Saturday, July 25, 2009

Lime, Garlic and Pepper Chicken

A lime and pepper chicken recipe has been calling out to me ever since I clipped it from an issue of Sunset magazine. And every time I think about it, I'm running short on time or it's raining. Rain or shine, I was determined to try it today. (Turns out I had rain.) It is probably one of the easiest recipes I've ever tried and it had lots of subtle flavor. Of course, I had to adapt it to create the subtlety I wanted. The original version called for 2 tablespoons of ground pepper. I cut it drastically and added garlic. My version is presented below.

Lime, Garlic and Pepper Chicken
1/2 cup lime juice
1/4 cup water
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
4 boneless chicken breasts, halved

1. Combine lime juice, water, sugar, pepper, oil, salt and garlic in a large bowl or resealable plastic bag. Stir to dissolve sugar and salt. Set aside.

2. On a flat surface, lay 1 chicken breast half between 2 large pieces of plastic wrap. Using a mallet, pound chicken to an even 1/4- to 1/3-in. thickness. Put chicken in bowl or plastic bag with marinade. Repeat with remaining breasts. Cover or seal; chill 30 minutes.

3. Preheat a grill to medium-hot (you can hold your hand 1 to 2 in. above cooking-grate level only 3 to 4 seconds). Remove chicken from marinade and grill 4 minutes (cover if using gas). Turn chicken over, and grill until cooked through (chicken should feel firm when poked), 3 to 4 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Lessons Learned: I actually took two large chicken breasts, cut them in half and then filleted them. It was more than enough meat for the marinade. If I were to do four chicken breasts, I'd increase the marinade quantity.
I didn't feel like grilling in the rain, so I stuck it under the broiler for about 10 minutes, flipping it halfway through the cook time. The flavors lacked the smokiness I had hoped to get from grilling and the chicken looked a little pale (no grill marks), but it still had a really nice flavor. Next time, I'll use chopped garlic and throw it on the grill.
ETA: OK, we grilled it and it was FABULOUS! It works great hot or cold in a pita with some cheese, lettuce, tomato and a little low-fat mayo.

No comments: