Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten’s Easy Grilled Chicken Recipes Are Perfect for Summer

Ina Garten has created two delicious chicken marinades with the same boozy ingredient that are full of spicy flavor. Find out how the Barefoot Contessa star prepares the easy grilled chicken marinades as well as her tip for cooking chicken perfectly.

Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten smiles as she stands in front of the counter inside the "barn" on her property in East Hampton, New York.
Ina Garten | Mike Smith/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Ina Garten’s tequila lime chicken marinade is full of flavor

Garten shared how to make her tequila lime chicken recipe on an episode of Barefoot Contessa. “It’s like Jeffrey’s favorite Friday night roast chicken, but with the volume turned up,” she explained as she made the marinade for the meat. “It’s going to make them taste so fabulous.”

Garten’s marinade couldn’t be easier and fresh-squeezed lime “is really important,” according to Garten. “None of that bottled stuff — you really do need freshly squeezed lime juice. It makes all the difference in the world.” She explained that the lime juice also tenderizes the chicken for the best flavor.

Garten combined the lime juice with tequila, orange juice, chili powder, garlic, salt, pepper, and chopped jalapeno pepper, which she called “the key ingredient” in her marinade.

The Barefoot Contessa star showed how to cut the pepper, slicing it in half and removing the seeds. “What’s really hot is the seeds,” she explained. “So I’m just going to take the seeds out.”

“I like the tequila lime chicken to have a little bit of heat but I don’t want to have third-degree burns when we’re done,” she joked.

Once the marinade was combined, Garten placed the boneless chicken breasts with the skin on in the mixture, allowing them to soak overnight. “The more it sits in the marinade, the better it tastes, so it’s a wonderful thing to do for entertaining,” she noted.

You can find the full recipe on the Food Network website.

Ina Garten’s tequila citrus chicken recipe adds another fresh juice

Garten shared another tequila chicken marinade on an episode of Barefoot Contessa, explaining, “It’s kind of a twist on a Barefoot classic.”

“This marinade’s amazing — it’s got great flavor,” Garten noted of her tequila citrus chicken recipe. “And the chicken sits in it overnight so it really gets into the center of the meat.”

Garten explained how to make the easy Tex Mex inspired marinade, which gets an additional citrus flavor from lemon. Like her tequila lime marinade, she combined tequila, lime juice, orange juice, chili powder, jalapeno peppers, garlic, salt, and pepper, as well as lemon juice.

She refrigerated the chicken in the marinade overnight for the best flavor.

The ‘Barefoot Contessa’ star shares her technique for perfectly cooked chicken

While grilling the chicken, Garten added salt and pepper and explained how long to grill the meat. “The chicken needs to cook for 5 minutes on the first side, skin-side down,” she explained. After flipping the meat, she cooked it another 10 minutes then placed it on a platter.

“So the chicken’s done — it’s barely cooked,” she explained. “The key to chicken is that you want to let it rest under foil and it’ll finish cooking that way. And then it’s going to be fantastic — it’ll be tender and juicy.”

The tequila citrus marinade recipe is available on the Food Network website.

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