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Recipe File: Lime Marinated Grilled Chicken
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Cooking For Engineers



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 16776766

PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 3:56 pm    Post subject: Recipe File: Lime Marinated Grilled Chicken Reply with quote


Article Digest:
Often, the thought of grilled chicken produces an image of a dry and bland chicken that can only be saved by lathering it in a strong barbeque sauce. Even then, the chicken meat itself can be quite flavorless. This recipe will produce juicy, flavorful grilled chicken every time.

To prepare the marinade, you'll need two limes, 1/4 cup table salt, 2 cloves of garlic, and a chile of your choice.
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Cut the limes in half (to prepare for juicing) and mince the garlic and chile pepper. Pour the salt into a large measuring cup and add enough water to make four cups (about 1 liter). Stir the salt water until the salt has dissolved. This is also a good time to prepare the chicken. The marinade will be enough for two whole chickens (cut up) or 8 pounds of drumsticks (my favorite). Put all the chicken in a large resealable plastic bag.
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Juice three of the lime halves (using a juice extractor or a reamer) and add the juice to the salt water. Add the minced garlic and chile. Stir once to mix. Pour this into the plastic bag and reseal the bag. Try to make sure all the chicken is submerged in the marinade. With a fairly full bag, you may need to squeeze out almost all the air to accomplish this. Place the bag in a container and place in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Two hours is best, but any longer, and the chicken may become too salty. (The minimum ingredients in this marinade are the water, salt, and lime juice. The garlic and chile can be omitted if you don't have them handy.)
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After the two hours, preheat your grill and remove the chicken from the refrigerator and take each piece out of the plastic bag and rinse it off in the sink. If you don't rinse the chicken off, then the salt water lingering on the surface will make the chicken too salty.

For seasoning the surface of the chicken, combine 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 tsp. onion powder, 1 tsp. ground coriander seed, and 1 tsp. garlic powder. Feel free to try different spice and herb combinations to fit your taste.
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Toss the chicken with 1 Tbs. olive oil, the juice from the remaining half lime, and the seasonings prepared in the previous step. Using your hands to mix the chicken with the seasonings is the fastest way I know of to get an even distribution.
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Place the chicken pieces on the grill, being careful not to crowd the pieces. Grill, turning every five minutes, until white meat reaches 165&176;F - 170°F and dark meat reaches 175°F.
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Remove the chicken from the grill and let stand for five minutes before serving.

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Lime Marinated Grilled Chicken
Lime marinade
4 cups (1 L) waterdissolvemix
1/4 cup (75 g) table salt
1-1/2 limesjuice
2 cloves garlicmince
1 chilemince

Spice Rub #2
1 Tbs. (7 g) paprikamix
1 tsp. (2.5 g) onion powder
1 tsp. (2 g) ground coriander seed
1 tsp. (3 g) garlic powder

Grilled Chicken
about 4 cups lime marinademarinade in plastic bag in fridge 2 hours
8 lbs. chicken partsrinsemixgrill until white meat 165°F and dark meat 175°F
1/2 limejuice
1 Tbs. olive oil
about 2 Tbs. (15 g) spice rub #2

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mtuck5ec
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 4:20 pm    Post subject: Lime Grilled Chicken Reply with quote

Looks like it should work well! I am really impressed with the way you present your recipes. Great site.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds good. Do you think this would work ok if you baked the chicken instead of grilled?
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Dare
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My first post to this great site, and as a fellow engineer I really like the setup.

Can lemon juice be substituted for lime? Also, how much volume does a typical lime produce? (in case I want to just buy as a liquid)
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1622
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
Sounds good. Do you think this would work ok if you baked the chicken instead of grilled?

Baking would produce good results, but not the same as if you grilled it. I suggest elevating the chicken on a wire rack while baking at 350°F until the chicken is done and juices run clear (about 40 minutes to an hour). You'll probably want to flip the chicken parts once during cooking.

Baking ona wire rack should keep the chicken elevated from the juices so you won't get a soggy exterior.

