I absolutely love the fragrant, tart flavor of limes- especially in the summertime. As you may have noticed in my last post, I have been on a lime kick recently, and I’ve been using every opportunity possible to incorporate these citrusy gems into my cooking. A few weekends ago, we went on a family hike to a waterfall that is just a few miles from our house. The boys were so tired when we got home that they all took an afternoon nap (Ben included), so I decided to get creative in the kitchen and make a yummy dinner from the stuff that I already had in my fridge. The result was this savory and tangy Cilantro & Lime Chicken, which I served alongside an easy vegetable curry that I made up that afternoon as well (I’ll post that recipe soon). It was a hearty and satisfying dinner that is both kid and grown-up friendly. Although the chicken was tasty for dinner that night, it was 100% better the next day for lunch after a couple of leftover breasts had a chance to marinate in the fridge overnight. So, I highly recommend marinating your chicken for at least 8 hours before cooking it, which tenderizes the meat and infuses it with the intense flavors of the lime, cilantro, garlic, and cumin. I promise it’ll be worth the wait. One of the best things about this juicy chicken is that it’s super versatile. It would be delicious on top of a crunchy romaine salad, inside of a sandwich, with sauteed greens and jasmine rice… feel free to get creative and pair it with some of your family’s favorite sides.
4-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts, excess fat trimmed
Juice of 2 limes
Zest of 2 limes
5 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp sea salt
20 turns of the pepper mill
1 tsp ground cumin
First, mix all of your marinade ingredients together in a small bowl. Place the chicken breasts in a shallow dish, then pour the marinade over the chicken and quickly massage the mixture into the meat to make sure it’s evenly coated. Cover the dish and let the chicken marinate in the fridge for 8-24 hours.
When you are ready to cook your chicken, remove it from the fridge and let it come to room temperature before cooking (this is one way to help prevent the meat from drying out during the cooking process). In a large, heavy skillet with a lid, heat 3 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture, then place your chicken in the hot skillet, ensuring that the chicken is not too crowded (too much meat in the pan will result in the chicken steaming instead of searing). You may need to cook the chicken in a couple of batches.
Cook each side for 3-4 minutes, allowing a nice crust to form on each side. After you’ve cooked the second side, reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet, and let it cook for another 3-5 minutes. You want your chicken to be cooked through (no longer pink inside), but still tender and moist. Be careful to not overcook your meat, as it will continue to cook a bit even after you remove it from the heat.
Remove the chicken onto a cutting board and allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes. You can cover it with foil to keep it warm, if you wish. This step allows all of the juices to reabsorb back into the meat so that you’re left with moist, juicy chicken when you cut into it. After it’s had a chance to rest, cut your chicken on an angle and against the grain.