Looks like it should work well! I am really impressed with the way you present your recipes. Great site.
Sounds good. Do you think this would work ok if you baked the chicken instead of grilled?
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)
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.
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...)
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.
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.
What is the purpose of the salt, seeing that the chicken must be rinsed to remove it?
Eli, a mechanical engineer
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
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!
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.
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)
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 :)
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
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).
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.
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.
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.
As previously stated, yes chicken in North America tends to be very lean and in general tends to be very neutral in taste. Most of the chicken you get is factory farmed, so it's not been exposed to alot of the normal things a normal chicken would have (ie: excercise and whatever it finds to eat) - hence the demand for free range birds.
I also believe, as stated before, there's a limit, by law to the "added moisture" you can put into meat.. (added weight means you pay for more meat than is actually there)
As to why it works - when you soak the meat in your salt solution, it will, via osmosis, move salt into the meat to achieve equilibrium with the surrounding water.
Now that salt is inside the meat, it causes the proteins to denature and interact with each other.. and allows the meat to retain more moisture when it cooks because the proteins/liquids are formed with each other and less likely to be released with cooking.
(paraphrased from an issue of Cook's Illustrated)
In the first line, I think you want to replace the word "lathering" with "slathering."
You're right! I fixed the error. Thanks!
I prepared the chicken as described (omitted the optional spice rub) and the result was very good: succulent and tasty chicken!!!
As I don't have a charcoal grill, I cooked the chicken on a grill plate over high heat first and finished the cooking in a hot air oven.
Neat cooking blog, you're kinda like Alton Brown, complete with the slight brining of the chicken. I love the way you present the recipes graphically? A was afraid from the title you'd be presenting it with C++ code or something. Anyways, thanks for your post on cutting up a whole chicken, I was just looking for something on that.
I made this for my friends tonight. I overdid the cooking time a little bit, breasts were 185 degrees! However, the meat was juicy and tasty! I am so impressed by your site and my friends are impressed with me!
I'm a big fan of brined birds - This article
describes it well and has saved my Christmas turkey three years in a row after many, many years of horrific dry birds. Your lime chicken sounds gorgeous - I normally just do a rub of chilli and garlic salt, but I suspect the marinade will make a nice change!
I suspect the difference between industrial salt adding and home *brining* is that when it happens at a factory it's gross, low quality salt and possibly includes other preservatives. A good brine with sea salt would make all the difference.
I've tried a similar recipe to this, escept with about half a cup of Tequilla added to the marinade.
The Tequilla gave it a nice flavor that sat beneath the lime. Everyone liked the recipe that time (except the breasts weren't grilling right because they were a little too thick, so it took longer than expected).
Hmmm this sounds delicious. I think I'm going to try a variation of this on the rotisserie with a whole chicken. I have a recipe where I stuff such a chicken with chopped apple for the resulting juiciness...think I'll substitute at least some chopped lime in addiition to your lime rub on the outside of the chicken...
Threshold here! Excellent recipe. I was forced by lack of a grill to bake this, but it was SOOOOO good. It's amazing what a 19-year old college student can make with a recipe. =)
My wife and I prepared 16 lbs. of chicken with this recipe for about 15 people. After about 15 minutes the last piece almost started a fight. Excellent food for large parties.
You may want to try adding 1 egg yolk and 1/2 c oil to this recipe and marinating for 24 hours. The yolk/oil mix will prevent the acid from "cooking" the chicken and the extra marinating time will allow the marinade to permeate the chicken. ;)
I made delicious wings with this recipe...but since I'm lazy and don't feel like rinsing chicken (and I was using wings that were frozen in a salt solution) I reduced the salt to 1 teaspoon for 10 wings. I put them under the broiler at about 475 (not quite 500) on a wire rack, turining them over once, for 30 minutes. Yummy! The skin was crunchy and the meat inside was moist. Gives me something else to do with the 10 lbs of wings I bought!
:D Just a quick note to say "Thank You" for this wonderful recipe.
