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Peruvian Lime Chicken

If you’re wondering what to get ready today for Sunday night dinner, here’s an idea. Blend the marinade today, smear it all over the chicken and put it in a zip-lock bag to soak up all of the deep garlic and lime flavours before roasting it tomorrow. Then go vote!

I first made this chicken in the summer and cooked it on the barbecue rotisserie, but this week I tried roasting it and it was just as good. I used a large organic roasting chicken (about 5 pounds) and the next night served the leftovers as fajitas in tortillas with guacamole, lots of fresh tomato salsa and grated cheddar. The marinade recipe below was enough marinade for the larger chicken. This recipe is adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, March 1, 2011

3 T. olive oil
1/4 c. fresh mint leaves
2 t. Kosher salt
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 T. ground black pepper
1 T. ground cumin
2 t. sugar
1 1/2  t. smoked paprika
2 t. dried oregano
2 t. lime zest, grated
1/4 c. lime juice
1 t. habanaro chile, minced, or dried red chile, depending on how much heat you like
1 whole chicken or quartered (3 1/2 to 4 pound)

Process all marinade ingredients in blender to make a smooth paste.

Using fingers, carefully loosen skin over thighs and breast of chicken and remove any excess fat.  Rub half of paste beneath skin and spread the remainder over entire surface of chicken. Place in a large plastic zip-lock bag.  Refrigerate at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours.

Heat barbecue, place chicken on rotisserie, and cook until dark brown and cooked through, approximately 1 1/2 hour.
Serves 4.

To roast:

Roast at 325ºF until well browned and cooked through, approximately 1 1/2 hours, basting with the marinade, or until the juices of the chicken run clear when the thigh is pierced with a fork and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165ºF. Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes after you remove it from the oven.

I served the chicken with fresh limes, corn muffins, steamed asparagus and a simple green salad.

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