When I’m making (and eating) a full flavored chicken recipe like this one, I am often reminded of an earlier stage of my life when food had become so boring. The rut of preparing the same routine meals had left me desperate for something different. I could cook, but I wasn’t above average. I used an occasional recipe, but nothing out of my very narrow comfort zone. I was scared to be adventurous with cooking, for fear I wouldn’t like it. And yet my tastebuds were desperate for something more. I got to a point where I had a metal wake up call, realizing that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life being so bored eating. Eating may be a necessary means of survival, but there’s no reason it can’t also be enjoyable and full of flavor.

I had just finished an internship at Southern Progress, the publisher of Cooking Light and Southern Living magazines and cookbooks. One of the perks of working there, was that every issue of a magazine and every release of a new book, a free copy was put in your mailbox. I only worked there five months through my internship, but I had accrued a little stack of materials. Rather than just casually glancing through them, I decided to give them a thorough reading, beginning my adventure into cooking.

It was a good starting point and along with my handy-dandy library card I had a stack of cookbooks to review and pull ideas from. The more things I made and tested, the braver I became. Eventually I found a grove to my cooking and not only did I enjoy preparing meals, but I was learning how to mix things together on my own. Cooking independently from the recipes, or modifying to make it my own. I remember a time my parents came to visit and my mom asks, “Where did you learn to cook like this?” I told her I had gotten bored of eating and began researching new ways to cook. I’ll never forget that moment, it was the time I knew I had made a change. Boring no longer, my cooking would be bold and always full of flavor.

This recipe for Baked Mustard Lime Chicken is going to taste its best if you give it the time needed to marinate. Really letting the flavors soak up throughout the chicken will give you an amazing full flavored result. Turns out I prepped mine in the morning, forgot all about it through the course of the day and didn’t cook it until the next evening. More than 30 hours of marinating for me. You don’t have to go as long as all that, but please do yourself a favor and don’t rush to make this recipe if you don’t have the time to let it soak together for at least a few hours.

Baked Mustard Lime Chicken Sauce

The sauce is messy making, but worth it. Delicious marinade.

I found the recipe on PainFreeKitchen.com, but they site that the recipe originally came from Elana’s Kitchen (whom I’m also familiar with). The biggest difference you’ll notice right away, is the sauce looks green on PainFreeKitchen.com’s pics but red on Elana’s. Mine came out green too. Here’s the link to where I pulled the recipe: http://painfreekitchen.com/2012/08/baked-mustard-lime-chicken-and-whole30-day-3/, but shown below is the recipe with the modifications I made.

 

Baked Mustard Lime Chicken Sauce

  • 1 pound of skinless boneless chicken breast
  • 2 large limes (roll them first on the counter with the palm of your hand, to loosen up the juices, makes for easier squeezing)
  • 1/2 bushel of cilantro
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 t chili powder (less than original recipe)
  • 1/2 t cumin (I added cumin, while lowering the amount of chili powder)
  • 1/4 t sea salt (lowered salt amount)
  • 1/2 t pepper
Baked Mustard Lime Chicken Sauce coating the chicken breast strips

Chicken breast strips soaking in the mustard, lime, cilantro sauce

It is Whole 30 compliant (which means it is Paleo) and it also works as a Trim Healthy Mama E Meal. I baked at 400 in my electric oven since I was co-baking sweet potatoes and because I noted the comment about the slow cooking chicken on the PainFreeKitchen.com review. I also cut up my chicken into strips before marinating them. I wanted the chicken to have the marinade all over it and for the cooking process to come along faster, so cut up chicken breasts worked best for me.

When the chicken broke apart easily in the pan using light pressure from a fork, I called it done and let it cool just enough to sneak a quick bite in my mouth for testing. It was super yummy and made an excellent dinner served along side sweet potato cubes (just cut up into little squares, with a light drizzle of EVOO to coat them so they don’t shrivel when baking). I don’t season my potatoes at all. Just bake in all natural goodness.

Baked Mustard Lime Chicken Sauce coating the chicken breast strips for a Paleo dinner / trim healthy mama E meal. Served with sweet potatoes

Sauce cooks up nice and creamy against the chicken. Then I lathered on the extra sauce for extra flavor.