Chicken

Citrus Chicken with Cilantro Garlic Sauce

at a glance
Prep Time 4 hours
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 6 Servings
4 — Votes 2 votes

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This Citrus Chicken with Cilantro Garlic Sauce is packed with flavor and perfect for a quick, grilled dinner!

overhead view of skewers of Citrus Chicken with Cilantro Garlic Sauce on a white plate

Hello YOU! Welp, my book goes to the printer in a matter of hours and I’m struck by a mixture of feelings. I’m still humbled, still terrified, still have more to say (thank goodness I have a blog, podcast, social media, and upcoming YouTube videos as outlets), and still giddy beyond belief. The final product will include 420+ pages of my best work, I held nothing back. Nothing! I can’t wait for you to see it, dog-ear your favorite pages, and use it as a tool to share healthy lifestyle tips with the people in your life. You can expect 190 recipes, a copy of my 28-Day Fed+Fit Project (meals and workouts), grocery shopping lists, an introduction to the 4 Pillars of Health, and a special mobile phone-related SURPRISE! I’m just so excited. Remember that I’ll be hosting a launch party in San Antonio (you’re ALL invited!) on Saturday, July 9th and then will kickoff a 2-week national book signing tour starting on July 12th!

Okay, back to the present. I’m writing to you from my white fluffy bed in the stunningly gorgeous Kiawah Island Resort near Charleston, SC. My incredible mother-in-law was gifted three amazing sons and, now that she has three daughters (their wives), she wanted to plan a getaway for just us girls. Such a special time! We’re in South Carolina for 4 nights and the only things on our schedule, so far, include: bike rentals so we can ride over the island, golf, morning yoga, spa (can someone work on my book writing shoulders?), a trip to Charleston, and maybe some ocean kayaking. We’ve been here about 16 hours and I’m already relaxed. Find me on Snapchat (at username “fedandfit”) if you’d like to follow our adventures!

Today’s Citrus Chicken with Cilantro Garlic Sauce is inspired by one of my favorite fast-food spots in San Antonio, Pollo Tropical! Though their citrus chicken with cilantro garlic sauce is MUCH different, the spirit is the same. I tried to make this recipe as easy to replicate from home as possible, so ANYONE can make these little tasty morsels!

skewers of Citrus Chicken with Cilantro Garlic Sauce on a white plate

This Citrus Chicken with Cilantro Garlic Sauce is my first (of 3!) recipes that features the incredible cuts from ButcherBox! They help bring affordable, healthy, delicious cuts of grass-fed beef, organic chicken, and Heritage Breed pork RIGHT to your door.

Healthy Sources of Protein

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  1. The grocery store! Pros: convenient location. Cons: you may fall victim to false marketing claims (like beef labeled “organic” means very little in terms of the health of the animal and the cut); cost of truly grass-fed, grass-finished cuts can be highest here; availability of actual grass-fed, grass-finished cuts is inconsistent.
  2. A local farmer! Pros: more trustworthy source and (sometimes) more affordable. Cons: products aren’t always available year-round and finding a nearby farmer you trust can prove difficult, especially for folks in a dense metropolitan area.
  3. ButcherBox! Pros: trustworthy, reliable, convenient, and affordable (breaks down to approximately $6.50 a meal). Cons: shipping isn’t the most sustainable model (though, arguably, the food you’re consuming from the grocery store was shipped) and it’s a new concept which can be intimating.

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How to Make Citrus Chicken on the Stovetop

No grill? No problem! Here’s how you can make this chicken on the stovetop, no skewers needed!

  1. Leave the chicken whole and follow the marinade instructions. If you’re making more chicken, can multiply the marinade for the amount of chicken you want to use.
  2. Heat 1 to 3 tablespoons of ghee (one tablespoon per pound), in a cast-iron or enameled cast iron pot over high heat (a larger pot will help reduce splatter).
  3. Sear the chicken in batches for 2-3 minutes per side, until browned, then remove the chicken from the pot.
  4. Return the chicken to the pot, then turn the heat down to low.
  5. Cover the pot and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the chicken is fully cooked through. Serve right away with the cilantro lime cream sauce, or store in the refrigerator for use later in the week.
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Citrus Chicken Recipe with Garlic Cilantro Cream Sauce

By: Cassy
4 — Votes 2 votes
Prep Time: 4 hrs
Cook Time: 10 mins
Servings: 6 Servings

Ingredients  

For the chicken:

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice about 4 limes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • fresh chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
  • fresh lime for garnish

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice about 2 limes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Instructions

  • Toss the chicken in the lime juice, cover, and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes, maximum of 4 hours. Using 5-6 metal skewers, pierce the chicken pieces so that you have 10-12 pieces on each. Drizzle the skewers with the olive oil and then sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
  • Heat either a grill or grill pan over high heat. Once at temperature, add the skewers and cook each side for 4 to 5 minutes, or until they start to brown. Transfer to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes.
  • For the sauce, add the ingredients to a blender and blend on high for about 1 minute, or until it looks mostly even.
  • Serve the sauce over the chicken and garnish with the cilantro and fresh lime. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Citrus Chicken Recipe with Garlic Cilantro Cream Sauce
Amount per Serving
Calories
269
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
14.9
g
23
%
Saturated Fat
 
