Edit ModuleShow Tags

A Chicken Recipe with Spirit


Published:

“Chicken, chicken, chicken,” my husband Jeff teases me. He’s not harassing me about my irrational fear of crossing train tracks, thinking a locomotive will suddenly appear from out of sight and fly by at top speed, crushing me à la the coyote in those old Road Runner cartoons. He’s mocking my answer to the question of what to eat for dinner. So I like chicken. Hey, there’s a reason it’s the second most popular meat in the U.S. after beef (and that probably gets top billing because of all those billions of burgers served)—it’s a tasty and versatile lean meat. According to the USDA, chicken consumption more than doubled between 1970 and 2004, from 27.4 pounds per person to 59.2 pounds. Wow. Well I know I’m doing my part.

But, the issue is how to prepare this well-loved bird in a different way when it’s so frequently part of the menu. Here’s a flavorful favorite by grilling guru Steven Raichlen (host of PBS's Primal Grill and author of The Barbecue Bible, Beer-Can Chicken, and more) that both Jeff and I loved. It appeared in Drinks magazine in a feature on saucy barbecue so it’s a “spirited” recipe containing tequila. It’s still tasty without the garlic-cilantro butter, but that certainly adds a layer. What’s not to like?
 

Tequila-Grilled Chicken Breasts

Serves 4

This recipe is bursting with southwestern flavors—lime, cilantro, and jalapeño chilies. So it’s only appropriate that the spirit should be tequila.

1 1⁄2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

For the marinade:
4 jalapeño chilies, seeded and chopped
4 scallions, trimmed and chopped
1⁄2 bunch cilantro, washed and stemmed, plus 4 sprigs for garnish
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 1⁄2 tsp. salt
1⁄2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 tsp. ground cumin
1⁄4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1⁄4 c. fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp. tequila

For the tequila-garlic-cilantro butter:
3 Tbsp. salted butter
2  cloves garlic, minced
3  Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1  Tbsp. tequila
Lime wedges for serving

Trim any fat or sinews off the chicken breast. Arrange them in a nonreactive baking dish.

To make the marinade, combine the jalapeños, scallions, 1⁄2 cup cilantro, garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin in a food processor and finely chop. With the machine running, add the olive oil, lime juice, and tequila. Purée to a bright green paste. Pour this mixture over the chicken, turning the breasts several times to coat evenly. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

To prepare the tequila-garlic-cilantro butter, melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the garlic and chopped cilantro and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the tequila and bring to a boil.

Drain the chicken breasts well. Grill over high heat until cooked, 4 to 6 minutes per side, lightly basting with the butter sauce.

Transfer the chicken breasts to a platter or plates. Garnish with cilantro sprigs and serve with lime wedges.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rhutton@mnmo.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Taste Blog

Blackberry Cobbler Recipe

Embrace spring with a sweet, tart and comforting dessert that mixes in a healthy fruit to boot

Pineapple in Every Bite Upside-Down Cake Recipe

Enjoy this twist on the classic cake with chunks of sweet, juicy pineapple maximizing the fruit-to-cake ratio in every taste

3 Drinks to Give Winter the Kiss-Off

West Seventh in St. Paul is bursting with drink options to usher in spring (which is just around the corner, right?)

Minnesota-Grown Greens Now Available Year Round

New locally and sustainably produced Revol Greens makes eating clean and green throughout the year even easier

What to Buy for the Perfect Minnesota Home Bar

From vodka, gin, bourbon, rum, and beyond: Minnesota spirit-makers recommend the best home-bar companions

Quick Moroccan Chicken over Couscous Recipe

Enjoy the exotic flavors of a long-simmered tagine in this easy version that’s quick enough for a weeknight

No-Fail Caramel Corn Recipe

Celebrate National Caramel Corn Day with this sweet crunchy treat—no special equipment needed with this easy recipe

Best Restaurant Bargains Before A Target Field Minnesota Twins Game

They're offering baseball specials, but do you know where to go? Check out these good deals on food before Twins games.

3 Things to Eat This Week: April 4-8

Tropical cake, drinkable flowers, and some mouth-searing spice
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags