This simple lime marinated chicken is full of fresh flavor from herbs and spices, and it’s easy to prepare too. I like simple easy to prepare dish, but who doesn’t? I like the idea of having something that I can make ahead of time, pull out from the fridge and throw into the oven, on stove top or even in grill for nice weather days. This Cilantro Lime Chicken fits that description very well.
- This can be made ahead and kept in the fridge or freezer
- This can be cook in the oven, stove top or on the grill
- Only 2 steps. Making the marinade and cooking (grilling) the chicken.
How does that sounds to you? Because of the nice weather, I decided to go for the grill option, it didn’t take long for me to have this ready, cooks so fast even when I decided to use the grill.
The simple marinade is what made this dish amazing so I encourage you to give the chicken time to marinade. What usually do it to prepare and marinade the chicken overnight then the next day it’s ready for cooking. I like a mild lime flavor, nothing too sour but some people likes a stronger lime sour taste, I you are one of those people, just increase the amount of lime and marinate longer.
As always, since we are using. Chicken breast, do not over cook the chicken as it will dry out. The length of time depends on the of the chicken and mode of cooking. I grilled mine about 8-10 minutes on high heat, but then again check the chicken if done all throughout. Let me show you how it’s done.
Ingredients to make Cilantro Lime Chicken
- Chicken Breast – You can also use chicken thighs or even chicken legs, just watch out for the cooking time as it varies depending on the part of chicken you are using.
- Olive Oil
- Lime Juice – Can be substituted with lemon juice
- Chili Flakes – You can add more or less depending on how much you can tolerate hot seasoning
- Cilantro – Use fresh for better flavor
How to make Cilantro Lime Chicken?
Making Cilantro Lime Chicken is one of the easiest thing. The most that you need to do is to make the cilantro and lime marinate which is basically mixture of oil with lime juice and spices. The most of the thing you have to do is to marinate it for few hours, overnight recommended for better flavor. The longer the chicken marinades, the more flavorful it will be. Once you have the marinade, simply pour over the chicken and keep in the refrigerator until ready to cook. You can also store it in sandwich bag and freeze it. When ready to use, transfer it back in the refrigerator to thaw completely then leave in room temperature at least 1 hour before cooking. Never cook a frozen chicken. The key to this recipe is the marinade, so it is recommended to marinade the chicken at least 4 hours, or longer if you have time.
- 1-2 large Chicken Breast (can also be substituted with 3 chicken thighs)
- 3 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp Lime Juice (or more for stronger lime flavor)
- 1/2 tsp red Chili Flakes
- 3/4 tsp Salt or more to taste
- 2 tbsp fresh Cilantro – chopped
- 1/4 cup Chimichurri Sauce (for serving – optional)
The marinade can accommodate 2 large chicken breast
- Make the Marinade: In a small bowl, add olive oil, garlic, lime juice, red chili flakes, salt and cilantro. Pour over the chicken, cover and refrigerate. Marinate for at least 4 hours, overnight is recommended for better flavor.
- Grill: Clean and pre-heat the grill. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the chicken, then grill the chicken until cook through. Brush chicken with the marinade when you flip it to keep it moist.
- Serve: Serve with salad and Chimichurri Dipping Sauce on the side.
What is the best sauce to serve with this?
Chimichurri Sauce is what I recommend, as it complement the fresh herb taste with the Cilantro Lime Chicken, but you can use other dipping sauce. A simple olive oil and vinegar works great too if you do not have time to make chimichurri sauce.
Alternative Cooking Options:
Alternative options baking/cooking time could vary depending on the size and thickness of the chicken. Adjust as needed until the chicken is fully cooked but still moist.
In a heated pan, add 1 tsp of olive oil. Cook the chicken for about 8-10 minutes. The length of time could vary depending on the size and thickness of the chicken, adjust as necessary. Flip once to cook the other side, you want to get a nice browning on each side. Check the side of the chicken for raw texture, if the color changes half way of the side, you can do the flip and cook the other side until cook through. Remove from the pan and make the sauce and side dish as per instructions above.
Bake at 350F for 22 – 26 minutes or until cook through.
Reminder: NEVER grill a frozen chicken. If you decide to freeze the chicken with the marinade, thaw the chicken in the refrigerator then leave in room temperature at least 1 hour to bring the temperature down.
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