I happened upon a recipe for Cilantro and Lime Chicken with Salsa, and it made me mad.
Because it lied to me. The recipe sucked. I didn’t need to make it in order to know that it sucked, I merely needed to read it.
The first thing that was wrong with it was that it called to marinate the chicken for 3 minutes. That is so ridiculous it makes my eyes bleed.
So, I had a crappy recipe and decided to make it better. Not the first time that I’ve done this, but this was the first recipe that actually made me mad before I made it my own.
In any case, here’s what I did:
First off – marinating the chicken. Well ok, you don’t want to marinate the chicken too long – I’d say that 12 to 18 hours would be the outside limit, and I personally have never marinated for more than 12. But, marinating in the cool refrigerator, with a mixture of oils and vinegars is probably ok for 18 hours. In any case, 3 minutes isn’t long enough to marinate anything, even if you put it in one of those vacuum containers.
The way that I do marinate my chicken is by putting chicken breasts in a gallon zip top baggie. Then I roll them out or flatten them with my fist – some people use a bowl or rolling pin – I find that my fist is quick and accurate. Then I add 1/8th to 1/4 Cup of any Italian Salad dressing as a marinade. This works for almost every recipe where you grill chicken. The vinegar softens the meat a bit, the spices flavor it, and the oil helps to create a nice char on the grill.
So, that’s the chicken part.
Their recipe called for saffron rice, which I suppose is fine, but I didn’t feel like going to the store, so I made some Jasmine Rice that I had from Trader Joes. I use a rice maker, so it’s not difficult at all, though usually the rice in the bottom middle gets a bit over done. I add a tsp of olive oil so that it doesn’t foam over, and I usually add a bullion cube for flavoring, but this is a Mexican recipe, so I didn’t want to flavor it that way.
Instead of their salsa I decided to make guacamole, since I bought some avocados that were on sale the other day.
My guacamole is basically avocado, cilantro, lime juice, cumin, garlic, and sometimes some white onion. If I’m feeling fancy, sometimes I’ll add a bit of chipotle or sour cream, maybe some diced fresh tomatoes too.
Since my rice was a bit plain, I wondered if guacamole and rice would go well together. It actually tasted pretty good!
My picture wasn’t the best – It actually looked much better in person – I guess I need to work on my food photography skills.
The red lines on top were from a bottle of chipotle finishing sauce that I picked up somewhere – probably Trader Joes.
I also put a pat of butter in the rice, cuz I’m cool like that.
So, bottom line:
Marinate Chicken – preferably for more than 3 min – 30 min
Make Guacamole – Some people don’t know that the secret ingredient in most Mexican food is Cumin – but there you go!
Top with Chipotle in a bottle if you have it, garnish with cilantro, squeeze a bit of lime on top, and now yer really cooking!