Honeymoon Chicken

Grill Grub and a Potluck Party!  The Clark fam’s first annual Eat, Drink and Be Merry Party & Potluck, was such a blast! Thanks for sharing your fantastic homemade dishes, booze, beer and good times…I’m going to be bugging y’all for your recipes, so watch out!

WOW.  I don’t have any party photos to show y’all, or blackmail you with. Darn. A good sign in my book. I also didn’t have much Honeymoon Chicken left over. Another good sign. Lucky for you and as promised, recipes from the Zesty Grill Goddess. First up, is my delicious Honeymoon Chicken recipe, a family favorite, that followed me from Northern California. The divine flavor is from a surprising mix of marinade ingredients and unexpected spices, plus a hint of sweet & savory; when paired with chicken it becomes a perfect match. Honeymoon Chicken is a recipe that can be prepared with any cut of chicken and is superb baked, grilled, or sautéed depending on the cut of chicken you choose. For the party I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts and grilled it up outdoors. My favorite is using split bone in chicken breasts and thighs, but any cut of chicken works! The longer the chicken merry n aide’s in this sweet and savory sauce, the happier it gets, and the better it gets. Honeymoon marinade is always great to have on hand and is refrigerator friendly. I made this big batch recipe for the party, but it can easily be scaled down by cutting the ingredient amounts in half. For us busy bodies and family mama’s, I usually divide up bulk chicken into a few freezer ziplock baggies, add the Honeymoon marinade, and toss it in the freezer. Guess what? It thaws and marinates at the same time and is sooo dang good. Spread love and joy, and serve merry chicken.

Note: I was a bit surprised to find that SOME of my Honeymoon Chicken was overcooked – even at the lowest setting on my gas grill. I thought I was safe, leaving the grill for 15 minutes. With 40 pieces of chicken crammed on the grill, I was not expecting to find any overcooked. I was pretty shocked and bummed, especially that some of the small front pieces were a bit dry, in my opinion. I have grilled Honeymoon Chicken a Northern Cali perfect (“creamy” to you Texans) for years. But hey. Wait a minute, I ain’t in Cali no more. Whooo hoo and a deep breath. Some was pretty darn Char-b-qued, and thank goodness for that! True Texans like it cooked well done. I call it burnt. I still haven’t moved over to the dark side yet, and for the weirdos like me, I hope you got to experience the pieces that were cooked to my Cali style taste. For all’s y’all burnt chicken lovers, honeymoon on this – I am glad that I am a Texan!!!!

Honeymoon Marinade is where the magic begins!

Ingredients: Dried whole or cut leaf herbs of oregano, marjoram, and powdered coriander, nutmeg, cayenne, paprika, cinnamon, onion powder
garlic powder, lemon pepper plus

vanilla extract, garlic, minced cracked pepper, and salt.

Gather up some garden fresh herbs if you have ‘em – basil, parsley and rosemary. You can use the dried cut or whole leaf – just use 1-2 teaspoons of each.

For the “merry” part; we aren’t on the honeymoon yet! Red Wine Vinegar, honey, olive oil, and

A wee bit ‘o red wine – you lucky duck.

What’s this? A stone mortar – my other food processor. Measure out 2 Tablespoons oregano,

1 Tablespoons marjoram and

½ teaspoons pepper cracked pepper.

Now we’re crackin’. Grind it up with the pestle just to mix, but don’t powder it. The essential oils are locked into the dried leaf, and when ground and pressed the flavors and aromas are released.

Smell it? Aroma vision to the rescue.

Pour the herbs into a mixing bowl and add

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoons coriander

½ teaspoons lemon pepper and nutmeg

¼ teaspoons cayenne

1 Tablespoons paprika

2 Tablespoons cinnamon

1 teaspoons onion powder and

2 teaspoons garlic powder.

Give it all a good whisk and set the spice mixture aside. But not too far aside.

Liquid love is what we’re pouring today.

2 cups good Red Wine Vinegar, plus

¼ cup red wine and

½ cup honey. Give it all a quick wire whisk whir,

then add 2 Tablespoons Vanilla extract. Whadya get?

Pure liquid love. Have a taste if you don’t believe me.

Now for the kicker.

2 cloves of pressed garlic.

Yeah, you heard me right.

Whisk it and let it rest. It’s time to get fresh!

My garden fresh rosemary, for remembrance and vigor. Two good things to have when making Honeymoon Marinade.

Chop up 1 Tablespoon rosemary,

1/3 cup basil and ½ cup parsley. Add the fresh chopped herbs into the liquid love kicker.

Thinking good thoughts? Naughty and nice and everything


Spice is nice in liquid love.

But it needs to mingle. Grab a large spoon. Cause your gonna need it. No more whisking required.

Just good old fashioned spooning.

Let’s not forget the aide. 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil, for a healthy heart.

United by love.

Honeymoon Merry n aide or Honeymoon Marinade.

The meat up.

Pour on the tender loving care

and let it get merry and marinate overnight.

Honeymoon Chicken

the perfect marriage.

Printable Recipe Printable Recipe

Honeymoon Chicken

Chicken, cuts of choice. Bone in, split chicken breasts, boneless breasts, tenders, thighs, wings…

Honeymoon Marinade
Dried whole or cut leaf Herbs
2 Tablespoons oregano, dried
1 Tablespoons marjoram, dried
½ teaspoons pepper, cracked

Powdered Herbs
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoons coriander
½ teaspoons lemon pepper
½ teaspoons nutmeg
¼ teaspoons cayenne
1 Tablespoons paprika
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 cups Red Wine Vinegar
¼ cup red wine
½ cup honey
2 Tablespoons Vanilla extract
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons olive oil

Fresh Herbs
1/3 cup basil, chopped
½ cup parsley, chopped
1 Tablespoon rosemary, chopped

Grind the dried whole/cut leaf herbs in a mortar & pestle or food processor to mix; place in a medium mixing bowl. Add the powdered herbs/spices to the ground herbs and wire whisk to mix. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, add the red wine vinegar, red wine, honey, vanilla extract, and garlic. Whisk the liquid mixture and add the fresh chopped basil, parsley, and rosemary. Using a spoon stir in the olive oil, the powdered herb/spice mixture, stirring until blended. A superb marinade for all cuts of chicken, I used boneless for the party, but love bone in split chicken breasts, boneless breasts, tenders, thighs, wings…

Prepare the chicken by rinsing in cold water and patting dry with a paper towel. In a deep dish platter, bowl, or baking dish, pour the Honeymoon Marinade over the chicken to cover. Cover with lid or saran wrap and let the chicken marinate overnight in the fridge.
To cook: Take the marinated chicken out of the refrigerator an hour before cooking. Grille, BBQ, or bake the chicken right in the marinade; cooking times will vary depending on the cut of chicken. Be sure to reserve some marinade for mopping and basting if grilling. Store unused Honeymoon marinade in a container with a tight fitting lid; refrigerate. Yield: 3½ cups. (This amount of marinade covers 40 boneless, skinless chicken breasts!)