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grilled chicken breast topped with fresh green chimichurri

I may know how to grill, but I am not the best gardener. The rabbits and birds seem to enjoy the fruits of my labor, much more than I do. But I am successful at growing herbs every year.

When I have an abundance of them, I like to create quick marinades and sauces. They add such a bright touch to dishes.    

wooden platter with herbs, shallot, blood orange, fresno peppers and chicken

My basic herb marinade (AKA chimichurri) includes olive oil, vinegar, citrus juice, shallots, a little heat and of course herbs. It goes great on grilled chicken, pork, steak and fish.

I enjoy trying different herbs, vinegars and citrus blends to change up the flavor.

For this recipe, I’ve added the juice of a vibrant blood orange, along with fresno peppers, red wine vinegar, cilantro and a touch of mint. 

bowl of bright green chimichurri

If you’re not a fan of cilantro, I understand. I used to feel the same way, but it has totally grown on me. I love the bright citrus flavor it adds to foods. 

If you’re not ready to board the cilantro train, just use flat-leaf parsley instead.

zip-top bag filled with three chicken breasts and marinade

Before marinating the chicken in this gorgeous sauce, set aside about a half cup of the chimichurri to use as a garnish after the chicken is grilled. 

Once that’s set aside, place the chicken in a zip-top bag, and add the rest of the chimichurri. Seal the bag and massage it well to help the flavors incorporate into the meat. 

While the chicken is marinating in the fridge, get your grill ready. 

bag of Kingsford Hardwood next to a kettle grill

For this recipe, I’m using Kingsford 100% Natural Hardwood Briquets in my kettle grill

charcoal chimney with ashed over coals inside

I like to start briquets in a chimney starter. I simply fill the chimney with charcoal. Then, I crumble two brown lunch sacks in a ball and place them under the chimney and light it. Once the coals start to ash over, it’s ready to dump.

I recommend wearing gloves, because it can be hot. 

grill with a mix of ashed over coals and fresh coals

After I dump the lit coals into the grill, I add more on top, so I never have to worry about the heat going out. 

You can see the 100% natural hardwood interspersed throughout the Kingsford briquets. That’s going to give you that authentic BBQ flavor without having to add wood chips. 

grill with ashed over coals pushed to left side

Once most of the coals are gray, it’s time to cook.

When cooking chicken, you’ll want to setup a direct and indirect heat zone. To do this, just push your coals to one side of the grill. 

3 raw chicken breasts on grill

Start grilling the chicken over the coals (the direct heat). It will only take 4-5 minutes to form a nice crust.  

three chicken breasts on grill with grill marks

Give those birds a flip, and cook them another 4-5 minutes to sear the bottoms. 

the corn cobs on grill to left, three chicken breasts on grill to right

Once you have the color you like, move the grilled chicken to the indirect zone and continue cooking it until the breasts reach an internal temperature of 165F degrees. This will take another 5-10 minutes, depending on how thick your chicken breasts are. 

While the chicken is cooking and the direct heat side is freed up, this is a perfect time to grill up some veggies. You could throw on corn, squash, asparagus or even artichokes. 

grilled chicken breast topped with fresh green chimichurri

When the chicken has reached its ideal temp, remove it to a serving platter, and spoon on the reserved chimichurri. 

I usually get more than one cook out of a grill full of coals. After you’re done cooking, simply add the lid to the grill and close up all of the vents. The next time you want to cook, open the vents back up. Place a fire starter in the coals, and light it up. Once most of the coals are lit, add some more coals on top, and grill on.

Check out my other recipe for juicy grilled chicken breasts

5 from 1 vote

Grilled Chicken with Blood Orange Chimichurri

Grilled chicken never has to be boring again. All you have to do is add a vibrant herb-citrus sauce and a kiss of smoke from the grill. 
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 3


  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint
  • 2 fresno peppers
  • 2 tbsp shallot, diced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 blood orange
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 chicken breasts


  • Mince the herbs and peppers.
  • Combine in a bowl with the shallot, olive oil, vinegar, juice of the blood orange, salt and pepper.
  • Set aside about 1/2 cup of the marinade for later.
  • Place the chicken breasts in a zip-top bag. Pour in the remaining marinade. Seal the bag and massage the marinade into the chicken. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
  • Prepare the grill with a direct and indirect heat zone. The direct heat zone should be about medium to medium-high heat. You should be able to hold your hand about 5 inches over the coals for 4-5 seconds.
  • Add the marinated chicken to the grill, directly over the coals. Add the lid to the grill, and cook for 4 minutes.
  • Flip. Cover. Cook for another 4 minutes.
  • Move the chicken to the indirect heat zone. Continue cooking, until the internal temperature reaches 156F degrees, about 5-10 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken to a serving platter and top with the reserved chimichurri sauce.


If you don’t care for cilantro, you can substitute flat-leaf parsley. 


Calories: 596kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 49gFat: 42gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 145mgSodium: 658mgPotassium: 952mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 845IUVitamin C: 20.5mgCalcium: 33mgIron: 1.7mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Did you try this recipe?Be sure to rate it, leave a comment and save it so you can make it again. Show off your awesome results on social by tagging @girlscangrill

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christie vanover standing against wood wall.

Hey BBQ Family

Hi. I’m Christie, the head cook and award-winning competitive pitmaster for Team Girls Can Grill. I have won multiple grand championships and have dozens of top ten category finishes. People know me as the girl who is forever hovering over a grill, smoker or campfire with tongs in one hand and a glass of wine in the other.

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1 Comment

  1. Oh my, this looks fantastic! I have never had a blood orange, but you’ve encouraged me to go out and buy some! I can’t wait to try this dish. My whole family will love this. Thanks for Sharing…:)