Divine Dining

Spicy-Lime Chicken — Mom’s favorite summertime chicken recipe
Jul. 23, 2013 @ 05:00 PM

Children are shouting like they’ve all suddenly gone deaf and must be the loudest to be heard. A warm breeze blows through old trees, and the occasional horseback rider can be seen galloping down the road. There are coordinated songs, chants, yells (oh, how they love to yell) and dances. There’s a lady with a guitar trying to get all of those voices in some semblance of harmony (that’s me). There are s’mores and ice cream, grilled cheese lunches and mystery meat dinners.

It’s summer camp, y’all. I’m at Camp Monroe, a gem of a place in Laurel Hill that welcomes campers to experience sleeping in screened-in cabins without air conditioning, unplug from technology (I do realize the irony in my typing this) and form lasting friendships through swimming and canoeing together, shooting arrows without hitting one another and having worship time full of favorite songs and fun stories. I’m the Camp Pastor this week, which means, among many things, that a food column was a bit hard to come by (unless you want a meticulous description on the art of making the perfect s’more).

So, naturally, I called in the best cook I know: my mother. She wants to share with y’all her favorite summertime chicken recipe: spicy-lime chicken. This grilled Tex-Mex delight will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters — I’m certain campers would devour it! Now, where can I find a lime tree at camp? 

My Mamasita’s Spicy-Lime Chicken


1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (6 limes) plus zest of 2 limes

1/4 cup light canola oil

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon chopped fresh jalapeno pepper

1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 chicken leg quarters, with skin

Blend (use either a blender or food processor) lime juice, zest, oil, chili powder, jalapeno, garlic, salt and pepper and pour into a large zip-lock plastic bag. Add the chicken and refrigerate at least 4 hours (overnight is better). 

Heat grill (to medium-high if using an electric grill) and brush the rack with oil to prevent chicken from sticking. Remove chicken from the marinade, season with salt and pepper, and grill skin-side down for about 15 minutes, until nicely browned. Turn chicken and cook for another 10-15 minutes, until done. Remove from grill, cover with foil and allow to rest 10 minutes. Hot flour tortillas, pinto beans and Spanish rice m Spanish rice make this a complete meal. Delicioso!

Share your beloved recipes with me at heraldfood@gmail.com.

The Rev. Whitney Wilkinson is pastor of Cameron Presbyterian Church.