Thursday, June 6, 2013

Tequila Lime Chicken

I have this thing for all Latino-related food. I tell everybody that I must have been some form of Latina in a past life. Technically, I am part Portuguese, so maybe that's where all the strong cravings come from, but then again I'll never really know. Regardless, there's just something delicious about the combination of tomatoes and peppers and onions and citrus and salt that does something good for the soul. And then there's tequila... Yup, a girl's best friend (as long as it doesn't get her into trouble)! This recipe is adapted from an Ina Garten recipe. The original is good, but I decided to put my own flare to it (and this is coming from the girl who just a little over a year ago refused to make any recipe unless she followed it directly ingredient for ingredient, word for word)!

Tequila Lime Chicken
1-1.5 lbs chicken breast tenders or strips*
½ cup gold tequila
1 cup lime juice**
¼ cup lemon juice**
¼ cup orange juice**
1 tbsp chili powder
4 cloves garlic, chopped or minced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
½ tsp paprika

Rinse the chicken and pat dry. In a medium baggy or bowl, mix together the tequila and juices. Add the seasonings, jalapeño, and garlic and mix thoroughly. Add the chicken. Marinade at least 24 hours*** in the fridge. When time to cook, pull out the grill and cook 2-3 minutes per side until done. If you don't have a grill (like me, sadly), then put the oven on broil and place the top rack in the broil position. Line a cookie sheet with foil and place a cooling rack (for baking) on the sheet. Place chicken on top of the rack. When broiler is ready, place the pan in the oven and cook 2-3 minutes per side until done. Presto! Almost but not quite grilled chicken! Top with fresh salsa for extra flavor. I prefer homemade, but go with your favorite.

*You can use most types of chicken for this marinade, but cooking times will differ. Using a cut with the skin attached is also great. Grill skin side down first or broil skin side up first to get the skin nice and crispy.
**Freshly squeezed is best. If you can, you can, and if you can't, you can't. Don't sweat it!
***This is where meal prep comes into play. I made this dish in a baggy, zipped it up, labeled it, and threw it in the freezer. The morning of, I pulled it out and placed it in the fridge in a bowl of cold water (double check that the baggy is sealed) and went about my day. That night, I pulled the chicken out of the fridge and cooked it according to the recipe with no problems! And ready in less than 10 minutes to boot!