So - I wouldn't call this Mexican food, and I wouldn't call it Tex-Mex. I'd call it.... I made some stuff up that is Mexican food inspired. Fusion? Eh. Whatever. Corn cakes might be semi-authentic. I don't know. I don't really care that much, either. They are delicious, and that's all I care about. If you are being really health conscious - skip the corn cakes, save up the calories the day you make them, or consider it dessert for the week. Also, you should know that the corn cakes don't reheat well - so you're going to have to eat all of it. So, invite your friends or family over - you'll probably want/need four people to finish off the corn cakes.
I'm going to shut up with the explanations and give you dish one - the main event.... the spicy, drunk chick(en) who has hot friends!
This chicken fell in to a pitcher of margaritas, rolled around in some garlic and chiles, then got torched on the grill. I lovingly call it tequila-lime chicken. Most of the time, it comes in wing form, but feel free to use any cut of chicken you like. I'm not going to tell you how to grill it - I'm fairly sure you all know how to tell if chicken is cooked or not. I'm going to lay my marinade/sauce recipe on you. I think you (or your personal grill master) can manage the grilling portion - especially since I don't know what kind of chicken you're using.... anywho....
What you'll need
- A cutting board
- A sharp knife
- A garlic press (if you have one)
- A big bowl and a glass 9x13
- Tequila (about two shots - I use Jose Gold Especial)
- Garlic - a few cloves
- Some limes - I think I used 3
- Agave nectar (something like... a cup)
- Chili Powder with Salt & Lemon (This is a specialty product obtained from international grocery stores. I have a huge bottle of it at my house - I use it in a number of things.... put it on popcorn, eggs, fajitas, tacos, whatever. Happy to share the pinch you'll need!)
- A couple of chile peppers - I specifically use garden salsa peppers... I grow them, I have some I can share right now if anyone wants to pick up this ingredient for free this week. You can use whatever kind of medium heat chile you'd like. If you aren't familiar with chiles, research them online, I'm not going to be responsible for any of you biting into a damn ghost chile.
- OH, what else.... A saucepan
- Some tongs for turning the chicken while it marinates
- Plastic wrap (if your bowl doesn't have a lid)
- Sink, soap, running water..... towel
- Scraping spatula
Okie Dokie - here's a quick photo of what my peppers look like - try the farmer's market, they can tell you what they have.
Okay - moving along... We're going to mix this stuff up. You'll use the same batch for marinating and saucing. That is - after you soak your meat in it, you'll bring it to a boil and reduce it into a syrupy sauce. Don't get freaked out - you'll boil the bacteria to death!
Let's do this!
- Wash your hands, rinse your peppers, rinse your limes. I suggest rinsing limes in warm water to get the waxy crap off of them. Your going to zest them. Oh yeah, guess you should grab a microplane or a zester, or whatever you use... or consider extra limes if you don't use zest.
- Use your sharp knife to slice up the peppers. I make thin rings of peppers - do whatever makes you happy. Please leave the seeds in for spiciness! Toss the peppers into your marinating bowl.
- Press your garlic into the bowl - or, chop it as fine as possible and toss it in with the peppers.
- Dump the tequila into the bowl, take a shot if you want (I do!!), zest the limes over the bowl, then cut them in half and add the juice.... squeeze in some agave nectar, dump in little salt, and a pinch of the special chili powder. Whisk it all together - it will look like the photo on the left at the end of the directions.
- Slap your choice of chicken in that stuff. Wash your hands - then put a lid on it, or plastic wrap it. I let mine marinate for at least two hours - turning a few times with the tongs. Please keep it refrigerated while marinating. I don't want anyone getting ill... Thank you! Whenever you decide to put this stuff on the grill - remove it from the marinade, put it in that glass 9x13 and let it sit for 15 minutes or so. Also, beware that this stuff will burn - it has a lot of sugar in it! So, lower heat is better than flames still shooting out.... and don't forget to take the grill spray out and grease up your meat before you bring on the heat.
- While the meat is on the grill, you've got to make saucy magic happen! Pour the marinade into the saucepan, use your scraping spatula to get all of the garlic and pepper bits into the pan. Add a little bit of sugar - honestly, a little... no more than a quarter of a cup....reduce the sauce over medium heat stirring occasionally. It should end up looking like this delicious, sticky, candy-like mess on the right.
So, when your chicken comes off of the grill, pour your sauce over it, make sure it is all coated nicely, and enjoy this sticky, spicylicious treat! Also - don't forget to share with everyone via sausage links - and this recipe will be archived in the phoodos section - as always!
(You get to meet the hot friends tomorrow. Side dishes: Corn Cakes & Fajita Veggies with Chevre - yep, goat cheese! I'm insane!!!! Oh look! A link between the Spanish and the French exists after all! I'm getting crazy!!!)