This was the first recipe I tried from this site and it was an unequivocal success. I made this chicken and the "Garlic Roasted Potatoes" from another recipe I located here. The preparation of both dishes was made very simple by the excellent and detailed instructions and both recipes were a big hit with the whole family.
Just wanted to say thanks for the great recipe! Of note: In a pinch I subsituted (unground) Cumin Seeds for ground coriander and I really liked the distinctive flavor.
I just had this chicken with a couple of the user posted variations: I marinated it overnight with the egg yolk and 1/2 cup of oil, and I broiled it in my oven at 375 for about an hour.
It turned out great(I made drumsticks and thighs). I was really getting tired of the usual baked chicken with a few spices on it and some bbq sauce on it, but this was a wholly different experience. It was deliciously juicy, and had an excellent flavor. I'll definately be using this recipe again. Thanks. :)
you might also want to make a note to avoid this kind of brine/marinade with kosher birds, which are already hell of salted.
i always try to marinade or brine whenever i have a chance, even if only for an hour. it always helps.
If using kosher chicken (which is already heavily salted as part of the kashering process), is it advisable to skip the salt in this recipe?
Wonderful recipe! We have made it twice... We halved the recipe and used it for 4-5 split chicken breasts. I love how moist it is with no worries about drying out the chicken with overcooking. Made some excellent chicken alfredo with it this weekend. Even after reheating leftover chicken in the microwave, it is still moist. Now that's an accomplishment! Thanks for a great site.
Someone linked me to your blog last night, and I've spent about three hours reading everything. I'm an arts (Media Studies/International Relations) student, but I used to be an Microbiology student and I have a very analytical mind so the way you present the recipes works great for me, I love lime and garlic and a little heat from the chile, so I'm going to try this tomorrow night.
I am wondering if it's ok if I put the chicken in the brine for 2 hours in the morning, take it out and rinse it, but not cook it until that evening. Will this make a difference? Thank you! Feel free to email the answer to me. I want to make this tomorrow, but I don't get home from work until after 7pm.
That should be fine. Just make sure you refrigerate it after brining and before cooking.
I am wondering if it's ok if I put the chicken in the brine for 2 hours in the morning, take it out and rinse it, but not cook it until that evening. Will this make a difference?
That should be fine. Just make sure you refrigerate it after brining and before cooking.
Thanks for the tips...it was a HUGE hit with my husband and my brother, who usually do the cooking on our house!!
Thank you for this recipe.
It was easy to make and delicious.
What else can one ask for?
I tried soy sauce instead of salt ( it was great) and cooked in on a grill, another time I baked it and finally I used a Convection Oven. That was the best !
thanks for your simple and great advice
instead of water white wine or beer makes the chicken have a bit more bite than water. I do theis when I do bbq's I also use med 5minutes in the micro wave before I bbq the chicken. Everyone is always hungry and always worries about the chicken being raw, especially in Shanghai China.
Thanks for the excellent recipe. I have made similar meals in the past like this one but this recipe looks unique and very interesting. I can't wait to try it out.
I'm new to your site, I'll be trying your grilled salmon tonight. On Fridays instead of Burgers we do this:
Pound to 1/2" thickness 4 boneless chicken breasts; marinated in juice of 2 limes, 8 cloves of garlic crushed, 1/2 tsp cayenne, 1/4 cup cilantro, jalepeno chili (heat to your liking) 3 tbsp olives oil, 1/2 tsp salt; let soak for 2 hours in fridge.
Prepare your favorite guacamole from scratch.
Get: a can of poblano chili's or roast altertnatively and monterrey jack cheese.
Prepare chipotle mayo by mixing 1/2 cup of good mayonaise with 2 chipotle chili peppers in adobo (with the sauce still clinging to them) finely chopped and refridgerate them
grill chicken breasts over medium hot
Assemble your sandwiches, (we like get a nice crusty baguette, and lightly toast the cut side) by coating one side of baguette with chipotle mayo, topping with a chicken breast, some poblano, cheese and coating the other side of the bread with the guacamole
I made this dish tonight, along with cous-cous and grilled asparagus. Everything went well and my guests were as pleased as I with the results. Every time I have tried a recipe from this website I have been happy with every recipe from cookingforengineers.com, but there haven't been new recipes in a while. I wish recipes were posted once again.
