Home > Grilling > Grill, Pop, Grill: Jalapeño Lime Chicken

Grill, Pop, Grill: Jalapeño Lime Chicken

First of all, does jalapeño make anyone else think of The Office and Lemoñade?

Today, I’d like to share one of my favorite recipes for summer: Jalapeño Lime Chicken. The marinade is light and uses a lot of cilantro, which is my favorite herb in the summertime. The aroma, the bright green color, the pho. Yum! Served with pineapple salsa and rice, the chicken is an excellent meal to share with family and friends. Give it a try this weekend.

Jalapeño Lime Chicken

I usually like to marinate the chicken for 10 hours, so I’ll make the marinade and salsa the night before, then marinate the chicken just before heading out to work. If you’d like, you can marinate for up to 24 hours but no less than 4. The following recipe makes enough sauce to marinate 4 chicken breasts.

To prepare the marinade, begin by grating 4tsp of lime peel. We bought this Microplane grater a while back and love it.

4 tsp lime zest

Then squeeze the crap out of 4 limes.  I like to roll them around the counter a bit to get more juice out of ’em. Four limes should yield close to 1/2C of juice.

Lot of work for 1/2C

Then chop 1/2C of cilantro, 5 cloves of garlic, and 2 jalapeños. Note: 2 jalapeños
provides a subtle kick – not too strong, but you know it’s there. Use none or one if you want less heat; two serrano peppers is great for those that like more heat.

4tsp of lime zest, 5 cloves of garlic, 1/2C cilantro, 2 jalapeños

And here are the rest of the spices:

Variety is the spice of life

From L-R: 1tsp coarse ground black pepper, 1tsp agave nectar (or brown sugar), 1/2tsp of cayenne pepper, 1tsp of ground cumin, 1/2C of olive oil, 1tsp of onion powder, and 1tsp Kosher salt. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.


To make the pineapple salsa combine the following in a bowl:

1 pineapple, chopped
1 tsp lime zest
1/2 C cilantro, chopped
2 TBS rice vinegar
1/2 Jalapeño, chopped
1/2 Red onion, chopped
1/2 Red pepper, chopped
2 TBS mint, chopped (optional)
1 TBS brown sugar
1/8 tsp Kosher salt

Pineapple Salsa

Cover both and put in the refrigerator overnight. Now catch some zzzzzz’s. Or if you’re the father of a newborn like me, try to catch some zzzzzz’s.

Good morning chicken!

Shake n' marinate

The Asian grocery I went to sold chicken breasts in packs of 3. I usually get boneless, skinless breasts and then separate the tenderloin. If you look at the top of the chicken breast, there’s usually a line – I cut along that. Also, it helps to flatten the thickest part of the breast with your hands a bit. Throw the chicken in a bag with the marinade and put the bag on a plate in your fridge. If someone’s home during the day, have them turn the bag after 5 hours.

Now get your grill ready. While the chimney starters are going, melt 1-2 TBS of butter with 1tsp of garlic powder to use for basting.

Tools for the day

This is the basting brush I use. I have no problem using a brush named Grill Friends.

Now it’s time to get grilling! Note: times are estimates and may vary based on weather conditions. Use a probe thermometer and make sure the chicken is at 165°F in the thickest part.

Burn, baby burn!

Keep it like that for about 2 minutes.


After 2 minutes, turn the chicken 90 degrees. Baste using the leftover marinade. Cover the grill. Leave for 2 minutes.

Now flip the chicken

Crunchy carcinogens

Same deal on this side: 2 minutes, turn, baste, cover, 2 minutes. Flip the chicken over for the final time.

Final flip

This time, baste immediately with the butter, cover the grill, and leave for about 2 minutes. And you’re done.

Chargrilled goodness

Serve with pineapple salsa and rice, and a refreshing beverage. Yum!

Jalapeño Lime Chicken

I love summertime. Except the mosquitoes and humidity.

Have a great weekend!

  1. July 16, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Looks delish! And, not too far off the diet. I’ll be over in 20. 😉 I can babysit in exchange for some good BBQ. Hey, do you know how to make a good chimmichurri?

