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Lime and Coriander Chicken

by . Featured in AT MY TABLE
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Introduction

I often, uncharitably, think that chicken breast fillet is the default choice of eating-averse fatphobes. I'm not sure I've ever looked down a restaurant menu and thought "Yes! That is just what I want." But I find ready zest for this. The supercharged acidity of the lime does double duty, tenderising the meat beautifully and infusing it with fierce fragrance.

My plan of action - and one I recommend - is that you buy breasts with the skin still on. Remove the skin and fry it in a little oil for about five minutes each side, pressing down on it regularly, until it's a dark gold, has rendered its fat (keep this schmaltz for eating on toast at another time) and is crisping up. Remove to a plate lined with kitchen roll: it will become completely crisp as it cools. Tear up some iceberg lettuce and dress it lightly before crumbling in shards of the crisp chicken skin.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

I often, uncharitably, think that chicken breast fillet is the default choice of eating-averse fatphobes. I'm not sure I've ever looked down a restaurant menu and thought "Yes! That is just what I want." But I find ready zest for this. The supercharged acidity of the lime does double duty, tenderising the meat beautifully and infusing it with fierce fragrance.

My plan of action - and one I recommend - is that you buy breasts with the skin still on. Remove the skin and fry it in a little oil for about five minutes each side, pressing down on it regularly, until it's a dark gold, has rendered its fat (keep this schmaltz for eating on toast at another time) and is crisping up. Remove to a plate lined with kitchen roll: it will become completely crisp as it cools. Tear up some iceberg lettuce and dress it lightly before crumbling in shards of the crisp chicken skin.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Image of Nigella's Lime and Coriander Chicken
Photo by Jonathan Lovekin

Ingredients

Serves: 2

Metric Cups
  • 2 x approx. 150g chicken breast fillets (preferably skin-on, see introduction)
  • finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 4 x 15ml tablespoons regular olive oil (plus 2 teaspoons more for frying)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt flakes
  • 1 clove garlic (peeled and minced)
  • 2 x 15ml tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander leaves

To serve:

  • iceberg lettuce
  • avocado
  • chilli flakes
  • 2 x approx. 6oz chicken breast cutlets (preferably skin-on, see introduction)
  • finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime
  • ¼ cup regular olive oil (plus 2 teaspoons more for frying)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 clove garlic (peeled and minced)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro leaves

To serve:

  • iceberg lettuce
  • avocado
  • chile flakes

Method

  1. Remove the skin from the chicken and set this aside for now.
  2. Cover a chopping board with cling film, though do not cut off the piece from the roll quite yet, and sit the chicken breasts on top, with space between them, then cover with more cling film and tear off from the roll. Using a rolling pin, press down on the meatier parts of the fillets, rolling them out a little, until each chicken breast is, as much as possible, of even thickness, though it's always going to be a little thinner at the tip. The idea is not to bash the chicken until it's a limp rag.
  3. Put the lime zest in a small bowl, cover with cling film and set aside. Unwrap and transfer the chicken breasts to a reusable freezer bag, or a shallow dish or container in which they will fit snugly, then add the lime juice along with the oil, sea salt flakes and garlic. Seal the bag well, give it a bit of a squidge to help it coat the chicken and leave to marinate, out of the fridge, for 15 minutes. While the chicken is marinating, you can be frying the chicken skins (see recipe introduction).
  4. When time's up on the marinade, heat the 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan. Take the chicken out of the bag or dish and shake off the marinade before frying over a medium-high heat for 2 minutes each side, then turn again and give an extra minute on each side, so that the chicken is bronzed on the outside and cooked through. Remove to a couple of waiting plates.
  5. Mix the lime zest and chopped coriander together and sprinkle on top. Serve, ideally, with the iceberg lettuce and chicken crackling and a splodge of avocado mashed with sea salt and chilli flakes.
  1. Remove the skin from the chicken and set this aside for now.
  2. Cover a chopping board with cling film, though do not cut off the piece from the roll quite yet, and sit the chicken breasts on top, with space between them, then cover with more cling film and tear off from the roll. Using a rolling pin, press down on the meatier parts of the fillets, rolling them out a little, until each chicken breast is, as much as possible, of even thickness, though it's always going to be a little thinner at the tip. The idea is not to bash the chicken until it's a limp rag.
  3. Put the lime zest in a small bowl, cover with cling film and set aside. Unwrap and transfer the chicken breasts to a reusable freezer bag, or a shallow dish or container in which they will fit snugly, then add the lime juice along with the oil, kosher salt and garlic. Seal the bag well, give it a bit of a squidge to help it coat the chicken and leave to marinate, out of the fridge, for 15 minutes. While the chicken is marinating, you can be frying the chicken skins (see recipe introduction).
  4. When time's up on the marinade, heat the 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan. Take the chicken out of the bag or dish and shake off the marinade before frying over a medium-high heat for 2 minutes each side, then turn again and give an extra minute on each side, so that the chicken is bronzed on the outside and cooked through. Remove to a couple of waiting plates.
  5. Mix the lime zest and chopped coriander together and sprinkle on top. Serve, ideally, with the iceberg lettuce and chicken crackling and a splodge of avocado mashed with sea salt and chile flakes.

Additional Information

MAKE AHEAD/ STORE:
The chicken can be marinated up to 6 hours ahead. Store in the fridge and remove 15 minutes before cooking. Refrigerate leftovers, within 2 hours of cooking, in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Eat cold.

MAKE AHEAD/ STORE:
The chicken can be marinated up to 6 hours ahead. Store in the fridge and remove 15 minutes before cooking. Refrigerate leftovers, within 2 hours of cooking, in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Eat cold.

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What 2 Others have said

  • Just made this, and my family has already asked that it be in regular rotation. I followed the recipe as well as I could (alas, could not find chicken breasts with skin on), and added a little red onion. Next time, I think I'll also squeeze a little extra lime juice on the lettuce. 5 stars!

    Posted by karenheff on 11th April 2021
  • In the States, I’ve found it hard to find boneless chicken breasts with the skin, so have become accustomed to making this without. I’ve sometimes replaced them by adding a little warmed reduced chicken stock, if I have it, over the lettuce. If I don’t have it, I just move ahead without. Regardless, this is one of those easy to make, satisfying, and HEALTHY weeknight meals and I enjoy it often alongside a simple, inexpensive, Sauvignon Blanc. I really appreciate this dish for its simplicity and flavor.

    Posted by Rossbeigh on 18th December 2020
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