Sunday, February 22, 2009

Tequila Lime Chicken

This tasty chicken dish combines the tangy flavour of the tequila and lime marinade with a creamy, south western style dressing and tops it all off with a melted cheese blend. Note: Be sure you don't marinade the chicken longer than 3 to 4 hours or the citric acid in the lime juice may toughen the chicken. You can serve this dish with your choice of rice but personally, I love this dish served with crispy, thin cut chips (French Fries) with maybe a little salsa on the side. Serves 4


For The Chicken Marinade
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup teriyaki sauce - see our Chicken Teriyaki recipe
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon mesquite liquid smoke flavouring
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 shot (25ml) tequila

4 chicken breast fillets

For The Mexi-Ranch Dressing
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream/creme fraiche
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 teaspoons minced tomato
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon minced canned jalapeno slices
  • 1 teaspoon minced onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco or a hot pepper sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili powder - you can increase this for extra heat
  • pinch garlic powder
  • pinch ground black pepper

For the cheese melt topping and crispy base
1 cup grated Cheddar/Monterey Jack cheese blend (M Jack can be hard to find but to be honest I've made this dish using all sorts of cheeses (as long as they melt).
2 cups crumbled corn chips or fried tortilla strips

1. Prepare marinade by combining marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the chicken to the bowl, cover and chill for 2 to 3 hours.

2. Make the mexi-ranch dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well until smooth, then cover dressing and chill it until needed.

3. When you are ready to prepare the entree, preheat the oven to high broil. Also, preheat your barbecue or indoor grill to high heat. When the grill is hot cook the marinated chicken breasts for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until they're done.

4. Arrange the cooked chicken in a baking pan. Spread a layer of mexi-ranch dressing over each piece of chicken (you'll have plenty left over), followed by 1/4 cup of the shredded cheese blend. Broil the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes, or just until the cheese has melted.

5. Spread a bed of 1/2 cup of the tortilla strips or crumbled corn chips on each of four plates. Slide a chicken breast onto the chips on each plate and serve with your choice of rice and salsa.

Additional info
Crumbling shop bought tortilla chips is the easy way to make the bed of crunchy chips that the tequila lime chicken rests on. But, you can make tortilla strips like those served at the restaurant by cutting a stack of eight 6-inch corn tortillas in half.

Stack the halves on top of each other and slice the tortillas into thin strips. Fry the tortilla strips in 2 cups of oil preheated in a large skillet for 3-5 minutes or until crispy.

Salt lightly and allow to drain and cool on paper towels.

And...... that's it!

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