Chili Lime Chicken
Yields 4 servings.


  • 4 boneless chicken breasts halves* (approximately 2 pounds)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika**
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice and the zest of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Optional: Chipotle Lime Crema and/or lime wedges for garnish or squeezing


  1. In a bowl that is large enough to fit the chicken or in a zipper-top bag, mix the dry spices (chili powder through cayenne pepper), and then stir in the oil, lime juice, zest, and honey. Add the chicken breasts, and flip them a few times to evenly coat in the spice rub. Time permitting, allow the chicken to marinate all day or overnight. The chicken will still taste delicious if marinated for a shorter time–aim for at least an hour or two–but the flavor will improve with time. Let the chicken sit at room temperature for 30 minutes prior to grilling.
  2. Preheat the grill and remove the chicken from the marinade. There won’t be much excess marinade, but you can discard what remains. Cook the chicken over medium heat for 7-8 minutes per side, depending on thickness, or until the chicken is just cooked through (internal temperature should read 170 degrees F with a quick read thermometer). As an option, lightly coat a large skillet with oil, and place over medium to medium-high heat. Cook the chicken breast halves for 5 minutes per side, or until the meat is no longer pink in the center. (The chicken can also be cut into bite-size pieces and stir-fried.) Remove from the heat and allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before cutting. Garnish with lime slices if desired.


  • *Boneless, skin-on chicken is a great option for grilling, if available. Even if you prefer not to eat the skin, it will help the chicken retain moisture while cooking. Boneless, skinless breasts are a fine option, too. For evenly cooked, juicy chicken, you may wish to pound the breasts so they are roughly 1/2-inch thick throughout.
  • ** If you aren’t familiar with smoked paprika and are willing to try a new spice, I highly recommend it. Smoked paprika is the Spanish relative of the more commonly used sweet Hungarian paprika. Its incredible flavor and deep red color comes from pimiento peppers that have been dried, smoked over an oak fire, and ground into a fine powder. Though traditionally used in chorizo and some paella dishes, its smoky (though not spicy-hot) flavor complements a wide variety of foods like potatoes, tomato-based soups and stews, ribs, chicken, fish, eggs, and more. McCormick’s offers smoked paprika, and it can be purchased online through Penzeys. Locally, small quantities may be purchased at The Herb Shop at Lancaster Central Market.

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