Golden Kiss Melon Chipotle Grilled Chicken

This is one of my favorite summertime grilled chicken recipes!

Did you know that marinating chicken or meat in an acidic (or somewhat acidic) puréed fruit, not only adds wonderful flavor, but it also helps to tenderize the meat?

Here's what I do: I choose an incredibly flavorful, aromatic melon -- the Golden Kiss melon-- to marinate chicken in.

After grilling the marinated chicken, it is sweet, smoky, subtly spicy -- and incredibly delicious. Add a few slices of the Golden Kiss melon, and you'll have a gorgeous entrée!

Golden Kiss Melon Chipotle Grilled Chicken Recipe:

Serves 4

Prep Time: 30 minutes, plus marinating time

2 cups roughly chopped Golden Kiss melon (about 1/4 melon)

2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

2-1/2 teaspoons chipotles in adobo sauce, seeds removed

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus a bit more for grilling

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or 12 chicken tenders

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon unsalted butter

A few thin slices of Golden Kiss melon for garnish

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Place the melon in a blender or food processor fitted with the blade attachment and purée until it's as smooth as possible. Add the lemon juice, chipotles in adobo sauce, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and blend for another few seconds until everything is incorporated. Set aside.

2. Trim any excess fat off the chicken breasts or tenders and place them in a heavy-duty zip-lock bag. Pour the melon marinade over the chicken and move it around a bit to be sure it's well coated. Seal the bag, squeezing out as much air as possible. 

3. Place the bag in a bowl (in case it leaks) in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, and up to 6.

4. Remove the chicken breasts or tenders from the bag, gently wiping off the marinade as you go, and place them on a large plate. (Be sure to save the marinade as we'll be cooking it later for a glaze.)

5. Preheat your grill, season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil.

6. Place the chicken on the grill. If you don't hear a sizzling sound, it's not hot enough. Wait until you hear the sizzle! Grill the chicken just until it's cooked through and nicely marked from the grill (about 8 minutes for breasts and about 4 for tenders). 

7. Remove the chicken breasts or tenders from the grill and place them on a serving platter and cover with foil.

8. Pour the remaining marinade (there won't be much), into a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and pour in the boiled marinade. Discard the fruit pulp and pour the juice in the bowl back into the saucepan. Bring to a boil once more and then turn the heat to a simmer for about 1 minute. Add the butter and swirl the pan until it's melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and drizzle over the chicken.

9. Serve with a few, thin slices of the melon.

Kiss Melons, LLC © 2020

*All Kiss melon trademarks including, but not limited to Sugar Kiss, Honey Kiss, Summer Kiss, Golden Kiss  are used with permission of Sandstone Melon Company, Inc.*