Coconut Lime Chicken


  • 1 package of skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 3 Tbsp canola oil
  • zest of 1 large lime
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 - 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 3/4 cup canned coconut milk
  • juice of 1 lime
  • optional - 1 serrano pepper, finely minced or cut into thin slivers
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


The prep for this dish takes all of about 10 minutes.  Slice chicken breasts in half, as if you were butterflying them.  Place them in a gallon zip top bag and flatten them uniformly with a meat pounder (or heavy pan, or wine bottle, etc).   

In a bowl, add all of the marinade ingredients together:  oil, lime zest, cumin, soy sauce, salt, sugar, curry powder, coconut milk, lime juice, and Serrano pepper if you are using one.  This marinade may taste pretty salty to you right now, but once we put it over the chicken and bland rice, it will balance out.  Pour the marinade over the chicken in the zip top bag, squeeze the air out and allow to marinade at least 30 minutes, or preferably up to 2 hours in the fridge.  (I allowed one hour.) 

After marinating, grill the chicken over moderately high heat in a pan with a bit of cooking spray or canola oil in it.  Get the pan really hot before you add the meat.  You want it to sear.  Allow to sit without moving it for several minutes on each side until just cooked.  The time will depend on the thickness of the meat.  While cooking the meat,  add the marinade to a small saucepan and bring to a full boil for at least 2-3 minutes.  This is sufficient to kill all of the bacteria in it.  Or you could double the marinade, divide in two, and just toss the part that you used for the chicken. 

Serve the chicken and a drizzle of the sauce over rice with chopped cilantro and fresh lime wedges.  This is a very important part, as these flavors bring balance and brightness to the dish.