GINNA PARSONS: Limes, tequila make some tasty chicken

By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal

I mentioned in this space last week that I’d found a recipe for a grilled lime chicken dish I wanted to try. The recipe is from Ina Garten, also known as the Barefoot Contessa, and I found it in one of her cookbooks, “Family Style.”
On the day I decided to make this recipe, I went home at lunch and prepared the marinade for the chicken. I realized quickly that someone had eaten the last of the fresh oranges, so I had to use orange juice instead. And I don’t like to handle fresh jalapeampños, so I used some chopped ones from a jar.
When you see that there is a half-cup of tequila in the marinade, don’t freak out. It just helps to tenderize the chicken and you end up throwing the marinade out anyway. If you don’t want to use tequila, I’d suggest you not make this recipe, because I don’t know of a suitable substitute.
I will say this. Both of my children ate every bite of their chicken and neither one of them made a comment about a “funny” taste. In fact, I didn’t even detect the taste of tequila myself. Maybe that’s because there’s so much fresh citrus juice in the marinade.
For a side dish, I combined a can of drained corn, a can of drained/rinsed black beans, a can of partially drained Ro-tel tomatoes, some dried cumin and a handful of chopped fresh cilantro. Baked Tostitos Scoops rounded out the meal.
I’ll be making this again, and soon.
Tequila Lime Chicken
1/2 cup gold tequila
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (5 to 6 limes)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (2 oranges)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon minced fresh jalapeampño pepper (1 pepper seeded)
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic (3 cloves)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 chicken boneless chicken breast halves, skin on*
Combine the tequila, lime juice, orange juice, chili powder, jalapeampño pepper, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken breasts. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
Heat a grill with coals and brush the rack with oil to prevent the chicken from sticking. Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade, sprinkle well with salt and pepper, and grill them skin-side down for about 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Turn the chicken and cook for another 10 minutes, until just cooked through. Remove from the grill to a plate. Cover tightly and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Serves 6.
* I used boneless, skinless chicken breast halves.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.