Cilantro lime chicken is packed with bold flavors that will leave you wanting more! It is made with just a handful of ingredients, including cilantro, lime juice, garlic, cumin, chili flakes, and honey. It's perfect for busy weeknights or special occasions, and is sure to become a new family favorite.
Cilantro Lime Chicken Recipe
This recipe for succulent chicken thighs is an absolute game-changer! Skip the takeout and make juicy, crispy chicken right in your own kitchen in no time. The delicious sauce is so good, you'll find yourself licking your plate clean. Everyone at the table will be raving about this incredible chicken dish!
Cilantro Lime Chicken Ingredients
Here are some important ingredient notes to keep in mind when making cilantro lime chicken:
- Chicken: This recipe works well with both chicken thighs and breasts. If using breasts, consider pounding them to an even thickness for more even cooking.
- Lime: Use freshly squeezed lime juice for the best flavor. Bottled lime juice won't give the same brightness and freshness.
- Cilantro: Fresh cilantro is a must for this recipe. If you're not a fan of cilantro, you can try using parsley or basil instead.
- Red chili flakes: They add a spicy kick of flavor. Be sure to adjust the amount to your personal preference.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic adds a great flavor, but you can also use garlic powder if needed.
- Cumin: Ground cumin is used for an earthy, smoky flavor. If you don't have cumin, you can use chili powder instead.
- Honey: Adds a touch of sweetness to balance out the acidity of the lime juice. You can also use maple syrup or agave nectar.
- Liquid smoke ( optional): If you enjoy a smoky flavor, you could add a small amount of liquid smoke to the marinade.
- Oil: It helps to keep the chicken moist. In the recipe, 2 tablespoons of olive oil are used to make the marinade and an additional 2 tablespoons are used for cooking the chicken. You could also use avocado oil, coconut oil, or another neutral-flavored oil if you prefer.
How to Make Cilantro Lime Chicken
- Make the marinade by whisking or blending together all marinade ingredients.
- Marinate the chicken by placing it in a glass dish or bowl, pouring the marinade over it, and turning to coat. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
- Brown the chicken in an ovenproof skillet with heated oil, skin-side down until golden.
- Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake the chicken for 15-20 minutes, or until it's fully cooked.
- For a stronger lime flavor, add lime zest to the marinade or squeeze extra lime juice on the cooked chicken before serving.
- If you prefer a spicier dish, add also a pinch of cayenne pepper to the marinade.
- For a smoky flavor, add a few drops of liquid smoke to the marinade or sprinkle smoked paprika on the chicken before cooking.
- Don't skip the marinating step! It's important for infusing the chicken with flavor and keeping it juicy. Marinate the chicken for as long as possible to maximize flavor absorption. Turn the chicken occasionally to ensure even coverage.
- If using boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead of thighs, adjust the cooking time as they may cook faster.
- Don't overcook the chicken. It's important not to rely solely on temperature. Remove the chicken from the oven when the internal temperature reaches 160F and let it rest for 5 minutes. This resting time allows the chicken to continue cooking while also allowing the juices to redistribute, resulting in a perfectly cooked and juicy chicken.
Ways to Serve Cilantro Lime Chicken
- Serve with rice: Cook up a pot of fluffy Jasmine Rice and serve the chicken over the top for a delicious and filling meal.
- Make tacos: Shred the chicken and serve in warm tortillas with your favorite taco toppings like avocado, salsa, and sour cream.
- Add to salads: Slice the chicken and add it to a salad with fresh greens, tomatoes, and your favorite dressing for a healthy and flavorful meal.
- Pair with roasted vegetables: Serve the chicken alongside roasted vegetables like Roasted Asparagus, Cheesy Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts, or onions for a complete and nutritious meal.
- Use as a sandwich filling: Shred the chicken and use it as a filling for sandwiches or wraps with lettuce, tomatoes, and other toppings.
- Serve with a side of beans: Cook up some black or pinto beans and serve them alongside the chicken for a satisfying and filling meal.
To store Cilantro Lime Chicken, let it cool down to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. For longer storage, you can freeze it for up to 3 months. Make sure to thaw it in the refrigerator before reheating it.
- Oven method: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Place the chicken in an oven-safe dish and cover it with foil to prevent it from drying out. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is heated through.
- Microwave method: You can also reheat the chicken in the microwave, but be sure to cover it with a microwave-safe lid or wrap to prevent it from drying out. Heat on medium power for 1-2 minutes, then check and stir the chicken, and continue heating in 30-second increments until it reaches the desired temperature.
More Easy Weeknight Chicken Thighs Recipes
If you're looking for more delicious and easy chicken thigh recipes, try these out!
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