This bold, saucy cilantro lime chicken takes on a delicious Mediterranean twist with a special spice mixture and a zesty, garlicy sauce. Word to the wise, make every use of the tasty sauce!
You can make this cilantro lime chicken in the oven or your slow cooker. Be sure to grab my tips watch the video for how to make it. I also share lots of side and salad ideas to serve it with.
It seems I’m always fussing over one more chicken dish. One can never have enough good chicken recipes, can we?!
Of the many tasty chicken recipes I have shared with you, this cilantro lime chicken is on my family’s often-requested list. And when I’m looking for a comforting, unpretentious, tasty dish that is still company-worthy, I often turn to this one.
Leafy cilantro and fresh lime juice are the perfect duo. And, I know many associate them with Mexican cuisine, but they are also gloriously used in Mediterranean cooking–often combined with garlic and a host of warm spices (wait till you taste these chicken thighs!)
If you’re a fan of these flavors, you’ll want to also check out this grilled shrimp recipe with roasted garlic cilantro, and my spicy cilantro pesto–I’ve been adding this pesto on my soups and labneh cheese a lot lately.
Let’s get to the gist of this Mediterranean-style cilantro lime chicken recipe…
About this Cilantro Lime Chicken
This cilantro lime chicken recipes is all about bold, comforting flavors…and a million-dollar sauce! Clearly, the star flavor makers in this chicken recipe are cilantro and lime. But, even before these two come into play, we hit up our chicken thighs (or pieces of choice) with a bold Mediterranean spice mix including warm spices like sweet paprika and nutmeg.
Important tips here:
1. Apply spices all over the chicken pieces and even underneath the skin (so, yes, lift up the skins and get under there with a bit of the spice mixture.)
2. Sear or Brown the Chicken. I know that searing chicken thighs here might seem like an extra annoying step. But I think it’s totally worth it. Not is this step helpful in creating beautiful crispy skin, but browning, or caramelizing, the fat adds great flavor to this dish.
3. Now, once chicken has been flavored and properly browned, it finishes cooking in the oven (or slow cooker) in a tasty sauce of white wine, lime juice, broth, loads of garlic and fresh cilantro.
Word to the wise, this recipe makes a ton of sauce and it is LIQUID GOLD! So much flavor, you’re going to want to use it on top of rice or sop it up with a great crusty bread.
Oven Baked or Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken
So, once the chicken has been browned and the delicious, sauce is ready, you can finish cooking in the oven or in the slow cooker.
1. Oven Baked Cilantro Lime Chicken
Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Bring the sauce to a simmer, add lime juice, then nestle chicken in along with fresh cilantro. Let simmer for another 5 minutes, then cover and transfer the oven-safe pan to the heated oven. Bake for about 45 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked through (internal temperature should register 165 degrees F.)
2. Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken
Once you’ve browned the chicken and prepared the sauce, transfer the sauce to the bottom of a large slow cooker or crockpot. Nestle the chicken into the sauce and add the fresh cilantro. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours or high for 2 to 3 hours (internal temperature should register 165 degrees F.)
My preference for this cilantro lime chicken is the oven, but both methods will work well.
What to Serve with Cilantro Lime Chicken
Like I mentioned earlier, make sure to use it up! Lebanese rice makes a perfect bed for this saucy chicken thighs recipe, or, try couscous or plain orzo pasta. Whenever I have homemade Challah, I love dipping it in the sauce.
As far as cilantro lime chicken sides and salads, there are so many options I can recommend. Here are a few:
Watch the Video for How to Make this Cilantro Lime chicken Recipe:
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All-star cilantro lime chicken recipe, prepared Mediterranean-style with a special spice mixture and cooked to tender perfection in a tasty garlic and lime sauce. You can cook this in the oven (my preference) or in the slow cooker (see notes for instructions.)
- 8 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on
- Private Reserve Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 limes, juice of
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 bunch cilantro, stems removed, chopped; more for garnish
- 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 with a lid like this one. Brown the chicken thighs deeply on both sides in the heated oil. Remove from skillet and set aside briefly.
- Lower the heat and deglaze 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; and toss in the cilantro. Bring to a high-simmer for about 5 minutes or so.
- Cover and transfer to the 375 degree F-heated oven for 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
- Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with more cilantro, if you like.
- Cook’s Tip: Do not skip step #3. Browning the chicken thighs here provides more appealing crispy skin and adds great flavor.
- Slow Cooker/Crockpot Instructions: Once you’ve browned the chicken and prepared the sauce, transfer the sauce to the bottom of a large slow cooker or crockpot. Nestle the chicken into the sauce and add the fresh cilantro. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours or high for 2 to 3 hours (internal temperature should register 165 degrees F.)
- Recommended for this Recipe: our Greek Private Reserve extra virgin olive oil and all-natural paprika and ground nutmeg.
- Visit Our Online Store to browse our olive oil bundles and our spice bundles, including Ultimate Mediterranean Spice Bundle
- Category: Entree
- Method: Braised or Baked
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keywords: Cilantro Lime Chicken, Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs, Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken
*This post first appeared on The Mediterranean Dish in 2015 and has recently been updated with new information and media of readers’ benefit.