Plum and Citrus Rubbed Chicken: A Match Made in Flavor Heaven

Sweet meets tangy: Plum and Citrus Rubbed Chicken for a flavor-packed meal


I can tell you that there’s nothing quite like a perfectly grilled whole chicken to bring everyone together. And if you’re looking to take your poultry game to the next level, I’ve got just the recipe for you. Get ready for a truly mind-blowing sweet and savory, plum and citrus rubbed whole grilled chicken from #TeamLFR Chef Cory Walby of Saturday Night Test Kitchen.

whole chicken and spices

This mouth-watering rub combines the richness of brown sugar with a blend of flavorful spices to create a truly unique grilled chicken experience. But be warned: high direct heat and sugar don’t always play well together. So, keep an eye on your bird and don’t let dinner go up in flames.

Trust me when I say that once you try this sweet and bold rub, you’ll never go back to boring chicken again. So fire up that grill, gather your friends and family, and prepare to be amazed. This is one recipe you’ll want to make again and again. Get ready for a flavor explosion that will leave everyone begging for more!

rub ingredients


Plum Powder – This can be found in just about any Asian grocery store and some larger retail stores with a diverse spice section. Plum powder enhances flavor, adding toffee or earthy notes and deepening color when used in cooking. It definitely adds a different sweetness to the rub too.

Sriracha Powder – Did you know that the hot sauce that we have all come to love is in powder form as well?! Let me tell you, this stuff can be potent and also a game changer! The sweet and tangy heat becomes versatile in powder form, allowing you to add a dash of it to any dish.

Cinnamon – This spice adds some nice back-end warmth and depth to the rub. Cinnamon and plum go hand in hand, so it’s a no-brainer to add it to the rub! Being very aromatic, this is what the nose first picks up on, without taking over. Balance is definitely key!

plum rubbed chicken


Corn on the cob – Who doesn’t love eating with their hands? A nice sweet corn on the cob pairs so well with the sweet and savory grilled chicken.

Baby Potatoes – These are one of my go-to’s when the grill is on. For perfect taters, toss them in a cast iron pan with butter, garlic, and parsley to add color.

Grilled Broccoli – If there was only one side I could eat for the rest of my life, this would be it. Dressed in olive oil and good flaky salt, these little trees transform into charred amazingness!



Can I use this rub on other meats besides chicken? Yes, it’s great on pork and beef as well!

How long should I marinate the chicken in the rub? Marinate for at least an hour, but overnight is even better for maximum flavor.

What’s the best way to grill a whole chicken? Cook over indirect heat, turning occasionally, until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.

How do I prevent the sugar in the rub from burning? Be mindful of the heat and keep an eye on the chicken to avoid burning.

How long should I let the chicken rest before carving? Give it at least 10-15 minutes to rest before carving to lock in the juices.

grilled chicken



Beer – You could go one of two ways here: A classic lager, with its fresh and crisp profile would do wonders with this dish. Or choose a fruity and hoppy IPA, as the depth of the beer will pair well with the charred chicken.

Cocktails – A classic Whiskey Sour would offset the richness of the rub and baste that you are using on the chicken. What better way to hang out by the grill, than with a twangy drink?

Wine – A classic Pinot Grigio is always a go -o with chicken. The slight sweetness and crisp finish would be an amazing pairing for this dish!

grilled chicken, potatoes, corn and all the deliciousness!



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grilled chicken, potatoes, corn and all the deliciousness!

Sweet and Savory Plum Rubbed and Glazed Whole Chicken

Get ready for a mouthwatering adventure with Plum and Citrus Rubbed Whole Grilled Chicken! This is truly a match made in flavor heaven.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American, BBQ, weeknight
Keyword: backyard bbq, barbecue, barbecue chicken, best chicken, chicken recipe, grilled chicken, juicy chicken, rub, whole chicken
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 350kcal
Author: Cory Walby


  • Charcoal Grill
  • Cast iron pan
  • Basting brush
  • Large metal spatula
  • Kitchen shears or sharp knife


Plum Rub (makes roughly 1 & 1/4 cup of rub)

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup ground plum powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Sriracha powder or substitute for cayenne powder
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp each of salt and pepper


  • 1 whole free-range chicken Spatchcock cut – Remove the back bone to be able to set it flat on the grill
  • 1 orange zested
  • ¼ cup of plum rub


  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • Half of the juice from zested orange
  • 1 tbsp of the plum rub


Plum Rub

  • Combine all rub ingredients into a bowl and mix well with a fork, breaking up any clumps. Store in a jar with a lid to save for any other times you’d like to use this rub.

Chicken and Glaze

  • Start by getting your grill preheated to 350 F. If you can, set the grill up for indirect grilling with your heat source to one side.
  • Next, begin the process of Spatchcocking your chicken. This entails turning the chicken onto the breast side, and cutting the backbone off the chicken body. I like to use kitchen sheers for this, as it makes the job a bit easier and less chance of damaging the rest of the chicken body. Once the backbone is removed, flip the chicken back over and press down on the breast/chest plate and flatten the chicken out. Easy peasy!
  • Next, zest half the orange onto the skin side of the chicken. Flip and do the same to the inside of the chicken. Using roughly 3 tbsp of the plum rub, dust over the inside of the chicken and rub it in. The oil from the orange zest will actually help the rub to stick to the chicken. Flip over and do the same to the skin side of the chicken. Let it rest while the grill comes to temperature.
  • When the grill has come to temperature, place your plum rubbed chicken on the side away from direct heat. Let this cook here until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 140 F. Once 140 F is reached, flip the chicken over and place it skin side down on the hot side of the grill. Allow this to hang out for a couple of minutes. You don’t want to let it cook too long on the skin side over the coals as the high sugar content of the rub will actually burn. Keep an eye on it. You want char and color, not burnt and dry!
  • While the chicken is cooking, get the basting liquid ready. Into a small cast iron pan, or small metal handled pot, add all of your basting ingredients and place it on the grill. Allow the butter to melt and have all the ingredients come together.
  • Once your skin has crisped up and colored nicely, flip the chicken back over and place back on the indirect side of the grill. Using a basting brush, paint the liquid onto the skin and let it rest for a minute or two. Do it again and again until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 160 F.
  • Once the Chicken reaches 160 F internally, remove from the grill and let it rest on a rimmed baking sheet for about 5 minutes. This will allow the chicken to redistribute the juices back around the meat and give you a perfect bird! Carve up how you like, and serve with any of the sides suggested!


This recipe works so well over the coals, but can easily be done with any other cooking style. Just remember, the rub and basting liquid has a high sugar content so don’t let it sit too long over the direct heat. Sugar will burn fast, so keep an eye on it!


Calories: 350kcal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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About Chef David W. Olson
David Olson is a nationally-recognized American Culinary Federation (ACF) Chef, television personality and social network influencer, award-winning recipe developer, live fire grill master, international adventurer, and the creator behind, “LiveFire Republic” and “A Bachelor and His Grill.”
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