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Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham Photo by: Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

Grilled Spicy Cilantro Chicken

Grilled Spicy Cilantro Chicken—ready in 35 minutes—gets its kick from cilantro, jalapeno peppers, and black pepper.

This recipe goes with Grilled Chicken Naan Pizza

Southern Living APRIL 2013

  • Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings


  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 medium-size jalapeño peppers, seeded
  • 2 bunches fresh cilantro (about 3 cups loosely packed leaves)
  • 2 bunches fresh mint (about 1 cup loosely packed leaves)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 12 small skinned and boned chicken thighs
  • 8 plum tomatoes, halved
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Assorted chopped fresh herbs
  • Naan bread


1. Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat. Process first 4 ingredients and 1/4 cup water in a blender until smooth. Add mint and next 3 ingredients, and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed.

2. Rub 1/2 cup cilantro mixture over chicken; cover and chill 10 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup cilantro mixture for Grilled Chicken Naan Pizza and 1/2 cup to serve with chicken.

3. Grill chicken, covered with grill lid, 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from grill, and let stand 5 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, grill tomato halves 3 to 5 minutes or just until they begin to blister. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, drizzle with desired amount of olive oil, and top with chopped fresh herbs. Grill naan 1 to 2 minutes on each side or just until puffy and soft.

5. Reserve 6 chicken thighs and 4 tomato halves for Grilled Chicken Naan Pizza. Serve remaining chicken and tomatoes with grilled naan bread and reserved 1/2 cup cilantro mixture.

LEFTOVER DINNER: Grilled Chicken Naan Pizza: Preheat oven to 450°. Thinly slice 6 Grilled Spicy Cilantro Chicken thighs. Place 2 naan breads on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet; spread each with 1 Tbsp. reserved cilantro mixture; layer each with 1/2 cup sliced chicken, 4 reserved plum tomato halves, and 4 fresh mozzarella cheese slices. Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until cheese melts. Top with arugula. Serve with remaining cilantro mixture. Makes 4 servings.


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Grilled Spicy Cilantro Chicken Recipe