I’ll admit I’m pretty basic when it comes to my chicken. I find it to be the most useful and versatile protein– and obviously like the easiest to use when you’re tracking macros since it’s so low in fat, high in protein, and goes in everything. But I’m almost never going to sit down to a plate-dinner with a big breast of chicken as the main course. That just doesn’t do anything for me and makes me feel like I’m dieting. BOOO.
So I think because of that, I’m not always that concerned with trying a bunch of different marinade recipes. It’s way more about the meal I’m creating AROUND the chicken for me.. so I literally grill up about the same batch of my favorite bulk chicken every week and tuck it in salads, sandwiches, wraps, tacos, bowls, paninis, taquitos. It works for me.
And don’t get me wrong. I love steak, salmon, fatty cuts of pork and beef. I love it all! I also think it might be safe to say almost every meat would taste great with some brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup in the marinade. I’d love to douse everything in sweet bbq or asian sauces… and I’ve yet to meet a breading that I didn’t like. It’s true. BUT– tracking my macros has taught me to pick and choose where I spend my carbs and fat, because um– I love them. And want them to shine as much as possible! (I just re-read that and it sounds like I’m talking about my kids, but I won’t delete it, because that’s kind of how I feel about fat and carbs.)
I’ve learned that MOST of the time, it’s not worth it to me to let a bunch of my precious F and C get eaten up in the protein. Even if it’s delicious, it still tastes like the “protein” portion of my meal, and I’m still gonna feel like I deserve a roll on the side, or rice underneath, or a tortilla wrapped around the whole THEEEENG. I want my starch or my sweets– and that’s just not going anywhere. I’d rather have a savory, garlicky grilled chicken on rice than a battered orange chicken wrapped in lettuce (insert eye-roll emoji). But maybe that’s just me. I feel so gipped when my salad ends up being as many or more carbs and even FAT than a burger. And it happens.
It TOTALLY happens.
Sweet Chili sauce had landed itself in that category of super sweet bbq and asian sauces that I’d written off. But I LOVE IT and it used to be a favorite condiment over here! But since macros, the poor thing’s been moved to the outside fridge where tier-two condiments go to die. But guys it’s back. Because I decided to branch out from my basic chicken to something closer to this old cilantro chili chicken skewer recipe that we used to do all the time before macros. And it was amazing. I was so excited when I gave it a go and realized it didn’t take much sweet chili sauce to add that perfect, slightly sweet crust. The added carbs were almost negligible! I’m obsessed.
The bottle’s being graduated back to the inside fridge and I’m feeling really good about it.
Sweet Chili Glazed Cilantro Grilled Chicken
Disclaimer: the grams I’ve listed manually after each ingredient are accurate for a single recipe, but they will not multiply if you choose the 2x or 3x option. Please make sure and multiply on your own!
- 2 pounds boneless/skinless chicken breast or tenderloins I always use tenderloins
- 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil more up to ¼ cup if you’re not watching fat!
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar or white balsamic, or lemon juice or a combo!- not needed if you do ¼ cup of olive oil.
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- Most of a bunch of cilantro save a little for garnish
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- About ¼ cup sweet chili sauce for basting
- Add olive oil, vinegar and/or lemon juice, garlic and cilantro in a food processor and pulverize. If it’s too thick, add a little more vinegar or lemon juice. Pour the marinade into a bowl with the chicken, add salt and pepper and marinate over night if possible. But whatever time you have will do!
- Remove chicken from the refrigerator about an hour before you grill to try and bring it to room temp (I always try and grill my meat close to room temp. It’ll be fine if you forget- just helps it cook more evenly and turn out more tender.)
- Preheat the grill to medium-hight heat for tenderloins (medium for breasts) and spray with cooking spray.
- Cook for 3-5 minutes on each side. Brush chili sauce on chicken for the last minute of cooking to create a nice glaze.*
- For logging, I just chose to log my basic grilled chicken that I already had as a recipe in My Fitness Pal, a little cilantro, and my portion of chili sauce and olive oil separately for this. I measured some chili sauce into a bowl for the whole batch, and measured what was left of it after brushing it on all the chicken. That told me how much I’d used. I then took that amount and divided amongst the number of tenderloins. Also divided the 1 tbs of oil. I had two tenderloins and logged accordingly!