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

Related Articles

Force blooming spring at Sandcastle, Hola Arepa, and Solo Vino

It's spring, gosh darn it, and we're going to eat like it's sunny at Sandcastle, Hola Arepa, and Solo Vino

Hasselback Potatoes with Watercress and Watercress Sauce Recipe

Crunchy outside yet tender within, the popular potato and salad come together in one beautiful dish

Jimmie's Old Southern Smokehouse Is Already A Hit

Dave Anderson knows BBQ. Can he hit the perfect smoke ring in a restaurant that isn't yet "Famous"?
Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

TC Taste 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 TC Taste bloggers.

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

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Recent TC Taste Posts

Force blooming spring at Sandcastle, Hola Arepa, and Solo Vino

It's spring, gosh darn it, and we're going to eat like it's sunny at Sandcastle, Hola Arepa, and Solo Vino

Hasselback Potatoes with Watercress and Watercress Sauce Recipe

Crunchy outside yet tender within, the popular potato and salad come together in one beautiful dish

Jimmie's Old Southern Smokehouse Is Already A Hit

Dave Anderson knows BBQ. Can he hit the perfect smoke ring in a restaurant that isn't yet "Famous"?

Three Events Worth Every Penny

With the cost of events so high, food critic Joy Summers asks: What's worth the price of admission?

Grilled Ham, Onion and Cheddar Sandwiches Recipe

Ramp up the easy and ever-popular toasty sandwich with just a few extra touches
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags