Freezable French Toast
Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Grilled Soy-Lime Chicken


Grilled Soy-Lime Chicken

1.25 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast

2 c warm water
2 T sugar
2 T kosher salt

3 T soy sauce
1/4 t sugar
1/4 t grated lime zest
2 t lime juice

Combine water, sugar and salt in a bowl large enough to hold the chicken but small enough that it can be mostly submerged in the brine. Stir to dissolve sugar and salt and then add the chicken breast. Brine for thirty minutes.

In a separate bowl combine soy sauce, sugar, lime juice and lime zest. Remove chicken breast from brine, shake to remove excess liquid and then put chicken breast into marinade. Turn to coat and let the chicken marinate while the grill is heating, ten to fifteen minutes.   

Grill over medium heat for nine minutes. Flip and grill for another seven minutes.

Notes: Oh, stop yawning and just eat it. I struggled with chicken breast for a really long time. It's cheap, it defrosts in a plastic bag and warm water in less than half an hour, it's versatile, it's healthy, kids generally like it but... I just couldn't seem to DO anything with it. 

Enter the 30 minute brine (wow!) and one of a million marinades. Try this one. I like it. Patrick LOVES it. Caroline and Edward ate respectable amounts even though I think they get tired of chewing after a while and need something easier like the asparagus and rice that went with it. Edward is like a giraffe, he prefers things that are green. Caroline, for some explicable reason, is a rice FIEND.

"RIIIIIIIIIICCCEE?" she shrieks with both hands outstretched and another thousand grains fall to the floor.

What I have not yet tried is this same recipe without the grill but now that we are being deluged with an icy rain and the temperature inside my house is about sixty (who turns on the heat this early?) I think my grilling days are over. I shall try it on the stovetop and report back later, unless you want to try it on the stovetop and report back sooner.


I could be wrong, but I thought it was dangerous to defrost in warm water - i thought you had to use cold.

This sounds delicious. My oldest adores rice too, and the messes that this would result in when he was little.


If you are going to cook it right away, it's not dangerous, esp. something like boneless chicken breasts. If you're trying to to defrost a whole turkey or chicken, then yea - no warm water.

What I like to do with chicken breasts is marinate them overnight in soy sauce or Italian salad dressing, then cook in a skillet with a little olive oil (or sesame oil if you used soy sauce). Quick and easy. Also, check out Penzeys Smoky Seasoned Salt ( OMG, this stuff is the bomb. Sprinkle over chicken breasts, cook on the grill or in a skillet, and you're done.

Sounds yummy!

Also, a good candidate for the grill pan, a necessity for urban types like myself.

Anyone else notice that the chicken looks a little like a Dutch wooden shoe?

I did! As I put it up last night I was looking at the picture thinking, huh, that pointed toe, the almost lacquered sheen... very clog-like.

Now THAT's an adjective you want to see on a food blog.

Yes, the first thing I also saw was a wooden clog, albeit a very delicious one! Please forgive me for saying this, but it looks a little hard around the "toe"... definitely an optical illusion only because it looks like a shoe. :)

And the rice (yum!) and asparagus also look delicious. As always great photography and lighting.

I bet you could broil this in the oven, flip as you would on the grill and it would work. We don't have a grill, so anything requiring a grill i use the broil function on high.

Or you could also bake it for about 30 minutes at 350.

Regarding alternate ways to cook when you don't have a grill: I recently overcame my trepidation and made friends with the broiler. A friend gave me Bittman's "How to Cook Everything" and he is a big broiler fan. The book has great instructions for broiling all kinds of meat, including fish. One tip from me: don't bother with the broiler pan (if you have a drawer broiler.) It is a HUGE pain to clean and is big and awkward. I just use a pyrex baking dish and it goes straight to the table. Easy peasy.

Very excited to try this one!!

Love the food photos and this one had the added bonus of suggesting a little dutch shoe. Or is it just me?

So happy you are doing this. Thank you.

HEY - just scanned up before posting and I see I am in good company with some earlier clog obsessed responders... :)

Where do you buy your chix breasts? I struggle with this. Fresh seems best, but too often I don't get around to cooking them and then I have to toss them out. Frozen in bulk from Sam's or Costco - have you ever tried them? Do you notice the difference between reg groc store chix and the gourmet grocers?