Very tasty recipe. Only thing I did add was a few sprigs of Cilantro into the brine. Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeezy. Thanks for this site and the way you structure your recipes.
Hi Mike, going to check this recipe out for an outdoors bbq (we're heading out early on a Saturday morning).
I went through the comments and saw that it should be ok to brine for a couple hours, the day before, pull it out of the brine and rinse off, and leave in the fridge. Another user mentioned adding egg yolk to prevent the lime acid from cooking the chicken (during the refrigeration time). Will I need to add that to the recipe for my purposes?
I just wanted to say that because i wasn't very convinced about rinsing the chicken i didn't do it very thoroughly and it turned out pretty salty, so if anyone else is having doubts about that step don't! It's necessary.
Sounds great -- I've done just some simple marinades with chicken in the past. I've done lemon + rosemary recently and it ended up delicious. It's just a matter of trying different flavor combinations...
Wonderful site! Every recipe should be written in this detail, conscious about the little things that matter the most.
I baked some turkey the day before (on a generous onion bed, and had some rice with canned corn mixed into it as a side dish and a salad with honey-mustard dressing) and everybody loved it, it was really delicious... except for the meat being a little dry :( I was thinking all day how to do it better, and bang, here it is. Thanks a lot!
Also, the S hook in the oven... Genial! Why hasn't this occurred to me before?!
love this site too... I got hooked after trying the beef stroganoff - mmmm! The lime chicken was great - i halved the recipe and used 4lbs chicken but it wasn't quite "limey" enough for me. The other seasonings (onion/garlic powder & coriander) were perfect but next time i'll double the lime!
tell me, what kind of thermometer do you use? the ones i have seen look too thick for a drumstick or a thigh... i just eyeballed it.
the paperclip is a cute idea, but i'm a little afraid to use it. what exactly is a paper clip made of and what might be imparted to the meat during high temp cooking in the oven? i hate to put a damper on things, but at one time it was considered safe to cook with aluminum :unsure:
I skeptically tried this recipe because most lime/citrus marinades never seem to be flavorful enough. We love spice and a lot of full-flavored meals which are typically (non-American). HOWEVER, I made this for my boyfriend (He's Indian, and about 5 of our Indian friends)...and they loved it! We made it with drumsticks on the grill, and the meat literally fell off the bone. It was so full of flavor and a nice change from what we typically cook for chicken. Thanks for the recipe!
If you google for "pressure infusion marination", you'll see the technique. It works best with thin marinades. And if the objective is flavor infusion only, the process is very fast. As a matter of fact, you can marinate chicken strips in as little as 20-seconds.
Had already planned to do a lime chilli sesame chicken stir fry... think i might change that idea, this sounds so good!
As an undergraduate engineer cooking for a flat of 5 undergraduate engineers, this site seems somehow rather appropriate. Love the recipe layout for baking - it's how my own recipes are written up!
I tried this recipe, but I used chicken strips and an air oven. (Galloping Gormet type) Baked the chicken for 20 minutes on 350 degrees and...WOW! It was so amazing! My wife even thought I was a genious untill I showed her that I used this recipe from this site. We decided we are going to make chicken like this for fajitas and things of that sort from now on using this recipe. I'm telling you, you have to try this in an air oven...UNBELIEVABLE!!!! Great recipe!!!
Which part of the recipe makes this chicken juicy instead of dry? Is the recipe somehow keeping the moisture in while it is heated or is moisture only added? Would the chicken be even more juicy if you covered it after it's cooked to prevent the moisture from escaping?
I read your post and tried it out, top of the line. Bake the chicken for 20 mins on 350 degrees using chicken strips. Lovin this forum, I pick up so many ideas just skimming through.
Another very delicious chicken recipe.. Gonna try this one tonight..
thanks for posting!!!! This would be a very perfect dinner for a very special day!