So if you are on team cilantro, then this is the dish for you. Obviously, I'm team cilantro—no soapy taste here. This chicken is so juicy and full of flavor; it's a classic flavor combination.
I like to use a blender to whip up the marinade; you could also use an immersion blender. If you don't have either, then you can finely chop up your cilantro.
I like to marinate my chicken for at least 2 hours (up to 4 hours; anything more and your chicken texture will be affected). I have marinated them in a pinch for about 20 minutes, and they are still delicious. The longer they sit, the more tender and flavorful they become.
This chicken is delicious on top of a salad or chopped up in a wrap. It pairs well with rice and red beans or some Mexican cauliflower rice.
If you decide to use chicken breasts, then make sure they're pounded out to 1 inch thick.
If you use bone in chicken thighs, make sure you cook them in the oven, not on the stovetop. In addition, make sure you remove the skin so the marinade can penetrate the meat.
This recipe needs fresh cilantro; dried cilantro will not work for this.
Cast iron skillets work great for cooking your thighs.
- 2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken thighs (around 6–8 pieces)
Cilantro Lime Marinade
- 1 C chopped cilantro leaves, packed
- 1 tsp. lime zest
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 3 cloves of minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Freshly cilantro
- lime wedges
- Place all of your ingredients for the marinade into a blender and pulse. You want your mixture to be smooth.
- Using a zip-top baggie, add your chicken and pour your marinade over the top. Make sure your chicken is evenly coated.
- Place your chicken in the fridge and allow it to marinate for at least 30 minutes, up to 4 hours.
- Set the stovetop to medium-high heat. Add a bit of olive oil to your cast-iron skillet and allow it to get hot.
- Cook your boneless chicken thighs for about 5-7 minutes on each side. You want the internal temperature of your chicken to reach 165°F. This is not the recommended cooking method for chicken thighs with the bone.
- Set your oven to 375°F.
- Add your chicken to an oven-safe dish and cook for 25–30 minutes. If you are using bone in the thighs, it will take around 45 minutes.
- Again, you will need to check the internal temperature, making sure it reaches 165°F.