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Grapefruit Chicken

Grapefruit Chicken

Fried chicken pieces tossed in a sweet and sour grapefruit sauce and served over rice. A great twist on a classic Chinese dish.MORE+LESS-

Updated March 7, 2017


lb chicken breasts, cubed


quart vegetable or peanut oil, for frying


cup scallions, greens only (garnish)



tablespoon ground pepper



tablespoon grapefruit zest


cup rice wine vinegar


inches fresh ginger, minced


tablespoon chili garlic sauce



tablespoons corn starch

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  • 1

    Mix all sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Let sauce simmer for 10 minutes.

  • 2

    Let sauce cool slightly and strain through a metal strainer. Set aside for later.

  • 3

    Cube chicken into 1 inch cubes. Dredge chicken cubes in flour, then eggs, then back to flour to form a thick breading on each piece.

  • 4

    Heat oil to 350°F in a large pot or wok.

  • 5

    Once your chicken is breaded, fry it at 350°F in batches until it's golden browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes per batch. Remove chicken and let drain briefly on some paper towels.

  • 6

    When done frying, add sauce to a large skillet or wok and bring to a simmer over high heat.

  • 7

    While the sauce is simmering, stir together corn starch and water in a small bowl to make a slurry. Then add the slurry to the hot sauce. it should almost immediately thicken.

  • 8

    Toss chicken in with sauce and stir to coat chicken evenly.

  • 9

    Serve over rice with chopped scallions and extra soy sauce.

No nutrition information available for this recipe

More About This Recipe

  • One of my favorite Chinese take-out dishes is citrus chicken. It can be lemon or orange, but I love the slightly sweet and sour sauce with the crispy fried chicken.While there’s a whole world of citrus out there, you really only see those two kinds on most menus: orange and lemon.Since grapefruits are really good right now, I thought I’d change up the traditional recipe and try to use grapefruit instead. The sauce has a little more tang to it, which is balanced with some sugar. Man, is it addictive!Obviously, to start this you’ll need some grapefruit juice. Since you also need the zest of the grapefruit for the recipe, just pick up a whole grapefruit. Look for one that is firm, but gives to pressure on the ends.When you’re prepping the grapefruit, it’s a lot easier to zest the grapefruit before juicing it. Just use a zester or microplane and scrape off the very outer layer of zest from the fruit.You should get about a tablespoon and will use it all. Then just slice it in half and juice it! You probably won’t need all the juice from one grapefruit.Besides those things, the only thing you need to actually chop for the sauce is some fresh ginger and garlic. Both of these are very important to giving the sauce rich flavor.While you could leave this sauce kind of chunky, I recommend straining it, which will make for a silky smooth sauce at the end. It’ll be closer to what you would get in a restaurant if you strain it. Don’t worry, the sauce will be infused with plenty of flavor at this point.As always when frying, I highly recommend using a deep-fry thermometer to make sure your oil is the right temperature.I also always recommend doing a test piece of chicken just to make sure your breading is right and everything is working.
  • Serve this stuff with some rice. I like to garnish mine with some scallion greens but that’s optional.I think this will really surprise you both with flavor and how easy it is to actually make. You could really have this meal on the table in under an hour without a problem.If you’re tired of orange and lemon…try grapefruit!
  • Check out the rest of our citrus recipes packed with tangy, fresh flavor!

Grapefruit Chicken - Recipes

I’ve heard of orange chicken, lemon chicken, even lime chicken, but I can’t say I’ve ever thought about using chicken and grapefruit in a dish. I happened to have both on hand so I figured what the hell. I have to say I was very pleased with the results of Grapefruit Chicken.

The sweet-tart flavors of the grapefruit really went well with the chicken. I used half of the grapefruit juice I was able to get as a marinade and the other half in the dish and as a reduction to go over the chicken once done.


  • 2 grapefruits
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Juice one grapefruit into a large bowl.
  3. For the second grapefruit, cut it into sections making sure to cut off any of the pith (white stuff). Place the segments in a medium saute pan.
  4. To the juice, add the brown sugar and honey. Whisk to combine all. Pour half the mixture into the saute pan. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened.

An overhead view of Grapefruit Chicken

Tip: If you want a nice browning, after 15-20 minutes, turn on the broiler and leave breasts under the broiler for 5 minutes. But make sure the internal temperature is still 185F before removing from the oven.

