I’ve waited on publishing this recipe since I did quite a few Mexican food posts around Cinco de Mayo, but I couldn’t hold off much longer. Cilantro lime chicken is perfect for grilling (although we often sauté the chicken in a skillet on the stove during colder parts of the year), so you’ll love it for summer, and it’s great for when you’re entertaining because it’s easy to prepare and looks really pretty on a platter. The green of the cilantro and the red bell peppers pop off the plate, and the caramelized onions, well… don’t even get me started, or I’ll be off to the stove caramelizing onions because I have to have some right now.
We make our rice ahead of time in our handy – and beloved – rice cooker. Side note: the rice cooker actually belongs to Brian, because he saved up his birthday money to buy it. Thankfully he shares, though (after all, I do share the end result of my bread machine!) and our family always has perfectly cooked rice as a result. This is the rice cooker we have. Pricey, but worth it. And it even plays a little song for us when the rice is ready; what could be happier than that? Oh yes, delicious rice. Win-win!
Back to the recipe… when you take a look below you’ll see how easy this is, and it’s versatile, too. You can serve it as pictured on the first night, and then the next you can make fajita tacos or quesadillas with the leftovers for a little variety. Either way, YUM.
- 4 cups cooked medium grain rice
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped
- 5 limes
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 2 yellow onions, cut into rings
- 4 chicken breasts
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 2 tablespoons butter (or just 1 if you are cooking your chicken on the grill))
- 1 can black beans
- In a large zip loc baggie, place the four chicken breasts along with the juice of 3 limes. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1-2 hours.
- In a large bowl, or in the bowl of your rice cooker, mix the cooked rice with the cilantro, salt (to taste), 1 tablespoon butter and the juice of 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons) - set to the side and keep warm.
- In a medium skillet, cook your onions over medium-low heat for about 30 minutes or until they're tender and caramelized. About 10 minutes before you remove the onions from the stove, add sliced red bell pepper to heat it through just a bit.
- In a small saucepan, cook the black beans with liquid over medium-low heat. Add the cumin and salt to taste.
- If you're grilling your chicken, sprinkle a little bit of sugar over both sides of each chicken breast before placing on the grill. Grill each side of the chicken breast about 3-4 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
- If you're sautéing your chicken, cook it over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of butter. Once the chicken has cooked all the way through, dice it into bite-size pieces and return it to the skillet; squeeze the juice of ½ of a lime over the pieces and sprinkle the sugar, tossing to coat. This will give you a nice caramelization.
- To serve, create a bed of rice, then top with (drained) black beans, the caramelized onions and red bell peppers, and chicken. Sprinkle with cilantro and top with slices of lime for an extra-pretty presentation.