Cooking

Lime-Cumin Chicken

Fresh salsa and citrus meant one last hurrah for summer flavors.

I haven’t been cooking as much while I’ve been injured. In fact, we spent the first four weeks largely subsisting on meals that were delivered by friends and moms’ club strangers, and I thank them all for helping us out. After all, the intra-kitchen hobble wasn’t exactly a practical method of getting things done.

As my foot heals, my desire to cook only increases. But now the problem isn’t that I lack the time or the ability to hop from fridge to stove, it’s that I haven’t properly food shopped since September. Sure, we head out and grab the basics, but I haven’t meal-planned and certainly haven’t bought much in the way of fresh produce because it tends to go bad before I actually get around to preparing it. That’s how lime-cumin chicken came about: it was thrown together with stuff I had in the fridge, freezer, pantry and garden.

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, sliced to half thickness (approximately 1/2 inch thick) while partially frozen
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 Dorot garlic cubes* (about 3 minced fresh cloves)
  • 3 Dorot cilantro cubes* (about 2 Tbsp chopped fresh)
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • Salsa**
  • Sour cream
  • Lime wedges for garnish

Instructions

While the chicken is partially frozen and easier to cut, slice the breasts in half; you could also pound them to an even thickness, approximately one half as thick as they began.

In a bowl, combine the lime juice, olive oil, garlic, cilantro, brown sugar, salt, cumin and pepper and whisk until blended. Pour the marinade over the chicken, ensuring that it’s fully coated, and allow to marinate for 1-3 hours.

Preheat your gas grill to medium. Coat the grill grate with oil, shortening or nonstick spray.

Remove the chicken from the marinade, shaking off the excess. Grill for 90 seconds, then rotate the chicken 90 degrees to get that cool grill mark cross-hatching effect. Grill for 90 seconds more, then flip. Repeat the 90 seconds/90 degree rotation/90 seconds pattern from the first side, then check the temperature with a meat thermometer.

Once the temperature reaches 155 degrees, remove to a plate and cover with foil, allowing the meat to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Top with salsa and sour cream, if desired, and garnish with a lime wedge.

Results

Because the chicken was flavorful, but not spicy, it was a big hit with the Tiny Kitchen Assistant, who really enjoys squeezing lime juice onto meat. He shunned the salsa and sour cream, but happily ate a bowl of Lazy Black Beans (recipe to come… someday…) and the cornbread that I made from a Trader Joe’s mix.

* You can buy Dorot products in the frozen section of Trader Joe’s. I wouldn’t replace their frozen minced cilantro for fresh in a salsa, for example, but it seems to work fine in marinades and is a lot cheaper than buying a bunch of fresh herbs when you only need a little bit.

** Salsa in a jar would work just fine, but I opted to make my own when I realized that I still had a handful of tomatoes lingering on the vine, plus some overripe jalapenos that had turned red and were thus rendered invisible in the final salsa. I’ve determined that salsa is just plain prettier with that little touch of green.

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