice cream sandwiches and completing my two outrageously demanding summer classes. Why I decided to take summer classes is a mystery to me. But my classes are over (I got A’s! Yay!) and the photoshoot is over. Time to focus on finishing up the manuscript for my book and making recipes, taking photos, and writing posts for the blog!

How to make
Brown Sugar & Citrus Grilled Chicken Breasts

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
The grill marks on the chicken and the sticky, thick sauce are simply mouthwatering.


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange marmalade
  • 1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha, or other hot sauce
  • 2 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Combine butter, brown sugar, lemon juice, marmalade, mustard, paprika, and Sriracha in a small saucepan. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook until sugar is dissolved and mixture has thickened. Transfer half the sauce to a small bowl for basting and keep remaining sauce warm over low heat until ready to serve.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350°-450°F).
  3. Season chicken breasts to taste with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken, smooth side down first, covered over direct medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip chicken and, using a basting brush, brush chicken with some of the reserved sauce. Cover and grill for another 4 to 6 minutes. Flip chicken again, brush with sauce, cover, and grill for another 2 to 3 minutes or until chicken registers an internal temperature of 165°F.
  4. Remove chicken to a platter and brush with additional reserved sauce. Cover loosely with foil and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve warm with remaining sauce in saucepan.

Recipe Notes

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Liz @ Tip Top Shape — July 16, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    This looks absolutely delicious!!! Definitely making this soon 😀

  2. #
    Becky {Becky Bakes} — July 17, 2012 at 1:58 am

    This looks mouth-watering! Can't wait to try…love grilling season!

  3. #
    glutenfreehappytummy — July 17, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    that looks fabulous! mmM!

  4. #
    Kangaroo Jack — July 19, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    I used chili paste instead of sriracha and added a little bit of white whine to thin it out. It tasted just like Thai La Ong Thai restaurant in Sydney, Australia.

  5. #
    Hannah Banana — August 7, 2012 at 9:23 am

    I didn’t have any smoked paprika but the sauce and the chicken still turned out great. Boyfriend approved as well 🙂

  6. #
    pixie — August 14, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    this was awesome. def will make it more often. i didnt have the Sriracha paste nor could i find it:( i just substituted it with my “house of tsang” szuchuan spicy stir fry sauce. came out really good. unique. thank you!

  7. #
    Lillian — May 26, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    oh so very flavorful. very easy to prepare. I used a peach pepper marmalade …
    Great for company dinner…..thanks….

  8. #
    artichoke — July 6, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    This tasted so good!! will definitely make this again!! :)))


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