Dare wrote:
Can lemon juice be substituted for lime? Also, how much volume does a typical lime produce? (in case I want to just buy as a liquid)

Sure, lemon juice is a great substitution. One lime typically yields about an ounce of lime juice. So, use 2 tablespoons of lemon or lime juice from a container for each lime you were planning on using.

It should be noted that lemon juice has higher acidity than lime juice, but I don't think it'll make such a big difference in this recipe. More or less lemon/lime can make a difference to the flavors, but you may find that you prefer the taste of more lemon juice (if you use two lemons, it'll produce about 50% more juice than two limes...)
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Ma_USMC



Joined: 24 Jul 2005
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For pan frying toss in a splash of tequilla in the marinade or during cooking for a nice flavor. Not sure how it would do on the grill though.
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HowardHuhn



Joined: 14 Aug 2005
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2005 10:35 am    Post subject: Baking v. grilling Reply with quote

I would suggest using the broiler instead of baking to achieve results more like grilling. Broiling more closely replicates the direct heating of the grill. Baking is a more indirect approach.
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Eli
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2005 12:54 pm    Post subject: Why Salt? Reply with quote

What is the purpose of the salt, seeing that the chicken must be rinsed to remove it?
Eli, a mechanical engineer
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CG
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2005 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of the salt will be absorbed into the chicken, which helps to keep in moisture. You just don't want too much salt left on the surface. Enough should be incorporated in the two hours, I assume.

Ckeck out the brining article: http://www.cookingforengineers.com/article.php?id=70
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fwendy



Joined: 12 Aug 2005
Posts: 19
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2005 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't really 'get' brining. I understand the technique, but not why it is necessary.

In the UK, meat, particularly intensively-reared pork and chicken, is often sold with added water, salt and sugars, which is, I'm sure, a commercial form of brining. However, this is considered a bad thing, and discerning shoppers will avoid this meat and go for a more expensive option (often, free-range &/or organically reared animals).

Yet on the other side of the Atlantic, home brining is becoming an increasingly used technique - is this because you only have access to poor quality meat? Surely a good piece of meat, properly cooked, doesn't require added water, and it certainly doesn't need added salt!
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tedjohn



Joined: 15 Aug 2005
Posts: 1
Location: St. Louis, MO

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 1:09 am    Post subject: Well Hung Chicken Reply with quote

The lime chicken was great baked at 375 for 45 minutes, I hung the chicken from the top rake of the oven with a paper clip that was converted to an S hook. No baking rake was needed and the only clean up was the foil on the bottom rake of the oven.
I have also used the paper clip S hook for pork chops in the oven with great sucess.
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ccw



Joined: 09 Aug 2005
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fwendy wrote:
In the UK, meat, particularly intensively-reared pork and chicken, is often sold with added water, salt and sugars, which is, I'm sure, a commercial form of brining. However, this is considered a bad thing, and discerning shoppers will avoid this meat and go for a more expensive option (often, free-range &/or organically reared animals).


first time posting (Eng from Australia)

Correct me if Iím wrong but I believe the 'brining' of meat you are talking about is more of a pickling of meat to help preserve the meat.
A beef product that is pickled in the same fashion in the American market I believe is called corned beef.

I do not believe this is the same sort of brining using in this recipe, as you are soaking the meat for a short time (1-2hr). While you will find the meat you are talking about fwendy is soaked for quite a long time(days) and is done to help preserve the meat first then add flavour as a second, while brining first point is to help deliver flavour into the meat (salt solution is used as a flavour carrying medium) hence the addition of lime and what not's in the solution.

As for having to wash the chicken, this only help remove excess salt on the surface of the chicken, as you don't want a salt mummified pieces of chicken after cooking.

Having an Asian back ground, our family has been using brining and marination for almost all our cooking, this is irrespective of the meat quality, its all about the flavour.

For me I even brine my beef Steaks <looks around for people about to throw object at him>
Of cause only for a short time, but I have been know to brine a steak for up to 6 house. More care is needed with regards to salt, but otherwise it adds great flavour to the meat.

If you whish to try steak brining, below is a basic solution, no qty have been given just bry by taste, but please use little salt.

