Tequila Lime Chicken with Cheesy Spanish Rice and Cucumber Tomato Salad

H taught me how to make lime chicken and cheesy rice. I would visit her all the time in college and even crashed on her futon for a summer when she lived in Fenway. Hot nights, cheers from the game, BigBucket Strawberry Margarita mix, and lime chicken. Legendary.

H’s recipe is a little different than this one from Ina Garten, but after seeing that Ina added tequila, I couldn’t help myself… I had to try it! I’m sure in college discarding booze in a marinade seemed unthinkable. College me also would’ve been just fine with tequila, chicken, and carbs but these days I try to be a balanced adult… sometimes =)

Serves 4.

Ingredients:

Chicken:

  • 1 lb. chicken tenders
  • 1/2 cup gold tequila
  • 1 cup lime juice (5 to 6 limes)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 TB chili powder
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
Rice:
Cucumber Tomato Salad:
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, chopped,
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can corn
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • juice from 2-3 limes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the marinade, combine the tequila, lime juice, orange juice, chili powder, jalapeno pepper, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken tenders and refrigerate at least a few hours, but overnight if you have the time.

Similarly with the ingredients for the salad, put together the tomatoes, onion, cucumber, beans, corn, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper in a medium mixing bowl and refrigerate a couple of hours to overnight. This is key though still good if served immediately.

When the chicken is ready, fire up the grill (or grill pan in my case to medium heat). College us had a George Foreman, but it was always SO hard to clean! I think they make money on people buying a new one every year.

You’ll want to start the rice at this time too because it takes about 25-30 min to cook. Prepare rice as directed. Five minutes before the rice is done, add in the cheese alternative and mix it around allowing the cheese to melt.

Once the grill is hot, cook the chicken for 4 min on each side and then repeat. This is my dad’s rule for chicken and it always works for him. Sometimes it works for me and sometimes H catches me frantically jumping up and down unable to reach the fire alarm. Hopefully it’ll work for you too =)