If you haven’t had something with coconut and lime this summer, then you haven’t had a real summer. Coconut and lime are a classic summer combination and I love them. The tangy, bright and refreshing taste of lime with the smooth, slightly sweet coconut and just a touch of spice (implied), it makes everything nice! Shrimp, chicken, drinks, veggies—I could do a lot with coconut and lime. Perhaps I should do a series…?
The coconut’s origins are debated by botanists and food historians, but in my personal history meals involving coconut and lime were a rare and special treat with no particular regional history. Whether the recipe was inspired by Hawaiian, Thai or Caribbean flavors, I loved it and savored every bite. And the coconut and lime pairings have ranked among my favorites: coconut-lime shrimp skewers, coconut-lime granita, curry over coconut-lime rice, etc.
In the case of chicken, many restaurants will batter-and-fry but I would rather shake-and-bake. Today’s recipe is fairly simple; and, although you’ll see that I chose to dredge, if you’re making this with kids around, grab a plastic bag and let them help you shake it! Kids will not only love the shaking nonsense; they’ll also be more interested and excited to eat a dinner that they helped to make.
Are you excited for a sweet, savory, bright and beachy summer chicken dish with a slight kick? Here we go!
6 chicken thighs
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 C freshly squeezed lime juice (about 2-3 limes if you use a citrus juicer)
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 C shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/8 – 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (depending on your tolerance for heat)
Season your chicken thighs lightly on both sides with salt and pepper; then place them in a dish or bag to marinate in a blend of olive oil, lime juice, and honey. Marinate for at least 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400° F and mix the coconut and cayenne pepper in a shallow bowl or on a plate.
Dredge the chicken in the coconut mixture (or simply shake it like crazy). Place on a rack in a baking pan. Pour the marinade that remains into the bottom of the pan.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Then, cover lightly with tin foil, reduce the heat to down to 375° F and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the chicken reaches a temperature of 160° F.
Allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes.
Garnish with a lime wedge and serve.