Wine (red or white up to taste)
dark soy source, mushroom flavour if you can get it (less salty and more flavour)
pepper (to taste)
sugar
1/2 fresh garlic clove minced

soak meat in this solution for Ĺ hr before cooking and cook to tasteÖ then using the fon left in the pan add the remanning brine solution and make a source out of it.. yum..
The greatness of brining Smile

I agree with HowardHuhn, that broiling would give a better result then just oven. The higher direct heat will give it that char flavour... mmm carbon

sorry, if my post is a little long, great site michael
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fwendy



Joined: 12 Aug 2005
Posts: 19
Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 5:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ccw wrote:
Correct me if Iím wrong but I believe the 'brining' of meat you are talking about is more of a pickling of meat to help preserve the meat.
.......... While you will find the meat you are talking about fwendy is soaked for quite a long time(days) and is done to help preserve the meat first then add flavour as a secondl



No, I'm not talking about pickling or corning, I'm talking about the industrial process of briefly soaking meat in brine to add bulk to the product as it absorbs the water. To my knowledge this is only done with cheaper grades of meat, and is mentioned on the label as added water, sugar and salts.

As I said in my earlier post, most people would shy away from this meat as being inferior, not to mention the fact they are being asked to pay for added water.

I'm just interested in why untreated meat is so dry that it needs to be brined - I suspect it's the modern practice of rearing leaner animals, in the case of pork, and the accelerated growth of intensively reared chickens, which leaves the meat bland and tasteless.

I think the pickling process works by using stronger brine to draw out water from the product (probably by osmosis, in this case).
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1622
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fwendy wrote:
No, I'm not talking about pickling or corning, I'm talking about the industrial process of briefly soaking meat in brine to add bulk to the product as it absorbs the water. To my knowledge this is only done with cheaper grades of meat, and is mentioned on the label as added water, sugar and salts.

Yes, in general meats are injected water and salt solutions to "increase flavor" (and, in my opinion, to reduce the amount of meat they are actually selling you per pound). I should have noted at the begining of this article to NOT purchase chickens with salt water added as this will end up exceedingly salty. Having the presalted chicken sit in lime water wouldn't achieve quite the same results either as the meat does not begin to actively draw in the lime juice - you have to hope some of it seeps in through natural random motion and not actively through osmotic pressure.

fwendy wrote:
I'm just interested in why untreated meat is so dry that it needs to be brined - I suspect it's the modern practice of rearing leaner animals, in the case of pork, and the accelerated growth of intensively reared chickens, which leaves the meat bland and tasteless.

Brining, in this case, serves a couple purposes. It gets salt and lime juice into the flesh of the meat to provide flavor (not just on the outside but also on the inside of the chicken). It also makes the meat capable of taking on more water. This is nice because cooking it over the direct heat of the grill can often dry out chicken pieces (like breasts) if you start chatting with your guests or step inside to give your sous chef a kiss. The brining helps to ensure that the chicken remains juicy even if slightly overdone (I guess we could say it widens the window of perfect doneness).

Modern meat does have a tendency to be leaner, especially in America. For a number of years everyone was afraid of animal fat (and to take a random survey of my friends and coworkers, this fear still persists) and so chickens and pigs were bred to be leaner and leaner. To this day, chicken breast is the most popular cut of chicken - but in my mind plain chicken breast is so lean that it has become bland and flavorless. My favorite? Drumsticks. Nice dark meat filled with fatty, juicy goodness and it comes with it's own popsicle style serving stick! This trend of having leaner chicken and pork may not extend to the rest of the world... my wife tells me that growing up in China, the pork is much fattier and more flavorful than the cuts that we find in the U.S.
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bunchofgrapes
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I made this over the weeked, with some modifications, and was really, really pleased. Most of my changes were because I was doing it from memory. I:

Doubled the salt
Doubled the lime
Halved the marination time
Used skinless drumsticks
Skipped the rub

A word about the skinless drumsticks: Normally, I agree that the skin is the best part of the chicken. Grilling over direct coals, though, I like to take off the skin. The flesh underneath browns up terrifically and it doesn't need constant attention to avoid burning.
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