Grilled Chicken Breasts With Spicy Cucumbers
Light and refreshing, yet packed with flavor from herbs, jalapeños and garlic, this is an easy, after-work meal that can be endlessly adapted to suit what you’ve got on hand. Substitute other thinly sliced raw vegetables for the cucumbers (zucchini, carrot, radishes, celery, cabbage, fennel), and other herbs for the cilantro and parsley (dill, basil, mint). Just be sure not to overcook the flattened chicken, which can happen in an instant.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 4boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each)
- 1 ¼teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1teaspoon black pepper, more as needed
- ½teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
- Finely grated zest of 1 lime
- 2garlic cloves, grated on a Microplane
- 2tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
- ⅓cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
- ⅓cup packed fresh parsley leaves
- 3tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2to 3 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
- 2garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
- ½teaspoon fine sea salt, more to taste
- 1teaspoon fresh lime juice, more to taste
- 3Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced (about 2 1/4 cups)
Step 1Place a chicken breast between a layer of parchment paper or plastic wrap and use a mallet, rolling pin or the flat side of a heavy knife to pound to a thickness of about 1/2 inch. Repeat with remaining breasts.
Step 2Season chicken with salt, pepper and paprika. Place in a bowl and toss with lime zest, garlic and oil. Cover and marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.
Step 3Meanwhile, prepare the sauce: In a blender, combine cilantro, parsley, oil, jalapeños, garlic, salt and lime juice. Blend until smooth, adding 1 or 2 tablespoons water if necessary to blend. Taste and add more salt and/or lime juice if needed.
Step 4Heat the grill to medium-high or heat up the broiler or a grill pan. Grill or broil until chicken is lightly browned at the edges and just cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes per side.
Step 5In a medium bowl, toss cucumbers with a pinch of salt. Let sit for 5 minutes. Right before serving, toss cucumbers with sauce and serve alongside chicken, drizzling chicken with any leftover sauce from the bottom of the cucumber bowl, and a little olive oil.