Coconut Lime Chicken

Coconut Lime Chicken

Will you think weird things about me if I spend most of the next 3 paragraphs writing about chicken skin?

It’s a love-hate, although right now I’m more on the love side. I guess the only thing I really hate is the name: chicken skin. But if you feed me something that is golden like the sun, mysteriously both juicy and crispy at the same time, and full of coconut lime chicken flavor and tell me it’s chicken skin? Then I do love chicken skin after all.

Coconut Lime Chicken

There’s no glamorous way to put it: I ate a lot of fried chicken this year.

Like, honestly, more fried chicken in our one year in the Philippines than probably all the rest of my life put together. Filipinos have a way with frying, and chicken is no exception. On a scale of 1-10, I started the year out liking Filipino spicy fried chicken at a 2, and ended the year liking it at a 9.9. When you fry chicken with all that breading on the outside, and especially when it’s spicy chicken so the breading is not only crunchy-heaven but also a wave of your tastebuds mildly on fire, crispy hot chicken skin quickly becomes way more important than the chicken meat itself. It just does.

I know, I’m off topic. This coconut lime chicken isn’t even fried. It isn’t spicy. It’s just simple and delicious and full of garlic, ginger, and coconut lime flavor. And whenever I say coconut lime I envision a coconut lime verbena scented wallflower, which I could drink right now.

So to make the chicken, you have to act really fancy. NOT.

You marinate it and you roast it in the oven. Tadaaa!

Coconut Lime Chicken

Here’s a tip: your life will be better if you have a wire rack because then your chicken doesn’t sit in the grease of the pan and splatter all over the oven. I know this because sometimes food bloggers don’t have things like wire racks so they plow through recipes without the proper equipment, just for a gorgeous bite of crispy-golden coconut lime chicken skin.  Even when it means breaking the chicken roasting rules and sitting in the smoky haze of a messy chicken roasted kitchen all afternoon. It worked, but it would have worked better with a wire rack.

At this time I’d like to call out my readers who only ever buy chicken breasts. Yes, you. I’m squinting through the screen at you right now. And I’d like to let you know that I am one of you. I rarely buy any chicken (I’m talking present tense here) other than chicken breasts because, let’s face it. It seems hard and gross and why would anyone ever need to eat anything besides crunchy, saucy little bites of General Tso’s white meat?

Chicken pieces, with bones, with skin, are not as scary as they seem. Buy them in a package, you don’t have to cut anything up (you chicken cutter-uppers are a whole different breed), and the meat is truly delicious. It’s oh-so-juicy because it actually has, like, some fat on it.

And the skin. This coconut lime chicken was always about that crispy chicken skin.

Coconut Lime Chicken

4.0 from 2 reviews
Coconut Lime Chicken
Serves: 10 pieces
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • salt to taste
  • 3 lbs. chicken pieces with bones and skin (for example, 1½ lbs. drumsticks and 1½ lbs. thighs)
  • rice noodles, cilantro, carrots, lime wedges, peanuts, onions or shallots for serving
  1. Prep the chicken: Whisk the lime juice, lime zest, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and coconut in a large bowl. Add the chicken pieces and sprinkle with salt. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. I had to divide the ingredients into 2 bowls so it could all fit. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade; let them rest on a plate for a minute to get rid of excess moisture.
  2. Roast the chicken: Preheat the oven to 475. Grease a rimmed baking sheet. The rim will keep most of the drippings from landing in your oven. Arrange the chicken pieces on the baking sheet; bake for 30 minutes. (If you have a wire rack, place it on the baking sheet and arrange the chicken on the wire rack. This allows the fat to drip off the chicken as it roasts and keeps it from getting too greasy.) Check on the chicken every so often, turning the pan or adjusting the heat if the skin is getting too brown. Remove from the oven when the chicken is browned on the outside and cooked through to the middle.
  3. Sprinkle the hot chicken with a little extra salt and serve with rice noodles, fresh cilantro, carrots, peanuts, and drizzle lime juice over the whole thing.



