Buttermilk Southwestern Grilled Chicken

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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2 cups buttermilk

1 lime, zested and juiced

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons ancho chili powder (or any pure chili powder)

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon turmeric

Hot sauce, to taste (recommended: Tabasco)

1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 bone-in or boneless chicken breasts (each about 6 to 8 ounces)

Canola oil


  1. Whisk together the buttermilk, lime zest and juice, garlic, chili powder, coriander, cumin, turmeric, hot sauce, cilantro, and salt and pepper, to taste, in a large bowl. Pour the marinade into a large resealable plastic bag, add the chicken, seal the bag and refrigerate. Marinate bone-in chicken up to 12 hours, boneless up to 4 hours, chicken legs or breasts, up to 24 hours. If using fish, marinate white fish such as snapper, halibut or bass up to 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the grill pan over medium-low heat for boneless breasts and fish, and medium heat for bone-in breasts, thighs and legs. Remove the meat/fish from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Brush with oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste, on both sides. Grill until golden brown and charred on both sides and just cooked through.
  3. Cook's Note:
  4. This recipe also includes the method for fish.
  5. Boneless chicken breasts: about 9 minutes total
  6. Chicken thighs/legs: about 20 minutes total
  7. Bone-in chicken breasts: about 15 minutes total
  8. White Fish: about 8 minutes total
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