I don’t want to alarm you, but the fact that we’re entering the last week in June today means that the 4th of July is now less than 10 days away! Eek/wee!
Obviously I’m freaking out that the summer feels 1/3 over, but I can’t help but do a little happy dance at the same time. Not only is the 4th of July one of my all-time favorite holidays because of all the sparklers, black snake tablets, and firework displays you can handle, but also because it’s one of the biggest and best grilling days of the entire year.
That said, this week I thought I’d share some new grilling and BBQ recipes that are perfect for the 4th, or any sunny summer day for that matter, starting with an ultra juicy, flavor-packed grilled chicken dish:
Key West Grilled Chicken with Mango Salsa & Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice
Lean chicken breasts are marinated in a Key West-inspired honey-soy-lime mixture, then grilled and served on a bed of low-carb cilantro-lime cauliflower rice, with a heaping spoonful of fresh mango salsa on top. (Ignore the hideous pink drink for now – I’ll explain in a bit…)
This is, without a doubt, my favorite grilled chicken dish of the summer! The honey in the marinade caramelizes on the grill, and the lime juice and soy sauce in the marinade keep the chicken so flavorful and tender.
The taste also takes me back to the spring break trips to Key West that my friends and I took a couple times in college.
Ahh Key West – where limes, leisure, and jean skirts run free.
Start the Key West Grilled Chicken by marinating 4 chicken breasts in an awesome combo of sweet, salty, savory, and spicy ingredients.
In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, and vegetable oil.
Followed by honey and fresh lime juice.
Finish the marinade with a couple crushed garlic cloves and half a jalapeno.
Place the chicken breasts in a ziplock bag, pour the marinade on top, then squish everything around so all the chicken gets covered.
Now let the chicken hang in the fridge for at least 1 hour, and up to 8 hours. I only marinated mine for an hour and it came out perfect! K. Now, while the chicken’s doin’ it’s thang in the fridge, go ahead and mix up a quick, tropical-tasting Mango Salsa to drizzle on top of the grilled chicken.
This salsa is seriously fantastic you guys, and really easy too. Just combine fresh mango with jalapeno, green onions, cilantro, garlic, salt, pepper, and the lime juice. You can make this a day ahead and let it hang out in the fridge. Just don’t tell anyone it’s in there, or it won’t make it through the night! (Read: it’s so good I cough ate all the leftovers with a spoon cough.)
Finally, prep the Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice that will go underneath the grilled chicken.
This recipe is based on the cauliflower “rice” I made for my Maple Grilled Salmon with Skinny Rice a couple months ago. I have literally thought about the rice fake out dish that’s low in carbs, but high in taste every week since then, and thought this would be the perfect excuse to make it again.
Slap the grating blade onto your food processor and process 1 head of raw cauliflower. If you don’t have a food processor, use a box or flat grater.
Saute the fresh cauliflower rice in vegetable oil, seasoning with salt, until it softens and starts to turn golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Turn off the heat, then add in fresh lime juice and chopped cilantro.
Meanwhile, grill the marinated chicken over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes a side, basting with the leftover marinade once or twice.
Plate the cooked cilantro-lime cauliflower rice, then top with a grilled chicken breast and hefty scoop of fresh, mango salsa!
Key West Grilled Chicken with Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice
Chicken adapted from AllRecipes.com
For the Key West Grilled Chicken:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
3 Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice (1-2 limes worth)
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 jalapeno, seeded
4 chicken breasts
For the Mango Salsa:
1 mango, chopped
1/2 jalapeno, seeded & minced
2 green onions, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 lime
salt & pepper, to taste
For the Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice:
6 cups shredded cauliflower (about 1 head)
4 teaspoons vegetable or canola oil
1-2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- For the chicken: Whisk together soy sauce, honey, vegetable oil, lime juice, and garlic in a small bowl. Place chicken breasts in a ziplock bag and pour mixture on top. Add jalapeno, squish to coat chicken in marinade, then refrigerate for 1 hour, or up to 8 hours. Grill chicken over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes a side, basting with the leftover marinade a few times as it grills.
- For the mango salsa: Combine all salsa ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- For the cilantro-lime cauliflower rice: Shred cauliflower using the shredding blade on a food processor, or by hand with a flat or box grater. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower, season with salt, then saute until soft and just starting to turn golden brown, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, then add 1 Tablespoon lime juice and cilantro. Taste and add more lime juice if desired.
*Tip: To make all three components of this recipe you’ll need 1 bunch cilantro, 1 jalapeno, and 4 limes.
Don”t be scared by the length of the ingredient list here, people! Cilantro, jalapeno, and lime juice are used in all three components, so you really only need 1 bunch of cilantro, for example, to make the entire recipe.
Plus I really don’t want you to miss out on this dish! The chicken stays so moist, and the sweet-heat of the honey and jalapeno is just fantastic.
I just can’t get over that cauliflower “rice” either. It’s low in calories and fat, plus Ben adores it too, which is always a win.
Oh right – maybe you were wondering what the cotton candy-esque beverage is that’s accompanying my Key West Grilled Chicken? Why, it’s a Cherry Pomegranate (Kinda) Margarita!
It’s just 1 shot tequila mixed with a heaping 1/4 teaspoon cherry pomegranate Trader Joe’s drink mix, and the juice of 1/2 a lime, topped with club soda.
It’s kind of margarita-ish, what with the tequila and lime juice, but about 4,000% lower in calories. Plus I felt it was only appropriate to make since you can’t talk Key West without talkin’ margaritas!
Don’t let me find out that you didn’t try this, mmkay?!