Baked Cilantro Lime Chicken

Baked Cilantro Lime Chicken

March 2015 marks my one year anniversary of #BrokeAndCooking! I have learned so much and have had so much fun developing recipes to share with you all. I appreciate every reader who has ever taken the time to read, share, or even try these recipes. I wanted to share something fun for my lil anniversary, and naturally, sweets came to mind, but I have some fun dessert recipes coming up in April so we’ll wait :) I finally decided to share a nice, homey chicken dish because it seems to be some of my favorite things to cook. I think it’s great to have a huge arsenal of quick and yummy weeknight dinners. So here’s another one, my Cilantro Lime Chicken. 

These suckers went fast in my house. A zesty marinade of lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt, and pepper is a quick way to inject a ton of flavor into any cut of chicken. It’s baked in the oven, which helps cut down on extra oil, and comes out tender and juicy, ready to be finished off with fresh lime zest and chopped cilantro. Because this recipe is really for a simple marinade, it can be used to dress up chicken in almost any dish… chop it up for over a salad, serve it over pasta, rice, quinoa, or throw some pieces into some tacos for a fun weeknight meal. 

This marinade is made of ingredients that are super affordable, and often, all you need to head to the store for is for fresh limes and cilantro. Limes are often on sale at produce markets for fairly cheap prices - my favorite local produce store has limes on sale 10 for $2! You can use this marinade on any cut of chicken - breasts, thighs, or drumsticks. I prefer thighs, even though breasts are healthier and have more protein. If you’re just starting to play with different chicken recipes, I’d suggest cooking up some chicken thighs! You can hardly mess them up :) So let’s get cookin, this one’s a fun one. 

What You Need: (Serves about 4)

- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs (feel free to use bone-in, skin-on, drumsticks, or breasts. All that will vary is the bake time.) 

- 1 tsp salt

- 1 tsp pepper

- ½ cup fresh lime juice - I used about 1 ½ large limes 

- fresh limes for garnish 

- 2 cloves of garlic 

- 1 tbsp honey 

- 1/2 tsp cumin

- handful of fresh cilantro 

- zest of 1-2 limes 

- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

- 1 tbsp butter, melted 

What To Do:

- Preheat the oven to 425F. 

- Mince two garlic cloves and put aside. Juice 1-2 limes for ½ cup of lime juice. Whisk together the salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and lime juice. Whisk in the honey and cumin.

- Place all your chicken into a gallon baggie. Once your marinade is combined, pour it over the chicken. Zip the top and massage the chicken, making sure the chicken is well coated. Let it sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to overnight. I found that an hour an a half was sufficient in a time crunch!

- After your chicken has marinaded, lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and use a slotted spoon to fish out your chicken. Arrange them in a single layer on the baking sheet, making sure to give them room. 

- Lightly brush the tops of the chicken with the melted butter, and season them again with salt and pepper. 

- Bake the chicken thighs for about 20 minutes, or until they reach 165F internal temp and the juices run clear. The bake time will vary depending on the size and cut of your chicken. However, if you use a meat thermometer, which I swear by, once the internal temp reaches 165F, you'll have perfectly cooked chicken. 

- Garnish with the fresh lime zest, chopped cilantro, and slices of lime. It’s delicious over hearty brown rice or a crispy romaine salad. I love how easy this dish is - once you toss the marinade together, it’s basically done! 

I love how vibrant this dish is! The flavor matches how fun it looks :) The addition of cumin gives this chicken a really unique twist. This dish has become a staple in my household. I love it because I generally have all the ingredients for the marinade in my pantry already.

I hope you give it a try - and if you do, shoot me a message, tweet, or even a picture! I love hearing from you guys and appreciate every single reader :D Have a great week!!