Roasted Grapefruit Chicken Recipe From Teri Turner

The secret weapon for my spin on everyday chicken? Grapefruit. I will not name names, but I know a vegetarian or two who will sneak a piece, because it is simply so delicious, with its crispy, citrusy browned skin. Part of the trick to this great one-dish meal is the spice blend, which you can make and sprinkle on the chicken in the morning before you go to work—or even the night before. The roasted vegetables absorb the dripping chicken juices as they cook, and there’s something about the combination of the chicken fat, spices, and grapefruit that transforms the vegetables.

Perfect for a summer picnic or outdoor gathering, this dish is sure to satisfy. And since it’s free of grains, dairy, and gluten (as well as Paleo/Whole-30 friendly), it’s one everyone can enjoy.
—Teri Turner

Serves 4 , prep time: 10 minutes, cook time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

(plus 2 hours marinating time)


  • 1 tablespoon plus 2½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds)
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup fresh grapefruit juice (reserve one of the juiced halves)
  • 3 large carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into thirds
  • 3 cups quartered red potatoes (about 1 pound)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, cut into 8 wedges
  • 5 garlic cloves
  1. In a small bowl, stir together 1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons of the salt, 1 teaspoon of the black pepper, the granulated garlic, marjoram, paprika, and cayenne. Set aside.
  2. Put the chicken on a baking sheet or large plate, and coat the skin with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Sprinkle the spice blend on all sides of the chicken to liberally and evenly coat. Cover the chicken and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or as long as overnight.
  3. When ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 350°F.
    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Set the chicken on the lined baking sheet.
  5. In a small bowl, stir together the grapefruit juice and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Set aside.
  6. In a medium bowl, combine the carrots, potatoes, onion, and garlic cloves with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper and toss to coat evenly. Distribute the vegetables evenly on the baking sheet around the chicken. Fold the juiced grapefruit half and stuff it inside the chicken.
  7. Bake the chicken for 30 minutes, then baste it with the grapefruit juice mixture. Return it to the oven and bake for a total time of 80 to 90 minutes (or 20 minutes per pound), basting every 15 minutes. If the chicken becomes too brown, loosely cover it with aluminum foil.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

TERI’S TIP: To check if a whole chicken is cooked, wiggle the drumstick if it moves loosely, then it’s done.


On a work surface, remove the rind and pith from the grapefruit and use a knife to cut out the segments. Squeeze the juice from the fruit for the sauce after the segments have been removed and set aside.

Heat the butter and oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken thighs on both sides.

Add the honey, bay leaves, garlic and chicken broth.

Cover and cook on low heat about 30 minutes, occasionally turning the chicken thighs.

Five minutes before the chicken is done, add the grapefruit segments and reserved juice. Salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with fresh cilantro.

Serve with orzo (rice-shaped pasta) and squash ribbons with garlic.

Helpful Tip

To roast garlic, bake the entire bulb in the oven for about 20 minutes at 425°F (220°C), until each clove is very creamy. For the recipe, the cloves must be added whole (with the skin).

How to Make Baked Citrus Chicken?

This is the easiest one-pan dinner idea you will ever make!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Season chicken pieces with seasoned salt and pepper. Place in a LARGE bowl or Ziplock Bag. You will need a really large bowl or bag because there are a lot of chicken pieces to toss.

Next, prepare the spices, fruits, and veggies.

Remove leaves off of the rosemary sprigs and chop finely. Set aside.

Zest both the lemon and the grapefruit. Squeeze the lemon and reserve the juice.

With a knife, CAREFULLY cut the peel and the pith from the grapefruit, and segment its pieces individually. Set the segments aside.

Then you will toss the chicken in the marinade.

Place the zest, the lemon juice, rosemary sprigs, and any residual juice from the grapefruit into the ziplock bag with the chicken. Add salt, pepper, chili flakes, and garlic. Marinade and combine. Roll and mix the pieces around to ensure they get well coated with the marinade. Set aside.

In another large bowl or separate ziplock bag, place carrots, fennel, onion, potatoes, and sweet pepper together. Add the grapefruit sections and season with salt and pepper.

Add the olive oil in the bowl or ziplock with the vegetables, season with salt and pepper and mix well. Place onto a parchment lined sheet pan.

Finally, it’s time to put them all on the sheet pan.

Nestle the chicken pieces onto the sheet pan around the vegetables. Try to keep it all on one layer. Bake in the oven for approximately 60 minutes or until the chicken is nice and browned.