When I think of my ideal vacation, I envision ocean breezes, white sandy beaches, sunshine, and tropical beverages. All of these things come to mind when enjoying this bright fruity Chili Lime Chicken with Mango Rice. If I pair this dish with one of these Skinny Margarita recipes, I don’t even need to pack my bags!
The Secret to Juicy, Flavorful Chicken Breasts
Boneless, skinless chicken breast is by far one of the leaner, healthier protein choices. However, I do get frustrated (and sometimes rather bored) with dry, bland chicken. Fret no longer, my friends! There is hope, and an easy solution to this dilemma.
First, seasoning is key. This chicken recipe uses chili powder, cumin, and lime zest…simple spices that pack a punch. Adding fruity mango and zesty cilantro to the side dish in this recipe adds flavors that compliment and enhance the seasonings in the chicken.
You can change the flavor profile of this recipe by adding interesting twists to an otherwise simple chicken breast. Craving Asian? Change it up by using asian five spice powder, fresh ginger, lime zest, and soy sauce instead of the latin spices. Adding curry powder or garam masala, turmeric, and coconut milk gives the dish an entirely different flavor profile. Use your imagination, and don’t be afraid to play with your food!
Second, marinate the chicken before cooking to allow the flavors to absorb into the meat. Pat dry, taking care not to remove the spices entirely before browning in the skillet. Make sure the skillet and oil is very hot before adding the chicken to allow for a good sear on the meat, which will seal in the juices.
The final secret to juicy chicken on the stovetop is to reduce the heat and add a small amount of water or broth (chicken broth will add more flavor) and cover. The liquid absorbs into the chicken, preventing it from drying out, and will also keep it from burning on the outside. Make sure to check periodically for doneness.
Without further ado, here’s the recipe. Enjoy!
Yield: 4 servings | Serving Size: 1 chicken breast, about 1/2 cup rice | Calories: 519 | Total Fat: 19 g | Saturated Fat: 2 g | Carbohydrates: 51 g | Fiber: 4 g | Sugar: 10 g | Protein: 46 g | Cholesterol: 125 mg | Sodium: 474 mg | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 8
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil, divided (optional: avocado oil)
- 1 tablespoon lime zest
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 teaspoons ground chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 (6 ounce) Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
- 2 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup uncooked long grain brown rice
- 1/4 cup scallions, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 medium mango, peeled, cored, and diced small
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 lime, sliced into wedges
- In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, half the lime zest, half the lime juice, chili powder, cumin, salt & pepper. Add the chicken breast to the lime mixture and marinate for 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Once boiling, add the brown rice. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 to 20 minutes or until rice is tender Stir in the remaining lime zest and lime juice, scallions, cilantro and diced mango. Set aside.
- Heat large skillet over medium high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Sear chicken on both sides, about 2-3 min each side, ensuring it is golden brown and slightly crisp on both sides. (Note: if using a non-stick skillet, chicken that may stick to the pan will
- "release" when it is ready to turn. No need to force it.
- When chicken is golden brown on both sides, reduce heat to medium-low, pour in 1/4 cup water and cover.
- Cook on medium-low an additional 6-8 minutes, until breasts are cooked through and no longer pink inside. Internal temperature should be 165 degrees.
- Divide rice among 4 plates, top with chicken breast, and garnish with remaining lime slices.
Want more tropical recipes to complement this one?
Since you’re already on a tropical vacation, why not make it a multi-course feast? For starters, try the Mango Arugula Salad with Cilantro Crema. Round out your escape with a frozen treat without sacrificing your healthy lifestyle. This decadent 3-Ingredient Coconut Mango Ice Cream is the perfect ending to a perfect meal.
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