San Antonio Chicken has the most beautiful flavor. Lemon, and garlic, and cilantro, and just plain deliciousness! Years ago my husband and I were wandering along the streets of San Antonio when we happened upon a cute cafe serving this amazing chicken dish.
We loved it so much I went home and tried to re-create it. This recipe is the result of my experiments to make the Mexican style chicken recipe of that long-ago day at Rosario's Mexican Cafe y Cantina in San Antonio's Southtown area.
It's so easy to make the lemon garlic chicken marinade
Making the lemon garlic marinade for chicken is easy. Just throw the ingredients in a blender: juice of four fresh lemons; cilantro (cut off as many stems as you can); fresh cloves of peeled garlic; plus some sugar, salt and black pepper.
Marinade chicken in the refrigerator
Pour the marinade over chicken breast pieces in a baking pan and let them sit covered in the refrigerator at least two hours. Turn chicken a few times while marinading. Then put the Mexican chicken on the grill or bake it in the oven. The cilantro pesto sauce is simple, yet so flavorful! The only negative is that it bakes dark green. In this case, the flavor exceeds the presentation! If you like things saucy, save out some marinade (before adding raw chicken) to serve with your cooked chicken.
Low fat dinner!
One of the best Mexican dishes with chicken, San Antonio Chicken is also low fat — all that goodness and healthy too. Wohoo! We like to serve it over rice, but you could serve it with pasta or shredded in tortillas too.
Favorite San Antonio restaurant
If you visit San Antonio, try our favorite restaurant-- Rosario's Mexican Cafe y Cantina on South Alamo in the Southtown area. They have a lot of great food but we're partial to "Pollo a la Maria." Or, try making our copycat recipe for San Antonio chicken at home and you can have the same delicious experience!
We think you might like these other tasty Mexican recipes too!
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San Antonio Chicken
- 2 pounds chicken tenders or chicken breasts
- 4 lemons about ¾ cup of lemon juice
- ¾ cup chopped packed cilantro
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 5 cloves of garlic minced
- Juice the lemons. Cut off as many cilantro stems as you reasonably can and discard.
- Peel garlic cloves and mince. Combine all marinade ingredients in blender and puree.
- Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Place chicken tenders or breasts in the pan and pour marinade over chicken. Marinate in refrigerator at least two hours.
- Bake uncovered one hour at 350 degrees. OR put on your grill and cook until internal temperature is 165 degrees and meat is no longer pink inside.
- Serve with rice or shred and serve with tortillas and fixings.
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originally published December 11, 2018