One of my very favorite things about late spring is being able to cook on the grill. It starts getting really hot around here by late June, so I tend to soak up as much of the outdoors as I can between April and the time we’re hitting the 90s on a regular basis. Besides, the kids want to be outdoors anyway… Being cooped up all winter has taken it’s toll on all of us, and while it’s not officially summer yet, our warm weather has already arrived.
Maybe it’s remembering my dad grilling a lot growing up, or maybe it’s just that I like not having a bunch of pots and pans to clean up, but I think anything cooked on the grill tastes better than it does when it’s cooked inside. Some people like charcoal (it’s what I grew up on) but I like the convenience of gas – really, I’d choose the grill either way.
Chicken is a year round staple on our house, specifically boneless skinless chicken breasts. They can get boring if you don’t mix it up a bit, so I really like going to the garden to get creative with flavors. Sage is always a favorite when I’m baking, and rosemary and thyme are both great herbs to use no matter how you cook your chicken, but something about the bright flavor of cilantro begs for the grill. It’s probably one of my favorite herbs. It’s flavor is strong, but not offensive (at least I don’t think so) and it’s texture isn’t overly crisp or rough. Besides, I really like margaritas, and cilantro always makes me think of Mexican!
Avocados are another year round staple here. I like them in things, I like them alone. I could eat them every day. Slice one up and hit it with a little balsamic vinegar and sea salt… perfect! They are a fantastic ‘healthy fat’ too!
All of this together with a little corn and lime juice, dinner is done!
This Cilantro Lime Chicken doesn’t need to marinate long, cooks quickly, and is fantastic for reuse as chicken salad. The Avocado Corn Salsa is another quick fix. It’s great served hot or cold, and the corn can be made ahead in the microwave if you don’t want to deal with grilling it. On a super tight schedule, you could even opt for a frozen or canned corn!
- 4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
- 4 Ears Yellow Corn
- 1 Bunch Cilantro
- 4 Limes
- 2 Avocados
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- First, start by cleaning your corn (remove shucks and silks).
- Wrap each ear of corn in foil.
- Set aside.
- Take each chicken breast and either flatten it with a meat mallet, or butterfly it with a knife, to achieve uniform thickness among the breasts.
- Set aside.
- Using a sharp chef's knife, chop the entire bunch of cilantro, removing any large stem pieces.
- Divide the chopped cilantro in half.
- In a large ziploc bag, place half the cilantro, the chicken breasts and the juice and zest of two of the limes.
- Massage the bag to thoroughly coat the chicken in the cilantro lime mixture.
- Allow to sit for approximately 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, heat your grill over high heat.
- Immediately place the corn on the upper rack in your grill.
- Once the grill has reached between 450 - 500 degrees, add the chicken to the grill and immediately reduce the heat to medium-low.
- Allow the chicken to cook until it releases from the grill grate on it's own, approximately 5-7 minutes, and turn.
- Turn the corn at the same time.
- Allow the chicken and corn to finish cooking (another 5 - 7 minutes) and remove both from the grill.
- Allow the corn to cool enough to handle it safely.
- While the corn cools, zest and juice the remaining 2 limes.
- Add the juice and zest to the remaining cilantro in a bowl.
- Peel and chop the avocados and add them to the cilantro mixture.
- Once the corn has cooled slightly, cut the kernels from the cobs and add them to the avocado mixture.
- Add salt and pepper as desired.
- Serve the chicken with the avocado salsa on the side.