Cilantro is the leafy part of the spice, coriander, and is most often mistaken for parsley. Unlike the clean, peppery flavor that parsley gives to a variety of dishes, cilantro is a bit stronger in flavor. Its tangy citrus notes make it an excellent addition to basmati rice, chili, coleslaw, stir-fry, pasta salads, and of course, our Grilled Cilantro-Lime Chicken Tacos (see below). However, this cilantro-lime marinade can carry the fiesta beyond these simple tacos. Try the marinated chicken in homemade enchiladas, burrito bowls, and on top of your favorite savory salad!
Fun fact: Despite Julia Child’s exquisite palate, the famous gourmet chef and author, carried a gene, OR6A2, that made her perceive the aromas of cilantro to be like the smell and taste of soap. In an interview with Larry King in 2002, she stated, “I would pick it [cilantro] out if I saw it and throw it on the floor.”
Now, you may be wondering, are there even any health benefits behind those tiny green leaves? The answer is yes! Cilantro has a high concentration of antioxidants, which may offer protection against a variety of degenerative diseases, such as arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer. It has also been known to naturally raise energy levels, as well as promote healthy hair and skin.
Grilled Cilantro-Lime Chicken Tacos
For the Cilantro Lime Marinade:
- 1 lb. Chicken Thighs, boneless and skinless
- 2 Limes, juice and zest
- 2 Tbsp. Fresh Cilantro, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tsp. Chili Powder
- 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp. Ground Cumin
- 1 tsp. Salt
- ½ tsp. Black Pepper
To Assemble the Tacos:
- Pico de Gallo, or Salsa
- Shredded Cheese
- Fresh Cilantro, for garnishing
- Avocado, thinly sliced
- Preheat the grill.
- In a large bowl, whisk together all the marinade ingredients, adding in the chicken, once well-combined. Transfer the mixture to an airtight container or sealable bag, then refrigerate for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade, then place directly on the grill to cook until internal temperatures reach 165°F, turning as necessary. For added flavor, brush the chicken with the leftover marinade occasionally.
- Once completely cooked, set aside for 3-4 minutes to rest, then chop or shred into bite-sized pieces.
- Warm the tortillas while the chicken is resting, then assemble the tacos with pico de gallo, shredded cheese, sliced avocado, and fresh cilantro. Enjoy!
Now that you’ve mastered the art of fresh cilantro, it’s time to grab your fork and enjoy the blossoming summer season delights!