Salt-Free Smoked Paprika Chicken with Lime
Yield: 4-6 servings (recipe may easily be cut in half)
A simple spice rub packs a flavorful punch in this quick and easy chicken dish. A final citrus boost ensures that no salt doesn't have to mean no flavor.


• 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (4-6, depending on size*)
• 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
• ½ teaspoon each ground cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder
• ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 2 tablespoons olive oil (plus an extra drizzle or spray for the pan)
• For serving: lime wedges**


  1. 1. In a small bowl, mix together the paprika, cumin, garlic and onion powder, cayenne pepper, and oil.
    2. Place the chicken in a bowl and pour the spice mixture over top. Toss to fully coat. Allow to sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes or up to an hour.
    3. Heat a lightly oiled or sprayed 12-inch cast iron skillet or sauté pan over medium-low. (A drop of water should sizzle.) Place the chicken in the hot pan, smooth side down. Cook, without moving, for 9 minutes or until the bottom side is browned and the chicken releases easily from pan. Flip the chicken and cook 6-7 minutes more or until a thermometer inserted into the center of breast registers 155°F. Remove the pan from the heat and let chicken rest in the pan for 3 minutes. (The internal temperature will continue to rise once the chicken is removed from the heat and it rests in the hot pan.) Remove to a plate and serve with lime wedges for squeezing.

*I like to use smaller chicken breasts—something in the 5- to 6-ounce range, give or take a little—when possible. That way, the chicken will cook evenly without having to pound the chicken into an equal thickness. If starting with chicken breasts that are 8 ounces or larger, I do recommend pounding the thicker end. I do this between two pieces of parchment and whack with a rolling pin.
**For a salt-free but truly flavorful end result, I highly recommend the lime squeeze. I also discovered that diners preferred being able to control how much they used and felt like the action of squeezing the lime replaced the usual sprinkling of the salt shaker. For those who don’t care for or have a lime on hand and/or prefer a low-salt alternative, a ¼ teaspoon of salt could be added to the spice mixture or a light dusting could be added upon serving.

A few more tips:
•Using a quick-read thermometer at the end will ensure perfect results.
•If you have time, grating a little lime zest over the finished chicken and/or optional salsa will add more lime flavor without added tartness.


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