Grilled Cumin Lime Chicken: Pollo a la Plancha

Lime Chicken

Gabriel Bucataru / Stocksy United

Prep: 12 hrs
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 12 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
233 Calories
12g Fat
7g Carbs
25g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 233
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 16%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 68mg 23%
Sodium 4921mg 214%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 25g
Vitamin C 16mg 82%
Calcium 43mg 3%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 284mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

These chicken breasts stay juicy and tender on the grill because they are first brined in salt water. The chicken is then marinated in lime juice and seasoned with cumin, salt, and pepper. Give this chicken time to brine and marinate and you will be rewarded with lots of flavor and tender, juicy grilled chicken.

Another trick for successfully grilling chicken breasts is to slice them in half horizontally and flatten them a bit before grilling them so that they cook more evenly (and more quickly). It's easier to tell when they are done (and to prevent overcooking) when the chicken pieces are all the same thickness.

Lime and cumin are a natural seasoning combination, and with a generous amount of salt and pepper, the chicken is delicious on its own. But it would be great served with some kind of spicy salsa like Chilean pebre or Bolivian llajua, or sliced and served with tortillas and other accouterments like guacamole, sour cream, and cheese.


  • 4 chicken breasts

  • 3 to 4 limes

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • 2 teaspoons cumin

  • 2 teaspoons black pepper

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons salt

  • 7 tablespoons vegetable, canola, or sunflower cooking oil

Steps to Make It

  1. Slice each chicken breast in half horizontally to make two pieces of even thickness. If one end of the chicken is thicker than the other end, use the flat side of a mallet to pound the chicken into an even thickness.

  2. Place all of the chicken into a bowl. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of salt and cover chicken with water. Let chicken brine in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight.

  3. Remove chicken from brine, rinse, and pat dry. Place chicken in a ziplock bag. Juice the limes and add the lime juice and the olive oil to the bag. Let the chicken marinate in the lime juice, refrigerated, for another 2 to 6 hours.

  4. Mix the kosher salt, cumin and ground pepper together in a small bowl. Remove the chicken from the lime juice marinade and place in a dish or on a plate. Rub the chicken on all sides with the cumin/salt mixture.

  5. Heat the grill. When the grill is hot, use tongs to hold a folded paper towel and dip that into the vegetable oil to then grease the grill.

  6. Cook the chicken breasts for about 3-5 minutes per side, or until they are browned and just cooked through (cut into the chicken to test for doneness - the juices should run clear and the meat should be firm and opaque all the way through).

  7. Remove chicken from grill to a clean plate, and serve warm with salsa or chimichurri sauce.