Hey wait. I never told you about serving your chicken with a heaping pile of hot rice noodles and all those fresh, crunchy veggies. And the lime juice. And salted, roasted peanuts. And feeling like it’s a party on a plate. Wehhhh! I always have way too much to say about food.

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  1. I have been following POY for a while now, and I just have to say, I love your blog! Whenever I search foodgawker for a recipe, Pinch of Yum always comes up with exactly what I’m looking for!

    Also, I used to live in the Philippines too (Quezon City) so I can totally relate, though honestly I just never really became a fan of Filipino food (besides pancit canton and puto).

    Thanks and keep up the good work!

  2. This looks soo summer! I love the way your pictures are looking. I always loved them, but there i s something different about them. awesome!

  3. I am so that guilty person of never buying anything other than the chicken breasts! I totally need to get out of that habit…. and this sounds like the perfect recipe to get out of it with!

  4. I wish I could jump through this screen and face-dive into this. I too, have converted to bone-in, skin-on chicken over the past year. It’s not as bad as we’d think, and if you don’t eat too much, it’s still healthy. And that side dish??? You just spoke to my heart. Lately, I’ve been addicted to a cabbage salad with many of the same flavors. Totes dee-lish, my friend!

  5. Embarrassing confession…I’ve never really cooked a meat entree before!! For some reason it’s so much more intimidating to me than baking a cake. But your ode to chicken skin has inspired me. Hahaha POY should commission a coconut lime CHICKEN wallflower 😀

  6. I am that person who will never buy any meat with bone..however this recipe sounds too delicious not to try. I am going to try it with chicken breast although it probably wont be that juice :0)

  7. Mmm, chicken skin! I love it when it’s perfectly crispy and golden brown. This chicken looks fantastic!

  8. I was just saying the same thing the other day – since I’ve been travelling, I’ve eaten more fried chicken than at any other time in my life. I don’t know what it is about foreign countries loving fried chicken so much. Unfortunately, I can also say the same about eating more pizza and burgers too….oops.

  9. Coconut lime! Yes, please! What and incredible chicken. Seriously, I love these flavors!

  10. This sounds delish – I am with you I love some crispy skin.

  11. Hmm chicken skin! I actually love it and I think it makes the chicken more moist when you leave it on! These photos are GORGEOUS!

  12. What IS it about these Southeast asian countries and their genius chicken frying methods? I can’t believe how much fried chicken I eat around here. Your recipe looks much more reasonable and does still have that crispy skin – that’s really the best part after all. GREAT recipe, Lindsay – and I love those bright, clean white photos!

  13. See, I’m a chicken skin lover all the way. I remind myself of Joey in that episode of Friends where he’s only eating the fried chicken skin and offers the rest of the chicken to everyone else. A little gross, but so tasty!

  14. This looks fantastic. I am a HUGE fan of chicken skin. I know, it does sound gross. But I love to buy chicken thighs from time to time as a nice change from chicken breasts. The fat does give the chicken an irresistible flavor. I need to try this recipe.. it sounds toooo good.

  15. Makes we want to try this recipe with calamansi. :) And yes, I do love crispy chicken skin and I don’t like saying that as well. 😀

  16. Coconut and lime is one of my favorite flavor combinations, so why didn’t I think of this? I’m glad you did…I’m definitely pinning this one!

  17. I saw this everyday food recipe too and made it for some clients a few months back, they loved it!!! Thanks for reminding me I need to make it again for myself, my mouth was watering as I was serving it to them!

  18. This looks amazing! Speaking of fried chicken, I don’t eat it that much but I sure do love it. Our grocery store makes some fantastic fried chicken. Sometimes you can smell it outside of the store. It always makes me want to buy it!

    Pinning this recipe. I live the flavored of coconut and lime!

  19. This chicken looks so incredibly delicious!

  20. We are not big chicken eaters in our house…but this sounds very good! I’ll make an exception and try this out!

  21. I already had a plan for dinner tomorrow but I think it’ll have to change to this!

    Also, best fried chicken of my life was in the Philippines. It was at some roadside stall in Bohol, my husband wanted to try it but I was skeptical. The chicken thigh was impeccably cooked. Probably one of the few times I’ll ever be content with being wrong, ha!

