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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Margarita Chicken

Has anyone noticed I've never posted a drink recipe? I mean, not counting the one smoothie recipe I posted. I've never posted any drink recipes or even a recipe that included spirits of any kind.

Aaron and I aren't big drinkers. We might have an occasional beer... and by beer I mean hard lemonade. We rarely have more than one each and we usually share one. There was a time when I actually had a liquor cabinet, or at least a box of liquor, but we realized when we moved two years ago that we hadn't had a drink since the last time we moved which was in 2008.

If we ever go out and I get a chance to order a drink (or better yet if Dad gets in the mood to mix drinks) my drink of choice is a margarita! Even though I don't really care for tequila (I prefer vodka) my favorite flavor tends to be lime or citrus in general.

When I saw this recipe on Iowa Girl Eats I just couldn't resist. I'm drawn to anything marinated in citrus juice and garlic. It looked so good on Kristin's blog I just had to make it myself.

I must admit, the flavors were perfect and had I been able to eat it when it was ready to serve I'm sure it would have been juicy (I know that Bailey's portion was perfectly cooked), but Aaron came home from work late and I tried to hold it warm in the oven and wait on him to eat. As a result mine turned out a tiny bit dry. I'm sure it will be just fine next time.

I did not break down and buy a bottle of tequila for the measly 1/4 cup that the recipe called for. I couldn't see the point, especially when I wasn't sure if I would like the recipe to begin with, but I think maybe next time I might send Aaron to the liquor store.

Margarita Chicken

Source: slightly adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 limes, juiced (plus the zest of 1 of the limes)
2 oranges, juiced (plus the zest of 1 of the oranges)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp honey
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup tequila (optional)
salt and pepper to taste (I'd say 1/4-1/2 tsp of each would be good)

Start with the zest of one orange and one lime in a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. I used my fine grater to zest the orange and lime because I don't have the proper contraption for zesting fruit.

Add the juice of all 4 limes and both oranges. Don't worry if seeds get in it. Next add the olive oil, honey, garlic, tequila, and salt and pepper. Mix everything well with a fork.

Place the chicken in a gallon size zip lock bag and pour the marinade over the chicken. Refrigerate for 1-4 hours.

When you're ready to cook preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a baking dish or cookie sheet with vegetable oil spray and set aside.. Allow the chicken to rest on the counter for 10-15 minutes before cooking. 

Spray a large skillet lightly with vegetable oil spray and heat over medium heat.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and place it in the skillet. Pour about 1/4 cup of the marinade over the chicken in the pan. Cook about 15 minutes, until most of the marinade has evaporated and the chicken is just beginning to brown.

Turn the chicken and cook another 8 minutes or so, until the second side is also beginning to brown.

Transfer the chicken to a baking dish or cookie sheet sprayed with vegetable oil spray. Bake the chicken at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

Allow the chicken to rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

I'm on a salad kick lately so I served mine with salad and garlic black beans.

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