Even during my pre-blogging days, repeating a recipe more than twice a month was quite unusual.  I’ve always enjoyed trying new recipes, and reserved the “oldies but goodies” for those extra-busy days in which I need something I can almost make in my sleep (chicken parmigiana is a good example).  Having said all that, here comes the shocker:  in the past month, I’ve made this chicken six times.  Six. Obviously, this new found friend is on the fast track to become an “oldie but goodie”.   😉

(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

3 chicken breasts, boneless, sliced in half lengthwise
1/4 cup lemon juice + zest
1/8 cup lime  juice
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp red pepper flakes (or less)
1 Tbsp honey
salt and coarsely ground black pepper

After slicing  each chicken breast in half, pound them carefully with a meat mallet (protecting the meat with some plastic wrap), until you have a thin filet, preferably less than  1/2 inch thick. You can see photos of the process here.

Mix all the ingredients for the marinade (lemon juice + zest, lime juice, olive oil, honey, ginger, and red pepper flakes), whisk well.  No need to try and form a stable emulsion,  just mix well and add the marinade to the chicken, coating the meat well.  Place in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.

When you are ready to cook it, remove it from the fridge  and leave the filets in a single layer on a baking dish for 30 minutes to bring to room temperature.  Right before grilling,  season with salt and pepper on both sides.

Cook on a hot grill for 6-8 minutes total time, flipping the filets halfway through cooking time, and serve it with lime or lemon slices.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I love many things about this recipe: the citric flavor, boosted by the ginger, the way the small amount of honey ensures gorgeous grill marks with a deep brown tone, how quickly it comes to the table, and how it shines next to many side dishes, from salads to pasta, from rice to couscous.

Since I use a high proportion of citric juice to olive oil, at first I was worried that a long marinating time could hurt the meat.  This recipe was put to test when I had to change plans for our dinner, and my marinating chicken breasts stayed in the fridge for 2 days!   No problem whatsoever, the meat turned out great, with a slightly more intense citric flavor, but no unpleasant “mushiness” from excessive interaction with acidity.

Leftovers are perfect as part of a high protein lunch, if you are into that sort of meal.  I make my little yogurt-oatmeal pancake, a hard-boiled egg to go with it, and call it a day…

You can vary this recipe in countless ways.  Use white wine as part of your marinade, use orange juice instead of lemon juice, or orange marmalade in place of honey.  The idea is to have acidity plus sweetness (from honey or agave nectar, or even brown sugar), and a little oil to make sure the thin cutlets won’t end up all dry and tasteless. Of course, do not over-cook the meat, keep an eye on it, the temperature of grills may vary a lot, ours tries to mimic the surface of the sun. 😉

Note added after publication:  I just saw a blog by Greg for Asian Fusion chicken, and he adds Sriracha to his marinade.  Genius!  Check it out here.  I’ll be trying it next time.

ONE YEAR AGO: Slow-baked Salmon

TWO YEARS  AGO: Hoisin Explosion

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  1. This sounds like a very tasty dish though you might want to correct the posted recipe as you list lemon juice twice and don’t list lime juice.

    1/4 cup lemon juice + zest
    1/8 cup lemon juice


  2. 6 times in one month, huh? If that’s not an endorsement I don’t know what is. Ok, I’ll try it.

    Hey – a tip for pounding chicken breasts: spritz the plastic lightly with a little water before putting the meat on. Acts as a lubricant, allowing the meat to spread with even less chance of sticking and possibly tearing. I know that doesn’t happen too too often, but once in a while you get breasts that are more delicate and prone to denaturing under a good pounding. You know how it is, right? This helps with those. Take if from a man who pounds breasts a lot.


  3. I love this sort of recipe, it’s got enough ingredients to be interesting, but not too many to remember when I don’t have the recipe in front of me at the grocery store:) I love the sour and sweet.. is the honey mixed in with the marinade at the beginning? xo Smidge


    • Yeap, honey goes in – I just now noticed that the version that got published was not my final version, at some point either I didn’t update or WordPress messed up. Anyway, I scheduled publication for midnight, and was asleep when the post went live, never caught the boo-boos

      must now go work on the PDF…


  4. This looks so good, Sally. We rarely grill anything because we live in the fog zone and grilling requires standing outside the backdoor shivering. I do enjoy grilled food at other people’s houses.


    • Here where we live we grill pretty much the whole year, and it should not be too different in Kansas, once we move. At least, I hope so… Phil keeps trying to play the harshness of Kansas winter down so I don’t panic 😉


    • Ha! I was a bit puzzled, but now understand the double comments… WordPress seems to be driving lots of folks nuts (me included) with their tweaks and changes of stuff.

      Glad you could make the change of your name…


  5. This chicken sounds great, Sally!! We are big chicken eaters here, so we are always on the look-out for a new recipe, and this will be great to break in our brand new grill!🙂


  6. Look at those grill marks!!🙂 Sally, this looks scrumptious and an ideal weeknight (or any night) meal. The combination of citrus, ginger and honey is simply gorgeous. Love it!


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