This grilled chicken recipe delivers lots of flavor thanks to a quick marinade, and with just 7 ingredients and 3 steps, it’s easy enough to cook any night of the week.

Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken | #grilled #marinade #thighs

My father in law was the classic dropper-inner. Like Saturdays rolling into Sundays, you could always count on a weekly unannounced visit from Cloyd. Or as I liked to call him, “The Cloydster.”

Rolling into the driveway in one of his beloved classic cars (I was always partial to the Studebaker) he’d pop in with his jaunty cap atop his head, toothpick trolling from his fingers to his mustached mouth with the biggest, happiest hello that beamed with joy at the sight of his kids.

“Oh, I was just runnin’ around and thought I’d see what you kids was up to.”

It’s been 12 years since those visits ended.

Cloydster and Jeff

My husband is a lot like his dad was and has always been far more patient with the casual stop-ins than I. He will happily take a chair, offer up a drink and sit and chit and chat about anything under the sun.

I on the other hand, smile vacantly, nodding my head as my mind wanders to the vitally important task I was in the midst of when I was interrupted by an unexpected visit. Those weeds aren’t going to weed themselves now are they?

Man I am dumb.

I miss Cloydster’s visits. They make me realize more than ever that I need to take a lesson from my father in law, and from his son. Slow down. Take a seat. Offer up a drink or something to eat and chit and chat about absolutely anything and everything under the sun.

This grilled chicken recipe is part of my Weekend Eats series, where I’m sharing a seasonal recipe idea for what to have for dinner come Saturday and Sunday, with the occasional breakfast or brunch thrown in.

While I love making it on Saturday night, it’s also a goodie for impromptu visits. It can be thrown together with stuff in your pantry, or at least in my pantry, given I always have fresh cilantro and limes in the crisper.

I think Cloyd would have loved it. In fact I know he would have, because that man pretty much loved everything, especially if it was made by someone he loved.

Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken |

Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken |
About the Recipe

There’s not much to say about this recipe except that it’s really easy. And fast. The potency of flavors in the marinade make for a fast marinade and can be thrown on the grill with just a 30 minute soak. However, if you want to impart more flavor or are simply planning for tomorrow night’s dinner, it can easily sit in the fridge in a gallon size freezer bag overnight.

I use my hand held blender/food processor all of the time. It’s perfect for little jobs like this marinade.

I doubled the lime flavor by utilizing the zest of the lime. Zesting citrus always adds more flavor, often times even more than the juice. I also reserved about 1/4 cup of the marinade (didn’t add it to the chicken) to drizzle on the finished chicken. Just an extra layer of flavor thank you very much.

I used skinless chicken thighs because I just love their flavor and they don’t tend to dry out as quickly as chicken breast, but by all means, use any other part (or all) of the chicken that you desire. I’ve made this with chicken thighs with the skin on, and they were good, but I ended up burning most of the skin thanks to that dang fatty layer dripping into the grill and flaring up. Plus, I prefer the char on the outside of each bite.

Your grill will cook different than mine, and different than your neighbors, so do your own judging with cooking time. I cooked these for about 15 minutes, flipping and rotating them often. Test to see doneness when the juices run clear and internal temp is at about 160 degrees. I always let them sit for a minute or two to hold in the juices. 

Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken |

Recipe Ideas to Serve With Your Chicken

If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram or Twitter with #foodiecrusheats.  

Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Grilled chicken thighs marinaded in this flavorful sauce get a zesty bite thanks to both lime juice and lime zest balanced out with a touch of honey.
Serves: 10-12 chicken pieces
  • 3 pounds skinless chicken thighs
  • 4 limes, zested and juiced
  • ¾-1 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves and stems
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • extra cilantro for garnish
  1. Trim any fat from the chicken thighs and place in a large freezer bag. To the bowl of a food processor, add the lime juice, lime zest, cilantro, olive oil, honey, cumin, salt and pepper and whiz to combine, about 30 seconds. Reserve ¼ of the marinade and pour the rest into the bag with the chicken and refrigerate for 30 minutes up to overnight.
  2. Prepare a grill on medium high, leaving one side of the grill on low or off. Grill the chicken for about 14 minutes, turning often. Once each side has seared, if the chicken pieces seem to be getting too charred, move the chicken pieces to the cooler side of the grill to cook.
  3. Serve with lime wedges and additional cilantro and drizzle the ¼ cup reserved marinade before serving.

Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken | #grilled #marinade #thighs

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