Chili Lime Chicken

Chili Lime Chicken ~ tender, juicy chicken breasts exploding with bold flavor, topped with an easy sweet-spicy fresh pineapple salsa. Stove to table in under 30 minutes!

Dinner | April 7, 2018 | By

Chili Lime Chicken ~ tender, juicy chicken exploding with bold flavors, served with an easy sweet-spicy pineapple salsa.

We’re home from vacation and while it’s great to be home, let’s just say a teenage boy couldn’t have eaten more than I did while I was gone. Ugh.

The goal is to get back into the swing of things, starting with eating better and saying a hard NO to a midafternoon Rumrunner. Don’t judge me. It’s one of the best beach drinks around.

Anyway, it’s 30° today with a light dusting of snow on the ground, so I made this Chili Lime Chicken in a skillet. If it’s warmer where you are you can certainly fire up the grill and do this Chili Lime Chicken proud.

Chili Lime Chicken ~ tender, juicy chicken breasts exploding with bold flavor, topped with an easy sweet-spicy fresh pineapple salsa. Stove to table in under 30 minutes!

Skillet or grill, the key to moist delicious bold flavor is basting the chicken while it cooks. Instructions below are for indoor cooking; grill as you normally would if you’re going that route, basting often as the chicken cooks. 

There’s a marinade involved in this recipe, but if you’re like me and sometimes forget to marinate the meat until, oh ~ dinnertime, no worries. You can still do your happy dance with this Chili Lime Chicken because basting the chicken while it’s cooking locks in deep spicy citrus flavor.

Chili Lime Chicken ~ tender, juicy chicken breasts exploding with bold flavor, topped with an easy sweet-spicy fresh pineapple salsa. Stove to table in under 30 minutes!

I sliced the chicken breasts on the thin side for faster cooking on weeknights and if you happen to have any leftover chicken (as if!) it’s good added to a salad the next day for lunch.

Chili Lime Chicken ~ tender, juicy chicken breasts exploding with bold flavor, topped with an easy sweet-spicy fresh pineapple salsa. Stove to table in under 30 minutes!

Chili Lime Chicken Ingredients:

For the chicken:

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ cup pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 lime juice and zest
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons honey

For the salsa:

  • 2 cups fresh pineapple diced
  • 2 tablespoons red onion
  • ½ cup bell pepper (red, yellow or orange)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh jalapeno (or more to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Combine the salsa ingredients, season with salt and pepper to taste, then cover and refrigerate while you make the chicken.

pineapple salsa for chili lime chicken

Either slice or pound the chicken to an even thickness all over to so they cook evenly. This also allows the marinade and basting sauce to enter the meat uniformly.

Next whisk the pineapple juice, soy sauce, olive oil, garlic, both the juice and zest of one lime, chili powder, cayenne pepper and honey together, then reserve ¼ cup of the marinade.

At this point, if you have a couple of hours before dinnertime, go ahead and transfer the marinade (less the ¼ cup) and chicken to a zip top bag and refrigerate up to 2 hours.

Cooking the chicken:

Add about 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. The amount of the oil will vary depending upon the size of your skillet, but you’ll want the oil to coat the bottom.

Once the oil is hot, shake off any excess marinade from the chicken, give each piece a good seasoning of salt and pepper and add the breasts to the skillet searing and caramelizing well on both sides.

Once the chicken is seared, lower the heat to medium/medium-low and pour the reserved marinade (now your basting sauce) into the skillet. 

Chili Lime Chicken ~ tender, juicy chicken breasts exploding with bold flavor, topped with an easy sweet-spicy fresh pineapple salsa. Stove to table in under 30 minutes!

Baste the chicken often using a spoon to scoop up the sauce as the chicken continues to cook completely through (about 8-10 minutes). You’ll see the sauce turn to a glaze about the time the chicken is done.   

Tip Tilt the skillet slightly to scoop out the basting sauce.

This simple dish easily goes from Tuesday night family to a relaxing Saturday with friends. Make the salsa a day ahead to give yourself more time for company the day of. A side of rice goes really well with the Chili Lime Chicken and for dessert, keeping with the Caribbean feel, a slice of Key Lime Pie does the trick.

If you make this recipe, leave me a comment~ I’d love to hear from you because silence isn’t always golden ~ especially if there’s a toddler around ~ then silence can be suspicious.

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Enjoy!

Chili Lime Chicken ~ tender, juicy chicken breasts exploding with bold flavor, topped with an easy sweet-spicy fresh pineapple salsa. Stove to table in under 30 minutes!

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Chili Lime Chicken and Pineapple Salsa

Tender, juicy marinated chicken exploding with bold chili lime flavors, served with an easy sweet-spicy pineapple salsa.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Grilling
Keyword: grilled spicy chicken, pineapple salsa
Ingredients
Chicken
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ cup pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 lime juice and zest
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons honey
Salsa
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple diced
  • 2 tablespoons red onion
  • ½ cup bell pepper red, yellow or orange
  • 1 tablespoon fresh jalapeno or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes finely chopped
Instructions
  1. Combine the salsa ingredients, season with salt and pepper to taste, then cover and refrigerate.
  2. Slice or pound the chicken to an even thickness so it cooks more quickly and evenly.
  3. Whisk the pineapple juice, soy sauce, olive oil, garlic, juice and zest of one whole lime, chili powder, cayenne pepper and honey together, then RESERVE ¼ cup of the marinade.
  4. If you have time, transfer the chicken and marinade to a zip top bag and marinate up to 2 hours.
  5. To cook the chicken, add about 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. The amount of the oil will vary depending upon the size of your skillet but you’ll want the oil to coat the bottom.
  6. Once the oil is hot, shake off any excess marinade from the chicken, season it generously with salt and pepper and add the breasts to the skillet.

  7. Sear the chicken well on both sides to a nice golden color, then pour the reserved marinade (now your basting sauce) into the skillet.
  8. Reduce the heat to medium/medium low and continue cooking the chicken until it’s cooked through completely (about 8-10 minutes), spooning the basting sauce over the chicken continually as it cooks.
  9. Tip: Tilt the skillet slightly to scoop out the basting sauce.
  10. Serve with the pineapple salsa and if you’d like, rice.

  1. Ray
    April 8, 2018

    Excellent flavor! Just add a Margarita or Sangria for good measure.

    • Bernie
      April 9, 2018

      Thank you! Can’t go wrong with either cocktail 🙂