Heat Wave – Garlic Orange Chicken

We are in a record breaking heat wave here in Waco.  It has been crazy!!  I’m sure the only people happy about it are the air conditioning servicers.  The A/C seems to never turn off these days.  This tends to present a challenge for me as a cook.  The last thing I feel like doing is cranking up one of my three ovens and letting something roast.   (Which would pretty much cause me to roast, too)  Standing over a hot grill doesn’t sound much better!  Flipping burgers or rotating steaks requires a significant amount of time leaning over actual flames.   Not cool. (In any sense of the word!)  My hunger for entertaining friends, a healthy meal, and my, well, actual hunger, drove me to find a solution other than ice cream for dinner.  -Don’t judge!  Ice Cream has calcium!

I decided to go ahead and use the grill to slow cook chicken leg quarters!  It was a good compromise.  Requiring only 1 flip, the lid stays closed and the heat is on low for the duration of the cooking time, leaving the house and my couch a cool place to wait out my meal.  If you add some fresh corn on the cob to the hot grill at the time of “the flip” you have a full meal ready all at once!

Because the dark meat of the chicken legs is higher in fat content than white meat, it holds up well to the heat of a grill for a prolonged time.   I used leg quarters that still had skin and bones too, also upping the juicy factor.

Here’s how you do it…

Garlic Orange Chicken

4 chicken leg quarters with skin

1 large orange, sliced into thin rings

8 garlic cloves, smashed

Fresh thyme

Seasoning (your favorite dry seasoning blend for chicken)

I used Seasoned Salt, black pepper and granulated garlic

Vegetable oil

  1. Heat a grill to Medium Low
  2. Prepare the chicken.  Rinse the raw chicken and pat dry.  Gently loosen the skin off of the meat.
  3. Lifting the skin flap, sprinkle the meat with your dry seasoning.  Place 2 smashed garlic cloves, 1 sprig of fresh thyme, and 1 or 2 slices of orange between the meat and the skin.

  1. Drizzle the oil over the skin and sprinkle with more seasoning.
  2. Place the chicken legs over the low grill (meaty side down) and let it grill, closed lid, for 40 minutes
  3. Flip the chicken over and replace the lid.  Let it go for another 15-20 minutes or until the juices run clear when poked with a knife.

Serve over rice or even a cold pasta salad!  Add summer sweet corn or other veggies to the grill for that last 20 minutes of cooking time for a low-fuss veggie side.


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