Take a trip south of the border without leaving your kitchen (bathrobes are also welcome on this journey). This cilantro lime chicken has a bright flavor that will remind you of your favorite taco shop. Topping it off with avocado salsa is the treat your mouth has been craving. Chicken? Good. Lime and cilantro? Good. Avocado? Good. Cilantro lime chicken with avocado salsa? Amazing!
Xyngular Cilantro Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa
Nutrition Facts Per Serving
Calories: 369 / Fat: 21g / Protein: 39g / Carbs: 6g
- 2 6 oz Boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- 1 Tbsp Fresh cilantro, minced
- 1 ¼ Tbsp Lime juice
- ¾ Tbsp Olive oil
- ½ cup Plum tomatoes, chopped
- 1 Tbsp Onion, diced
- ½ Avocado, peeled and diced
- ¼ tsp Kosher salt
- Place chicken breasts between two pieces of saran wrap and tenderize with a meat mallet until each piece is approximately ½ inch thick.
- Combine the cilantro, lime juice, and olive oil in a large bowl. Toss chicken breasts in the marinade and let stand for five minutes.
- Remove chicken from marinade and discard the remaining marinade mixture.
- Sprinkle chicken evenly with salt.
- Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan and cook approximately six minutes on each side, or until cooked through.
- Prepare salsa by combining tomato, onion, lime juice, and salt in a medium bowl. Add avocado and stir gently to combine.
- Spoon salsa over chicken and serve immediately.
Does Lime Juice Cook Raw Chicken?
If you’ve ever heard of, or eaten ceviche, the South American dish that uses a marinade to “cook” fish or shrimp, then you know lime juice can be pretty powerful. Lime juice won’t just cook seafood, it will actually begin cooking chicken, beef, or pork too, but with less favorable results.
In a marinade like the one in this cilantro lime chicken recipe, the lime juice is usually combined with oil. The oil keeps the lime juice in check and keeps it from fully breaking down the meat the way it does with seafood. While it doesn’t give the meat a full cook, it can cause you some problems if you marinate it for too long, as it will make the meat tough when you go to finish cooking it.
How Long Can You Marinate Chicken in Lime Juice?
Ideally, chicken should only sit in a lime juice marinade for up to an hour, and really no more than 2-3 hours. The longer it sits, the more it will partially cook. Then, when you apply heat to finish the cooking process, the meat will become tough.
In addition to its taste, lime juice is used in marinades because it increases their effectiveness. The acids from the juice begin to break down the meat and allow the oils and other ingredients to sink deeper and infuse the meat with flavor. Chicken marinades fairly quickly, so there’s no need to let it sit for too long. Longer marinade times don’t equate to more flavor. You can get the job done in 30-60 minutes.
Do You Rinse Marinade Off Chicken Before Cooking?
To rinse, or not to rinse? That is the, hotly debated, question. Many people are team rinse. Many people are on team don’t rinse. And then there’s a contingent in the middle, that says to not rinse, but to pat dry instead. So which way is best?
People who are advocates of not rinsing, are worried about washing off the flavor that you just worked so hard to get into the meat. Those in favor of rinsing or patting the meat dry after marinating, are worried about the excess marinade cooking faster than the meat, causing the outside to be burnt. Both have valid points.
If you’ve used a proper marinade, one that includes an acid and an oil (like we did in this cilantro lime chicken marinade), the acid breaks down the exterior of the meat and allows the oil to penetrate and work the other ingredients and flavors deep into the meat. With that being said, a quick rinse shouldn’t destroy all your marinating work. Buuuuuuut, rinsing meat after marinating doesn’t necessarily get you the end result you want either. Many people think rinsing meat can spread bacteria in your kitchen.
As far as patting the meat dry goes, that may be overkill for some marinades. If a marinade is sticky, or clings to the meat, then wiping off the excess and patting it dry is helpful. However, for a lot of chicken marinades, simply letting it drip dry for a few seconds is more than enough. When it stops dripping, it’s good to go. This keeps all the flavors intact and removes any extra marinade that could burn or cause problems while cooking.
If you want to try some flavorful low carb chicken recipes that don’t involve marinating, we recommend you check out our avocado chicken salad recipe and our low carb recipe for basil chicken and veggies.
Avocado Salsa VS Guacamole
Shakespeare once said, “A guacamole by any other name, would still taste delicious.” No? Well, it was something like that. The point is, guacamole and avocado salsa have a lot in common. There are a lot of different avocado salsa recipes out there, and some are the equivalent of guacamole using a pseudonym. The avocado salsa that accompanies our cilantro lime chicken recipe takes the best of salsa, and the best of guacamole, and joins them together in a delicious combo. When the tomato and onion you’d find in salsa, combine with the avocado in guacamole, and are joined by their common allies salt and lime juice, the result is a tasty marriage that will make you wonder why you ever ate either one separately.
What Are The Health Benefits of Avocado?
Avocados aren’t just delicious, they’re also packed with vitamins and other goodness. They really don’t have a lot of downsides either, which makes them all the easier to love. We’ll start with the bad news—avocados are high in fat. But wait, it’s the good kind of fat! Good fat is made up of monounsaturated fatty acids, which are shown to lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. So in the case of the avocado, being high in fat is actually a good thing. That’s what we call turning a negative into a positive.
If your goal is healthy weight loss, look no further than the avocado. Some of their many other health benefits include loads of potassium, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B, vitamin E, and vitamin A. They also contain a lot of fiber, which helps you feel full and can aid in digestion. Plus, they are great for vision and have been shown to lower the risk of cancer, osteoporosis, depression, and other chronic diseases.
What Low Carb Vegetables Pair Well With Lime Chicken?
Whether you’ve just finished the Xyngular 8-Day Jumpstart program, or are simply looking to lead a low carb lifestyle, it can get boring eating the same thing over and over again. We’re here to give you a little inspiration. This cilantro lime chicken recipe has a Mexican flare to it, which is why we recommend pairing it with the tomato, onion, and avocado in the avocado salsa. Other great low carb vegetable options include a salad with lettuce and bell peppers. A medley of roasted veggies that include broccoli, onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, and zucchini would also pair well with this recipe.
If you like this cilantro lime chicken recipe, be sure to check out our other favorite 8-Day Jumpstart recipes here, where you’ll find other low carb chicken recipes and more. And be sure to look at all the resources we offer with the Xyngular 8-Day Jumpstart program, to see if it’s a good fit for you and your weight loss goals. You can also access all of our delicious Xyngular system recipes, including Keto and low carb recipes here. *
*Lose up to 15 pounds in 8 days. Lose an additional 1-2 pounds or more each week following the 8-day jump start. Results are not guaranteed and can vary.