Monday, May 3, 2010

Grilled Chile Lime Chicken

It may not look like much in the pan, but it was super tasty on the plate!

This quick and versatile recipe comes from the Knack Make it East Mexican Cooking cookbook and it couldn't be more perfect for the hot, summery weather of late.

While the original recipe calls for the inclusion of a whole, fresh jalapeno pepper, it turns out I didn't have any on hand, so I opted for some bottled chile sauce and a some green chile Tobasco sauce instead. I don't think it suffered one bit. The recipe also calls for dried chiles, which I did use, though I'm certain you could substitute 2 or 3 canned chipotle chiles and some of the adobo sauce, if that should be to your liking.

The same holds true for the citrus component ... out of limes? Opt for some fresh orange juice instead. This is a quick-fix meal with a taste that is sure to please. Experiment with the composition of chiles and have fun with it! There's room for broad interpretation here.

Grilled Chile Lime Chicken:
  • 3 large dried chiles, such as ancho or guajillo (I used both)
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
  • juice of two whole limes
  • 1/4 cup of bottled chile sauce (I used "medium")
  • 2 teaspoons Green Chile Tobasco sauce
  • pinch of Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • some wedges of lime and some chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
1. Remove the stems and seeds from the dried chiles and place the chiles into a small bowl. Boil some water and pour over the chiles, just to cover. Allow the chiles to rest in the hot water for 30 minutes, so they will rehydrate.

2. Remove the chiles from water and reserve the liquid. Place chiles into a small food processor or blender. Add the garlic, the lime juice, the bottled chile sauce, the Tobasco, a pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper, then pulse and process until the mixture is pureed, scraping down the sides as necessary. Add two to three tablespoon of the reserved chile liquid to thin the mixture.

3. Pour the puree into a glass baking dish or pie dish large enough to hold the chicken breasts in one layer. Add the chicken to the chile puree and turn to coat well on both sides. Pierce each piece of chicken with the tines of a fork several times all over to allow the marinade to penetrate. Cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.

4. Heat your grill or grill pan to medium-high heat and brush the grill with some oil. Remove the chicken from marinade, allow some of the access to drip off, and grill the chicken on both sides until cooked throughout, turning the chicken two or three times while grilling to ensure even browning. Chicken is fully cooked when the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees and the juices run clear. Remove the chicken from grill when cooked and garnish with some chopped fresh cilantro and a wedge of lime. Serve and enjoy!

A brief word about the Knack cookbook - its filled with more than 100 recipes for simple, traditional Mexican fare ... everything from basic salsas to refreshing Margaritas and more! I was not asked to review this book, nor is this a review, but I was sent this book my friend who works for the house which published it. While the structure of the book may take a bit of getting used to, the instructions for each recipe are spread out over two pages, the techniques are sound and the range of recipes is thorough.

If you'd like to go the original route, replace the bottled chile sauce and Tobasco with one whole jalapeno, seeds and stems removed. No doubt the resulting puree will be spicier, but I'm sure it will be equally delicious. I plan to make it that way next time.

And, will wonders never cease, this is certainly a South Beach-friendly recipe! I predict a concomitant rise in diet-friendly recipes here on the blog as temperatures continue to rise!

Bon appetite!


Sandi said...

this looks really great and perfect for the warm weather!! I am going to be trying it

Mo Diva said...

such a gorgeous shot on the grill. I would love that over a bed of crisp lettuce leaves and a light vinagrette. MMM... what? you arent taking orders?


The Diva on a Diet said...

Sandi - thanks! It would be awfully good with that salad you posted. I think that cilantro-lime vinaigrette would be awesome with this!

Mo Diva - ha! I'd fix you a plate but the husband had seconds and finished the chix! Funny, I did serve it over a salad too. Great minds think alike!

By the way, Mo, I finally made it to The Lite Choice the other day and it was awesome!!! Thanks for the tip.

Mary said...

Mexican food tends to be less attractive than its counterparts in other countries. What it lacks in appearance it makes up for in flavor. I actually like your grill shot. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

stephchows said...

look at you making your own sauce! it looks and sounds so good!!

Sook said...

Ooh chili and lime together - that sounds perfect!

The Duo Dishes said...

Green chili tobasco sauce! That sounds like a good thing to try for anything. Nice recipe.

Holly said...

I've been seeing alot of chile lime in blog land:) It sounds delish I think i will be trying it!

Megan said...

This sounds just perfect for the summer weather we're having right now. I only wish I had a grill!

Maven said...

I am always looking for new chicken recipes and this one is right up my alley!

Julie said...

Sounds amazing, especially with a margarita to go with it!

Laura said...

This looks so great. I have hard time eating chicken anymore but I might be able to choke this down :D

sophia said...

I don't have an outdoor grill, but George Foreman should work just as well, right?
I actually just had some chicken, and I wish I had seen this lovely recipe earlier!

Catherine said...

This chicken looks really good! I love the sound of it too!

Fresh Local and Best said...

I like that you can substitute with similar ingredients. This chicken marinade sounds fabulous!

Dinners and Dreams said...

mmm, chiles and lime! I will try that on my chicken next time. I can almost taste it!

Have a wonderfil evening!


Anonymous said...

This grilled chicken sounds super flavorful with chilies and lime! Yum!