June 4, 2013

Coconut Lime Chicken

The Geologist is the grill master in this house! If you asked me to grill something, I would probably burn it to a crisp. Or be afraid of burning it and leave it half-raw. Regardless, the grill is HIS domain. We used to have a nice big (though old) gas grill, and a little "Smoky Joe" charcoal grill before that... But we left them behind when we moved away from Missouri. Since then, we've been making do with this:
It's tiny, and old, and temperamental (woah, I had no idea that word was supposed to have an 'a' in it), but it works! In fact, we used to take it on road trips. It would sit in the back, in a cardboard box, and we'd have meat marinating in the cooler, or hot dogs, and at lunch or dinner time, we'd pull over at the nearest rest stop with a playground and cook up a real meal! Fast food gets old fast. Ha. We have fond memories with this little grill, and it continues to cook up yummy meals.

Coconut Lime Chicken (adapted slightly from Chaos in the Kitchen)
Printable Recipe

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 tbsp oil
zest of 1 lime plus 1 Tb juice
1 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp curry powder
1/2 cup coconut milk
pinch cayenne
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Fresh limes, cut into wedges

Trim fat from chicken breasts. Either cut each breast into 2-3 "tenders", (longish pieces, like chicken fingers) or half each breast, butterfly it, and pound to an even thickness. Both methods help the chicken cook quickly and evenly on the grill.

Mix all remaining ingredients except fresh cilantro and lime wedges. Add chicken and marinade to a large bowl or ziploc bag and chill in the refrigerator for up to two hours.

When ready to cook, remove chicken from marinade. If you'd like a sauce to serve with the chicken, pour the marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for at least 2 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn't burn. Lower to a simmer for a few more minutes. Don't worry, this cooking method makes the used marinade totally safe! Salt and pepper to taste, keep warm till serving.

(We grilled our chicken, but here's a pan-cooking method as well) In a heavy skillet or grill pan, heat a splash of oil over high heat. Place the breasts in the hot pan and cook without turning for a couple minutes (careful not to overcrowd the pan, they'll cook slower.) Flip the breasts over and cook until the other side is golden, a few more minutes. Place cooked breasts on a plate in a warm oven or under foil while cooking the remaining chicken.
Sprinkle with fresh lime juice and cilantro. Serve with sauce on the side (optional).
You may, like me, be expecting some classic coconut flavor in this chicken. Well, there isn't any. Because the coconut milk is unsweetened, it doesn't really taste anything like you expect! But it adds a wonderful richness, almost creamy! With the mix of curry and spices, a little lime to tenderize, it is deeeelicious!
Squeeze some fresh lime on top and it's positively mouth-watering. (And some cilantro, for you crazy cilantro-lovers) 
It's amazing how many simple, delicious meals you can make by throwing some chicken in a fabulous marinade and cooking it up in a few minutes. Easy too! We skipped the sauce step, but honestly? I don't think it needed it!


  1. Looks so good I can almost spell it! Great summer dish, I bet. What do you recommend for a side dish?

    1. We just had salad and fresh pineapple, but I have a recipe for coconut rice on here that would be awesome!!

  2. April, I am with you, the grill is not one of my skills. I love to bake, will cook savory food if I have to.

    The chicken looks and sounds delicious!

    Thank you for visiting.


  3. Hey girl! I'm trying to catch up on your posts because life has been a little nuts. I don't grill either--husband takes care of all that good stuff. :) I love new chicken recipes and this looks delish! xx ~Danielle

    1. Hello friend! I totally get it, no worries. I haven't been quite as "commentive" lately either. Tis life! :) Glad to "see" you around!

  4. I may have the only husband on life that doesn't grill. Yes, I have to do it all. He's just not a cooker. This chicken looks fabulously delicious! On my list to try! xxoo

  5. Your chicken looks so flavorful! And incredibly juicy, great recipe!

    1. Thank you, it really is! Perfect for summer :)


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