    • Wow! Brave! We hardly ever ate roadside in the Philippines but Bohol has that gorgeous magical power that just kind of makes you forget about common sense. :) Thanks for the comment!

  22. I love the coconut lime combination on the chicken and can’t wait to try it! I always have bone-in chicken thighs on hand for easy weeknight dinners like this.

  23. I’m finding I’m one of those “rare breeds” who enjoy cutting whole chickens, fish, beef tenderloins and even whole pigs! I didn’t realize until recently that people have a phobia of handling raw meats.

    Give brining a shot if you haven’t already. My wife won’t eat chicken breast unless I brine it first now. It really is the bee’s knees!

  24. BTW, I’m digging the new all white background. I liked the photos prior but prefer these. Really showcases the food.

  25. I miss fried chicken (and everything else fried) from the Philippines. I’m coming home for the holidays this year and I’m already looking forward to all the things I can eat :) This coconut lime chicken looks great, too! It’s a little too hot nowadays to turn on the oven and roast chicken but when the weather gets cooler, I will be attempting this!

  26. I really enjoy chicken skin and I am not ashamed to admit it. Going up in SC no one would dare remove the skin off of the chicken when I was growing up. I think its just the name thing – chicken skin. Just sounds well nasty. But to taste it is to love it. My wifey hates and is always wanting to take the skin off. If I can get her to try this she might fall in love with with outside of the chicken meat. LOL

  27. My husband introduced me to chicken with the skin. Chicken thighs is his favorite. I took a shot one night and grilled up some thighs. WOW! I loved it. Who’d a thought! Love the coconut and lime combo. Definitely giving this a try!

  28. I love lime – on anything – this chicken looks great!
    As usual – gorgeous photos!

  29. My Lola makes fried chicken wings that is not breaded but with the chicken marinated adobo style. The wings splatter like crazy while frying and are cooked until the skin is super crispy. She used to make it every week when I was young. I would sit there and wait for extra fried skin- tasted like Chicharon!

    I’ve only made it once myself because of getting hot oil on me. BUT it was so, so worth all the pain!

    Also, are there any Asian stores where you live? They sometimes carry calamansi and other hard to find Asian produce.

    • I smiled when I read the word Lola. :) So sweet. And as for the calamansi, it’s possible that they have it at one of the larger Asian grocery stores here in MN. I have only been to one small Filipino-specific grocery store and the “fresh” produce they had was a little sad looking. But I’ll try again! :)

  30. I love all of the flavors in this dish! I am putting this on my weeknight meal list to try!

  31. So simple and looks amazing! I love coconut and lime with chicken.

  32. This chicken looks fabulous! Beautiful photos as well!

  33. The dish looks amazing and NO it is not weird at all. I think the skin makes the dish quite flavorful.

  34. I’m with you girl! Give the other bits of chicken a chance! I also love crispy chicken skin, but I don’t want to love it because I know how “not good for you” it is. Great recipe!

  35. Simple but very interesting recipe. I love the skin. It came out perfectly. Thanks.

  36. Good Morning! I wanted to let you know that I featured this yumminess today in my “What I Bookmarked This Week” post – stop by and see!

  37. Love coconut and lime! I bet this chicken is perfect!

  38. Time for lunch!

  39. Making this for the second time tonight, it is so good! Thank you for the great recipe!

  40. Hi! Does the zest go in the marinade? It is excluded from the directions.

    Thanks. Love your stuff.


  41. I love all the flavors in this recipe! What’s not to love about coconut, lime and ginger? YUM. However my chicken would not crisp up nicely in the oven. THe skin kept shrivelling back as it cooked, and I risked drying out my soon-to-be-naked chicken thighs. My solution was to take it out, cook it up in a pan with all that yummy flavor added back to it. Then I shredded the chicken off the bones, put it back in the sauce and added a little cornstarch for thickener. I put that over some noodles. BAM. Truly delicious. Maybe you can share a tip on how to keep your chicken skin where it belongs…so it crisps up nicely!

  42. I’m going to make this tonight but don’t have any limes on hand. Would using lemons be awful of me or should I drag myself out for limes?

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