Tuesday, September 29, 2015

cilantro lime chicken thighs


I've recently received more emails asking if I would consider sharing more savory dishes and dinner ideas. Absolutely!

Given the number of dessert posts that I share on this blog, you must think that I only bake . . . but that's not so; I love to cook, too! 

I'm a busy mom with three little ones, so I make every effort to keep dinners fast and simple.

I'm a BIG fan of one skillet meals!

One skillet (or one sheet pan) means less dishes . . . and LESS clean up!

One of my favorite weeknight meals is seasoned roast chicken with vegetables.

It's quick, easy, and delicious!

I use a variety of spices to season my chicken, depending on my mood and what herbs and vegetables I have on hand. 

And depending on the weather, I either finish roasting the chicken and vegetables in the oven - or finish it on the stove top.

Here are a few of my favorite spice and herb combinations . . .

Tuscan Garlic Herb Mix
Fragrant and herbaceous, this Italian-style mix goes with anything containing tomatoes
or milky cheese like mozzarella or ricotta.
.     .     .     .     .    .
2 Tablespoons dried rosemary 
2 Tablespoons dried thyme 
2 teaspoons fennel seeds 
4 teaspoons garlic powder 
2 teaspoons dried marjoram 
and 1 teaspoon dried sage

Scandinavian Lemon Spice Mix
Refreshing lemon, dill, and tarragon are combined with caraway seeds 
for a flicker of cooling sweetness.
.     .     .     .     .    .
2 Tablespoons dried dill weed
2 Tablespoons dried tarragon
2 teaspoons dried lemon peel
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

I have a simple method of preparing chicken that yields a moist and flavorful finished dish.

First, I SEASON and BROWN the chicken (that's what makes the flavorful, scrumptious bits on the bottom of the pan), then I remove the chicken and DE-GLAZE the pan. Next, I add wine (or broth) and REDUCE, and then add the chicken back to the pan (add more broth) and put it in the oven.

I use this method almost every single time I make a chicken dish.

The method of SEASONING, BROWNING, DE-GLAZING, AND REDUCING yields a ton of flavor! And then a "finishing bake" in its own juices and broth provides a moist environment for the chicken to finish its journey . . . yielding tender and moist chicken! 

This is a crazy flavorful dish! 

The spice combination, along with fresh garlic, lime juice, and cilantro, makes an AMAZING flavor combination!

The gorgeous, deep golden au jus (see photo below) is FULL of flavor . . . and can be drizzled over a bed of arugula (my favorite), rice, or couscous. 

Add colorful beets . . . and a few sweet potatoes . . . and you have a delicious Fall-inspired meal.

It's not only family worthy, but company worth, too!! And that's a WIN-WIN in my book.


cilantro lime chicken thighs
.     .     .     .     .     .
8 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on
6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 cup dry white wine (or chicken broth)
2 limes, juice of
2 cups chicken broth
1 bunch cilantro, stems removed, chopped; more for garnish
Olive oil
root vegetables, optional
.     .     .     .     .     .
Mediterranean-inspired SPICE MIX
1 Tablespoon seasoned salt
1 tsp hot paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
½ tsp ground nutmeg
.     .     .     .     .     .

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

In a small bowl, mix the spices. Pat the chicken thighs dry, and season each thigh on both sides with the spice mix. Be sure to season underneath the skin as well. Let the chicken thighs sit in room temperature for about 15 minutes.

When ready, heat 1-2 tbsp of olive oil in a cast iron skillet. Brown the chicken thighs deeply on both sides in the heated oil. Remove from the skillet and set aside briefly.

Lower the heat and de-glaze the skillet with the white wine. Let cook to reduce, and then add the broth.

Bring the liquid to a simmer then add lime juice and garlic.

Now return the chicken to the skillet; add vegetables; and toss in the cilantro.


Bring to a high-simmer for about 5 minutes or so.

Cover the skillet and transfer to the 375 degree F-heated oven for 35-45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with more fresh cilantro, if you like.

LET'S STAY in touch!
.      .      .      .      .

Thank you for stopping by!
I love reading your comments and appreciate them so much!


  1. This dish has my name written all over it. We love using chicken thighs and I really like using a cast iron skillet. I have limes just waiting to be used. Thank you for posting. BTW, you had the picture on the right hand side of the blog and I was looking everywhere for the recipe :-( I couldn't find it. I'm glad you've posted it because I'm saving it and making it this week. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Big hugs!!

  2. This sounds fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing. I'm thinking this would also be good with quail. Time to go pick some herbs and plan dinner.

    Carole @ Garden Up Green

  3. I am a breast girl, but Steve loves chicken thighs so I will pass this recipe on to him.

  4. Suzanne, once again this chicken recipe looks absolutely amazing!!! I tried to find it to pin on your pinterest page but didn't see it. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe @ Dream. Create. Inspire. Link. I hope you will join us tomorrow night @ 8 EST. Take care, Tara

  5. I've recently become a big fan of cilantro after making another recipe with it. I also like chicken thighs because you can almost always get them relatively cheap. Your recipe looks delish and I'll have to try it out!
    Visiting from Teach Me Tuesday
    Lisa @ Fun Money Mom

  6. How did I miss this? This recipe looks amazing! I so appreciate you laying out the cooking method and different flavor variations. Learned a lot. Thanks Suzanne!


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