    • Pop
      July 16, 2010 at 1:46 pm

      Yeah, this recipe is pretty healthy. I do have a recipe for a chimchurri I enjoy. I can post that next week if you’d like.

  2. Ina
    July 16, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Chicken breasts are usually so boring (the way I make them), but you make it look mouth-watering!

    • Pop
      July 16, 2010 at 1:47 pm

      Give it a try. It’s really tasty! Even better dining al fresco!

  3. Veronica
    July 16, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Great photos! I like the presentation on the finished plate. This sounds really good–I will try it!

  4. Veronica
    July 17, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    PS I love The Office but don’t think I’ve seen the Lemonade episode–we watch them on DVD and are waiting for season 6 to come out.

    • Pop
      July 21, 2010 at 10:07 am

      It’s on The Return (Season 3, Ep. 14). Michael asks the PPC to plan a Mexican themed party. I LOVE the Office too and my wife and I also watch on DVDs.

  5. July 20, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    Holy Moly! I am so friggin’ hungry now! I have to show this to my hubby to be. He MUST make it for me….soon!

    I could eat the pictures!!! Yum!

    • July 20, 2010 at 10:19 pm

      I love that, Angelina: show it to hubby to be so HE can make it for you! Is that how it goes at your place? Lucky girl!

      • Pop
        July 21, 2010 at 9:45 am

        haha~ That’s usually how things work in our home: she makes me grill stuff that she likes; I make her bake stuff that I like.

  6. July 20, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    Silly me– I meant to also say to Pop– definitely definitely trying this! And I love cilantro. I was shocked to find some of my foodie blog friends say they hate it?!! Never heard of such a thing. I am going to do the pineapple salsa too– no mint for this fam I think. I put it in a mango chutney long ago and have still not heard the end of the complaints….
    Hope you got some zzzzzz’s

    • Pop
      July 22, 2010 at 7:44 am

      Hate cilantro?! How dare they? 🙂

  7. July 21, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    Hi Pop!
    We don’t have a BBQ but we’d like to eat grilled food sometimes, especially in the summer. Do you know if it’s possible to grill on a gas stove and what utensils/accessories we would need? I’ve been looking around for things but so far, no luck.

    • Pop
      July 22, 2010 at 7:51 am

      I’ve used this pan before and it works very well:

      The grill pan allows for 2 key things: 1) the ridges will ensure your meat won’t sit there simmering in its own juices, which typically happens with pan frying and 2) it does decent grill marks. Granted, it won’t give you any smoked flavor, but the results are excellent otherwise.

      Another option is to use the broiler in your oven. Just make sure to put the meat on the highest rack w/out making contact with the coils and leave the oven door open so that your meat is being cooked only by the heat from the coils. This isn’t a terribly attractive option in the summer though since your A/C will have to work extra hard to cool the house. In the wintertime though, I use my broiler regularly to sear meat: https://gopopgo.wordpress.com/2010/02/17/cook-pop-cook-chicken-tikka-masala/

      Finally, the Foreman grill isn’t a terrible thing. I’m usually the designated grill person at cookouts, so one “BBQ” I went to, the host said he had a grill. When I arrived, turns out it was a Foreman grill. As long as you don’t close the top, you can make decent steaks, hot dogs, burgers, etc…on it.

      • July 23, 2010 at 1:10 pm

        Thanks for the recommendation! We’re definitely going to try out the griddle pan to make some kebobs. I don’t think I’m ready to use my broiler in the heat of summer, but it’s a good tip for winter cooking.

        • Pop
          July 23, 2010 at 1:11 pm

          Mmmmm! You know what kebobs go really well with?! COKE! 🙂

  8. July 23, 2010 at 2:48 am

    Hi Pop! this looks delish. I may have to give it a go.

    Thanks for commenting on my guest post over at ScaryMommy. I appreciate you reading!

    • Pop
      July 23, 2010 at 9:35 am

      Thanks for stopping by, Gigi!

  9. August 15, 2010 at 3:26 am

    OK, first…. The Office and Lemoñade? YES!!! Love that episode! Cracks me up….

    Second, this looks amazing and is going on the menu for this week. You had me at jalapeno.

  1. July 27, 2010 at 10:12 am

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