Soups, stews and casseroles move aside! In summer (or when you’re dreaming of summer, I hear you my Northern Hemisphere friends) there’s nothing better than fresh, zesty, Asian-inspired flavours. So bright, so light and so uplifting. Zesty lime, crunchy cashews, juicy chicken, sticky sauce and a little bit of a kick from some spicy chilli. Sound good? Too right! My Grilled Chilli and Lime Chicken is perfect for a fresh and simple summer’s evening dinner or a long lunch in the sunshine.
My friend once told me that she loves my Thai Chicken Larb recipe, I mention this because my Grilled Chilli and Lime Chicken reminds me of it with similar fresh Asian-inspired flavours. Well anyway, she told me she loves it because she loves Thai Chicken Larb at restaurants however every time she orders it she feels guilty because the chicken is not free-range and hasn’t had a happy life. Whilst more and more restaurants and take out places here in New Zealand do seem to be selling free-range meat it is still far from common. I feel the same as my friend, granted I have been called a worry wort from time to time, but I do worry and feel guilty ordering non-free-range meat. When I’m cooking for myself I always try to buy free-range, not only do I feel happy knowing the animal has had a happy life, it seriously tastes so much better! Yes, it is more expensive but I always try to stock up and freeze it when its on special, buy less expensive cuts (they generally have more flavour too), buy a whole chicken and set my clever to it to portion it out or just eat a little less – I would much rather eat a little less chicken or pork and savour the experience and know I’m supporting animals having a happy life.
Wow, sorry guys, got a little serious there for a minute! Don’t we all like to have a little rant on things that are important to us?! Don’t get me started on fisheries! But while I have your attention, just quickly, don’t buy purse seined tuna, very bad, pole and line all the way my friends. Okay there you go, I’ve said it, lets move on.
So how about that Grilled Chilli and Lime Chicken hey? This is a really fresh, simple and light chicken dish that is perfect for these hot summer days and perfect as a weeknight dinner. In actual fact, the chilli spices things up so it would be equally warming and comforting in the cooler months, or if you just want to dream of summer. I like to brown the chicken on the grill or BBQ first then finish it off in the oven with the sauce, this way you get the flavour and colour from the grill and a little bit of stickiness from the sauce but it doesn’t burn like it would if you put the sauce on the meat before grilling. Then I like to hit it with a huge handful of fresh coriander (cilantro), green onions (scallions), chilli and roasted cashews which makes it even fresher tasting, almost like an Asian inspired salad on top. Delicious!
Enjoy my friends. Kate xoxo
Grilled Chilli and Lime Chicken
- zest and juice of 1 small lime
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 long red chilli finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 6 boneless free-range chicken thighs
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 spring onion scallion, finely sliced
- 1 long red chilli finely sliced
- 1/3 cup fresh coriander cilantro, roughly torn or chopped
- 1/4 cup roasted cashews or peanuts roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 200C/390F and preheat grill/BBQ.
To make the sauce whisk all the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside. If you want the sauce less spicy then remove the seeds and white ribs from the chilli before chopping.
Lay the chicken thighs out flat and drizzle both sides with 1 Tbsp of oil and season well with sea salt and black pepper. Place on grill just long enough to sear and brown each side (should only take around 8-10 min but does depend on the size of your chicken thighs). If you don’t have a BBQ or grill then just do this step in a fry pan (skillet) on high heat, you just won’t get the grill makes but it will be equally as yummy!
Remove chicken from grill and place in an oven proof dish. Pour over the sauce then place the chicken in the preheated oven for 10 min or until the chicken is cooked (again, it may take a little longer depending on the size of your chicken thighs).
Remove chicken from the oven and sprinkle over spring onions, additional chilli, coriander and nuts. Serve with an Asian inspired slaw or vermicelli salad.
Note: My favourite chicken cut is the thigh but this dish is equally as good with breasts or legs, just adjust your cooking time accordingly.