Grilled Citrus Chicken; a minor rant

Summer cooking is all about the grill chez nous.

And grilling meat is all about the marinade.

I make a lot of different marinades…. some are old favorites, some are whatever I grab out of the fridge that might need using up. As we get near to the end of grilling season there are more of the latter.

This was a combination of what was in the fridge and my desire for something light and fresh tasting. It’s been hot here again this week….

The last month or so has been ‘5 really hot days followed by 2 pleasant days’, and repeat.

When I look at the weather for the US I can see that we are not alone with the high temps.

I added the ketchup because it was in my hand. It worked – tomatoes are fruits, after all.

Grilled Citrus Chicken

Total time: 25 minutes


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbs orange juice
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tbs lime juice
  • 2 tbs ketchup
  • 2 tbs oil

Grilled Citrus Chicken


  • Mix all ingredients for marinade well with a whisk.
  • Spoon over chicken breasts and let marinate for 10 minutes or longer.
  • Either cook 10 – 15 minutes on barbecue grill or under broiler (4 inches ) for 6 – 8 minutes a side.
  • They should be nicely browned and juices should run clear when pierced with a knife.

Print Recipe

I don’t recall the blog post I was reading the other day…. Or the person who wrote it or the name of the blog.

What struck me about it was the words of advice the author was offering to other parents.

The author was explaining that the best way to ask for and receive help from teenage children was to use the following formula:

‘There is a lot of work to be done in the kitchen before we can leave. Do you think you could help me with that?’

For a number of reasons that phrasing really irritated me.

Of course, as mentioned above, we have been having a string of very hot days which could have been a contributing factor to my bad temper…..

Regardless, let me explain what bothered me:

First, it sounds either overly patronizing, snide or too supplicating.

One assumes that the speaker is the parent, therefore a person of authority. People in authority should not patronize, be sarcastic or beg.

Second, it’s the wrong question.

Asking someone if they could help is asking them if they have the ability to help. It’s not asking them to actually do anything.

Can and could mean ‘to be capable of’.

Will and would are used to make polite requests.

Shall and should are used to suggest action or express an obligation.

Obviously, the usage of all the words and tenses is much more complicated, but that is the simplified version.

So, if the parent wants to be polite they should say: Would you help me with that, please?’

If the parent wants to attempt to be autocratic they can say: ‘You should help me with that.’ but that phrasing is really just a strong hint. ‘Help me’ is more to the point.

If you say ‘Could you help me?’ and they say ‘no’ they’re not being balky or unhelpful – they would if they could but they can’t so they won’t.

All this reminds me of a story my father used to tell about my sister. She was riding her bike home from school when a car stopped near her. The driver asked her if she could tell him where the bank was. She said ‘yes’ and rode off.

When my father asked her why she didn’t give the man directions she said he didn’t ask if she would tell him, only if she could. And she could – she knew where the bank was.

She always was a smart-ass….

Last update on September 9, 2016

2 thoughts on “Grilled Citrus Chicken; a minor rant”

  1. Me: We have to leave soon. The kitchen is a mess. Go clean that now.

    Them: cleaningcleaningcleaningcleaning… We’re done, are we leaving now?

    It’s really that simple. I don’t understand parents who think their children need some kind of choice in the matter. No wonder the younger generation feel so entitled. They have no accountability anymore. It’s like the parent in the store with the screaming child in the shopping cart. They tell the child in aisle A, “If you don’t stop that, we’re leaving.” And yet, when I’m in aisle M and the parent passes me, the child is still screaming and the parent is still repeating the whole, ‘if you don’t stop that’ business. Yank the kid out of the cart, apologize to whatever employee you can find, and leave!

    We’re supposed to teach our kids, not make deals with them. *sigh*

    Sorry, that’s my mini rant for the day.

    And you inspired me to make chicken breasts tonight 🙂

  2. nighstmusic, I do not understand negotiating or pleading with children. It’s not a democracy; they don’t get a vote. They’re kids, they need structure. Asking them to do something is okay but not begging them LOL I think that’s why so many are such wimps today Okay, enough from me, too LOL
    Hope you like the chicken

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