Sounds tasty ... and chicken was on sale a couple of weeks ago, so I have a freezer full.

My current chicken breast solution is to smear it with a mix of plain yogurt and tasty stuff (dijon mustard, garlic, stewed peaches) ... 1/2 cup yogurt plus another 2 tbsp or so of flavour is good for two big chicken breasts.
Then, bake it in the oven until cooked through. (20-30 min at 350F depending on frozeness)
The yogurt keeps things moist until the chicken is cooked through, even if its only half thawed - as mine generally is.

Serve with rice and steamed veggie of your choice :)

Oh, I'll trade. We are madly in love with Chicken with Shallots ( -- I'm not nearly as good a photographer as you, though), but I do want to do other things with chicken, too. This recipe looks delicious.

I go with the ziplog baggies and freeze chicken breasts that have been cut into 3 strips - they take not much time at all whilst still in their baggies to defrost in lukewarm water. Halfway through defrost I chuck some marinade in to the bag (read: a couple of squirts of this and that) and smoosh it around, and then back in the water. Depending on the marinade, I then ovenbake or broil it (my husband is a veggie so don't like to fry meat when he is at home).

Some of my 'squirts of this and that' include- pesto and greek yoghurt (VERY good); tandoori paste and yoghurt; italian salad dressing; balsamic, honey and dijon; soy, lime, ginger and lemongrass [with honey if for kids]; ketchap manis (indonesian sweet soy type sauce); pesto on its own; lime and fresh cilantro plus chili flakes... you get the idea. My kids love the teriyaki sauce I concocted by mixing the soy/lime/ginger/lemongrass/garlic/honey/ketchap manis up in a bowl first, then marinading it for a while, then grilling in small strips. Great with LOTS OF RICE! (I am lazy and use the Pampered Chef microwave rice cooker - my husband said it was just a gimmick and now loves it too!)

I love your recipe blog, but in particular I will be trying this one post-haste. I invented my own soy-lime chicken recipe when I was 23 (that magic age when 97% of your blog readership did 97% of the things they regret) and anxious to impress a new flame by cooking him dinner for the first time. I am pretty sure I effectively made ceviche out of the chicken (although that is by no means the only thing I did wrong), and of course the result was the most inedible, revolting mess you can possibly imagine. He politely ate it; later, maybe even that night, I came to learn that he was a very excellent and experienced cook, a veteran of restaurant training. I was mortified.

Happily, our young relationship survived this epicurean disaster and we have a wedding anniversary next week. I think I will surprise him with this and we can have a good laugh.

Made this last night, on the stovetop in a griddle pan and it was absolutely delicious. Took about 6 mins on each side (they were quite big chicken breasts) and the griddle pan gives a nice striped effect. Also scored a huge moral victory as my partner said for the first time ever that I cooked chicken better than his mother! Thanks for the recipe. Would love any other marinade suggestions.

"Who turns on the heat this early?" Exactly!

There's a truckload of sweatshirts on those hooks over there, family. May I also suggest that you PUT ON SOME SOCKS.

As someone who also doesn't have a grill, I can second the suggestions to say that I always use the broiler for grilled recipes, and they generally turn out pretty good! One thing, though: be VERY careful if you use Pyrex under the broiler, since it can explode. Uneven heat, small hairline scratches in the Pyrex, and you've got an oven explosion. (I exploded a Pyrex dish while broiling fish, and have since been very careful to only use metal dishes while broiling.)

Lovely, Julia. I'm also looking for other things to do with the boneless, skinless chicken breasts. A question on brining - does brining help keep the chicken moist later? Drying out is my biggest problem with these things.

Have you done the Julia Child butter chicken? Take skin on, bone in chicken pieces or a roast, massage liberally with butter and top with whatever spices you desire (I use McCormicks rotissere chicken) and bake for 15 minutes at 400F after which time reduce the time to 350F.

The husband took one bite of this and declared his undying love for me. It really moved him.

We now eat it every week.


Wow, this was very good. I made it last night in a cast iron skillet/grill pan, which I put under the broiler. The chicken cooked quickly and remained tender. Thank you for suggesting the brine. I will use this recipe again -- next time on the grill.

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