5.9
g
37
%
Cholesterol
 
142
mg
47
%
Sodium
 
631.6
mg
27
%
Carbohydrates
 
3.5
g
1
%
Fiber
 
0.2
g
1
%
Sugar
 
0.5
g
1
%
Protein
 
30.3
g
61
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Recipe Notes

  • For batch-cook style on the stovetop: leave the chicken whole and follow the marinade instructions. You can multiply the marinade for the amount of chicken you want to use. Heat 1 to 3 tablespoons of ghee (one tablespoon per pound), in a cast-iron or enameled cast iron pot over high heat. Sear the chicken in batches for 2-3 minutes per side, until browned, then remove the chicken from the pot. Return the chicken to the pot, then turn the heat down to low. Cover the pot and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the chicken is fully cooked through. Serve right away with the cilantro lime cream sauce, or store in the refrigerator for use later in the week.
Meet the Author
Cassy Headshot

Cassy Joy Garcia

HOWDY! I’m Cassy Joy and I am just so happy you’re here. I’m the founder, Editor-in-Chief, and Nutrition Consultant here at Fed and Fit. What started as a food blog back in 2011 has evolved now into so much more.
Get to know Cassy

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    Recipe Rating




  1. Kymber says

    Kymber —  06/16/2016 At 02:05

    HOLY MOLY…this is YUMMY!! Even my hubby, who is not a chicken fan, thought this was good. I could eat it every day!

  2. LC says

    LC —  08/07/2018 At 06:44

    Hello! I’m really wanting to try this recipe and was wondering, is there a good substitute for coconut milk that you can recommend? I have a food sensitivity/allergy to coconut milk as well as dairy. Thanks!

  3. Christine says

    Christine —  08/30/2018 At 07:58

    What are the Macros for this recipe?

  4. K says

    K —  03/18/2019 At 21:45

    This recipe is perfect the way it is….. I put the chicken and sauce over a bed of spinach and added a little Avocado. Superb!!!!

  5. MCF says

    MCF —  03/24/2019 At 18:23

    This is SO good and that sauce is to die for! I could eat that on shrimp, fish, salad, as a veggie dip….I might even try it with steak like a chimichurri sauce. Chicken is so tender after marinating. 10 stars!

  6. Melody says

    Melody —  05/04/2019 At 15:32

    Do NOT shake coconut milk. Apparently you just use the separated cream out of the can. Learned that the hard way.

    • Dave says

      Dave —  06/23/2020 At 16:01

      No, you definitely need to mix it back together. Pour it into a bowl and whisk.

  7. Dee says

    Dee —  06/12/2019 At 20:18

    Love the flavor but I would have liked the sauce a bit thicker (prob need to experiment)

  8. Embeya says

    Embeya —  12/12/2019 At 04:02

    Woooow…..Homemade!!! It’s the only thing that taste good!

    I think I will look for these and try your recipe this weekend. Thank you for sharing!

    Dang Thai from Embeya!

  9. Jean Clarke says

    Jean Clarke —  01/17/2020 At 16:27

    Not sure how coconut milk and cilantro make a sauce, followed recipe and it was cilantro flavored milk that’s going to pool on the plate.

  10. Laura says

    Laura —  04/27/2020 At 18:10

    I’m making this now and I think it’s going to be delicious!! When you are making the sauce only use the cream and that will give you the right consistency.

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  04/28/2020 At 11:01

      We hope you loved it, Laura! Thanks for the tip!

    • Kristin Cantiberos says

      Kristin Cantiberos —  05/21/2020 At 18:13

      I just have a question- you say max 4 hours can you not make this the night before and have it marinate overnight? What about the sauce? Thank you

  11. Anne says

    Anne —  07/01/2020 At 11:37

    Made these in the oven because it was already on and it was delicious!

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  07/01/2020 At 13:20

      So great to know, Anne! Thanks so much for sharing this with us…we’re glad you enjoyed it!

  12. Laura says

    Laura —  07/07/2020 At 07:06

    What about chicken breast? Not a fan of thighs.

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  07/07/2020 At 09:18

      You can totally use chicken breasts, Laura! Chicken breasts tend to dry out quicker than thighs do, so just keep an eye on them!

  13. Clare says

    Clare —  07/07/2020 At 08:40

    Could you make this not on skewers? How would you do it?

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  07/07/2020 At 09:21

      Sure thing. Just leave the thighs whole rather than cutting and skewering them. Marinate + grill them, and then smother in the sauce! Enjoy!

  14. Q says

    Q —  07/07/2020 At 10:18

    Chicken skewers

  15. MamaSchick says

    MamaSchick —  07/20/2020 At 20:18

    We accidentally picked up bone in – skin on thighs so I had to adapt. I marinated the thighs per the recipe for 4 hours and then baked in the oven (425 for 25 minutes skin down – then 3-5 minutes under the broiler). Served with rice and Asian veggies. THIS SAUCE IS AMAZING! Holy smokes. I’m going to be utilizing that stuff in lots of recipes. So easy and so – so – so yummy! Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  07/21/2020 At 08:17

      Such a great adaptation! It really is SO good!! Thanks for sharing this with us!

  16. Lauren Bies says

    Lauren Bies —  07/31/2020 At 11:21

    Can you post the nutrition info on here?

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  07/31/2020 At 14:36

      I just added it to the bottom of the recipe card, Lauren!

  17. Ashley says

    Ashley —  09/12/2020 At 20:13

    Do you shake/wisk the can of coconut before using it or not?

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  09/14/2020 At 09:11

      You’ll throw all of the sauce ingredients into a blender, anyway, so don’t worry about whisking the coconut milk ahead of time!

  18. Kara says

    Kara —  07/07/2022 At 19:00

    3 stars
    Simple and easy to make! It was nice, I think the next time I’ll make the chicken and sauce into tropical burrito bowls with rice and a pineapple-black bean salsa. Stand alone, it was a little bland but versatile!

    • Melissa Guevara says

      Melissa Guevara —  07/13/2022 At 10:48

      Hi Kara! Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us. A tropical bowl sounds like a great way to incorporate the chicken into a meal! -Team F&F

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