002It actually hit 60 degrees here in Rhode Island recently – today, in fact, and yesterday, and another day before that.  It won’t stay that way, because the Atlantic Ocean makes our weather entertainingly unstable (that’s my positive-spin outlook on “Temperatures that richochet in 20-degree swings all Spring long, like a game of weather pinball”), but at the very least, I’ve gotten a taste of what’s coming, and it just makes me want to grill.

Yes.  COOK OUTSIDE.  I want to be in the fresh air, I want to let the clean-up be as easy as a scrape of the grill grates, I want to eat food that hasn’t been braised, stewed, roasted, or otherwise winter-ized.  I want things to be less heavy (and so do my jeans).  I want food that tastes of summer, and if I can’t have Farm Tomatoes yet, then the grill it shall be.

I drew this particular line in the sand last week when I just couldn’t bear the thought of another slow-cooker chicken thing.  Outside my window, the sky was blue and there was a faintly Spring-y breeze teasing me to come out and play.  So abruptly, I changed plans – and oh, am I glad that I did.  A fast marinating exercise in the morning gave way to a completely delicious – and also fast – chicken dinner that night.

This Grilled Citrus Chicken isn’t citrusy in the pucker-up way you’d think.  There’s not a defined, punchy, pronounced lemon or orange flavor to it.  What you get when you leave your chicken in the mixture of different fruits, onions, and coriander for the day is a mysteriously tender, moist piece of chicken with a subtle and slightly addictive flavor.  It’s one of those “What did they do to this chicken?” kind of effects, the sort of blending of tastes that doesn’t scream any one thing but hints at many lovely things.  Or, to be less poetic about it: This is chicken that your kids will take off the platter with their bare hands before they’ve even finished the first piece you served them.  At least, that’s what happened in my house.