A fabulous lime marinade for chicken that’s perfect for a quick midweek meal and GREAT for grill outs! This marinade has a touch of sweet so the chicken caramelises, and the trick to getting depth of flavour in simple citrus marinades is to use fish or soy sauce for the saltiness. Accidentally healthy too, clocking in at just 316 calories per serve!
Monday’s recipe was Comfort Food Central (in case you missed it, it was Italian Baked Ziti with Sausage!). Dedicated to all those in the southern hemisphere with me, preparing for the arrival of winter.
So to keep things fair for my friends in the northern hemisphere where the weather is warming up, here’s something in the spirit of summer: Lime Marinated Grilled Chicken. 🙂 (Or stovetop. Whatever takes your fancy!)
The trick with fresh citrus based marinades is getting depth of flavour. If you just use lime juice, salt and garlic, the flavour is quite flat and the chicken – especially if using chicken breast – will be really dry.
So I add a bit of sugar and olive oil (so the chicken caramelises when cooked), use fish sauce for the salt (adds complexity but doesn’t taste fishy!) and throw in chopped cilantro for another layer of flavour.
Actually, this marinade is based on Vietnamese marinades, like the one I use in my Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Bowl and Vietnamese LemongrassPork Cutlet. The Vietnamese know their marinades, that’s for sure!!
This is a great recipe for getting ahead in preparation for a busy week. Just pop the chicken and marinade in a ziplock bag in the freezer, then let it thaw in the fridge overnight, during which time the chicken will marinate. Efficiency! I like! – Nagi x
PS I’ve also provided the recipe for the Charred Corn and Bell Pepper/Capsicum Rice Salad pictured. 🙂
- 2 (~1.2lb/600g in total) chicken breasts (2 breast halves)
- Zest of 1 lime (zest before juicing)
- 4 tbsp lime juice (1 - 2 limes)
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro/coriander (optional)
- 2 tsp fish sauce (Note 1)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Cut each chicken breast in half horizontally to create 4 steaks. Optional: Place a piece of parchment paper over the chicken and using a rolling pin or meat mallet to pound to 1/3" / 7mm thickness.
Place Chicken and Marinade in a ziplock bag, massage to distribute marinade evenly. Place on a plate or bowl and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.
Remove chicken, discard Marinade. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat (or even better, do this on the BBQ). Place chicken in the skillet and cook the first side for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes, or until caramelised and golden brown. Turn and cook the other side for 1 minute or until golden.
Transfer chicken to a serving plate, cover loosely with foil and rest for 3 minutes.
Garnish with extra cilantro and serve.
1. Fish sauce adds depth of flavour to this otherwise simple marinade, but does NOT make it taste fishy! This can be substituted for soy sauce but it won't be quite the same because soy sauce doesn't have as many layers of flavour.
2. Optional extra flavourings: chilli would be fantastic in this. Finely chopped fresh chilli or chilli paste added to the marinade.
3. Recipe is pictured with a simple Charred Corn and Bell Pepper/Capsicum Rice salad. Just cook corn (I used frozen) and chopped bell peppers in a stinking hot skillet until charred, and toss through cooked rice. Squeeze over lime, drizzle with olive oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. To prepare ahead, place the chicken and marinade in a ziplock bag in the freezer straight away, then defrost in the fridge overnight, during which time the chicken will marinate.
5. Nutrition per serving, assuming 4 servings. This takes into account that most of the marinade is discarded.
No photo of Dozer and the Lime Chicken today. But here’s a little look back at when he was a wee puppy, just 4kg/8lb. Today he’s 10x larger – he’s 40kg/80lb!