Tequila Lime Chicken

I’m always looking for new ways to make chicken, so when I saw this recipe in the Pioneer Woman’s new cookbook, I knew I just had to try it out!  As with most of my recipes, I made enough just for my husband and me, so if you are making this for more than 2 people, you’ll want to adjust the quantities.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3 limes
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup tequila
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

This marinade quantity can be used for up to 6 chicken breasts.  Since I only had two, I poured what I needed and saved the rest for next time.

Start by slicing your limes in half.  Squeeze the juice of all the limes into a food processor or blender.

Add the peeled garlic.

Slice your jalepeño, with the seeds and membranes intact,

and add it to the blender.

Next add cilantro and olive oil.  I forgot to take a picture of the cilantro.  Oops!

Now it’s time for the tequila!!!!!  It’s amazing how much flavor this adds.

Blend until thoroughly pureed.

Add chicken to a Ziploc bag and pour the marinade over it.  Seal and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

When your chicken is done marinating, grill over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes on each side.  I’m a big fan of only flipping your meat once, so make sure you cook it long enough on the first side before you flip it.

Look at those beautiful grill marks!  And you can still see some of the green marinade in the cracks!

Once your chicken is done cooking, remove it from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing it into strips.

Serve along side some Mexican rice (recipe to follow), refried beans, and some warmed flour tortillas.  I added some freshly grated cheddar cheese on the side as well.  You could also include some pico de gallo, guacamole, and sour cream.  Hope you enjoy!!

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Chicken Parmesan

I’m always trying to think of new ways to incorporate chicken into our dinners.  This obviously isn’t a new recipe, but I hadn’t made it in several months (Steve is not the biggest Italian food fan like I am).  I originally found this recipe on the Food Network Website as one of Emeril’s delicious dishes.  It’s my favorite Chicken Parmesan recipe so far because of the melty cheese and the fact that you finish cooking the chicken in the oven, so it has a wonderful crispy outside, but is totally moist and juicy on the inside.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • spaghetti or linguini pasta (you can determine the amount you want)
  • shredded or sliced mozzarella cheese
  • about 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for sprinkling on top at the end
  • your favorite marinara sauce
  • extra virgin olive oil

Preheat your oven to 400° and position the rack to the middle position.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil for your pasta.

Trim excess fat off of chicken.  If you like your chicken a little thinner, you can either butterfly the breasts or pound them out a little flatter.  If you do, just make sure you adjust your cooking time since a thinner chicken breast will cook faster.

Here’s the seasoning I used first on the chicken breasts.  I got it at Sam’s Club, and I think you can find it at any major grocery store.  It’s just a mixture of several different spices.  You can also make the seasoning yourself — just Google Emeril’s Original Essence recipe and you should be able to find it pretty easily.

Lightly sprinkle Emeril’s seasoning on both sides of the chicken breasts.

Prepare your assembly line starting with the flour.

Add the egg and milk to a bowl and whisk together.

Your final step in the chicken coating assembly line will be the bread crumbs.

You can certainly just use bread crumbs, but I like adding some grated Parmesan cheese to mine.  I use about equal parts bread crumbs and cheese.

Mix the cheese and bread crumbs together so that it’s all evenly distributed.

Take your seasoned chicken breasts and coat both sides with flour.

Then dunk the flour covered chicken into the egg and milk mixture.

Then finally, thoroughly coat the chicken in the bread crumb and cheese mixture.  Try to make sure not to leave any wet spots.

Heat some extra virgin olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat and add the chicken breasts.

Cook about 4 minutes on the first side, then turn and cook 1 – 2 minutes on the other side.  If you butterflied or pounded out your chicken breasts so they would be thinner, you may want to only cook them for about two minutes on the first side and about one minute on the second side.  I let mine get a little dark, so you want them to be a little more golden and not so dark brown, but that’s what happens when you try to cook, clean, and take pictures at the same time.  Time can get away from you!

Spoon marinara sauce over chicken breasts.

Then add a generous helping of mozzarella.  You can add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese too if you want.

Place entire skillet into the oven for about 4 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and chicken is cooked through.  Switch the oven to broil for about 1 – 2 minutes to start to brown the cheese.

While your chicken is cooking, add the pasta to the boiling water.  Spaghetti doesn’t take very long to cook and you want it to be al dente, or still have a little bite to it.

When you take the chicken out of the oven, the cheese should be nice and melted.

Drain your pasta, and add it back to the hot pot along with some olive oil to keep it from sticking.  Then add marinara sauce and stir to coat completely.

Add pasta and chicken to your plate and enjoy the crispy outside of the chicken breading combined with the juicy inside.  Just perfect!!


General Tsao’s Chicken

Like many of you, my favorite Chinese take out dish is General Tsao’s Chicken.  I’m also a big fan of chow mein, fried rice, beef and broccoli, and egg rolls.  But I don’t think I’ve ordered Chinese take out without getting some form of General Tsao’s Chicken.  There’s just something about that crispy breaded chicken slathered in that sweet and tangy, sometimes spicy suace that gets my taste buds going.

Now, I’m pretty sure that even though it is a “Chinese” dish, I’m almost positive that they don’t have General Tsao’s Chicken in China.  It’s one of those dishes that is totally Americanized, but we like to pretend that we’re actually eating Chinese food.

I was watching a segment on TV one time where these journalists were walking around some of the busiest cities in China handing out fortune cookies asking the locals if they knew what it was.  Almost 100% of the people they talked to had no clue what a fortune cookie was, and the ones that actually took a bite were shocked to find a piece of paper inside the cookie.  If that doesn’t give you a clue as to where our “Chinese Food” actually originated, I don’t know what does.

Ok enough rambling.  Now that I’ve completely gone off on a tangent, how about a delicious new recipe to add to your repertoire?  Can you guess what that recipe is?  That’s right!!!!  General Tsao’s Chicken!  Did the title give it away?

Here’s what you’ll need: (serves 2)

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 Tbsp sherry
  • salt
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup broccoli (chopped)
  • 1 cup green or red bell pepper (chopped)
  • peanut oil, enough to coat the pan (I didn’t have this so I used olive oil)
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup General Tsao’s sauce (found in the international foods aisle at your grocery store)

Chop bell pepper into thick strips (about an inch thick).


Then turn the pepper to the side and chop again into bite sized pieces. (Steve took this picture for me so I could use both hands…..how nice of him!)


Here’s a nice little pile of chopped bell pepper.  This Christmas, Steve gave me a new WONDERFUL lens for my camera, as well as a tripod, so my pictures are turning out clearer than ever!  Thanks, Baby!


Next, chop up some broccoli into bite-sized pieces.


Chop your chicken into……you guessed it…..bite-sized pieces.  Place in a bowl, add the sherry, and mix around with your fingers so that each piece of chicken is coated in the sherry.  Let sit for 15 minutes.  (You could do this step first so the chicken can marinate while you’re chopping your veggies, but I was waiting for my chicken to defrost, so that is why I waited until now).


Add cornstarch to a plate.


Once the chicken has finished marinating, add to the cornstarch and toss to coat.  Make sure every piece is completely covered and there are no wet spots.  You may want to scoop the chicken out of the bowl by hand instead of just dumping it onto the plate.  It will probably help keep the wetness to a minimum.


Add your cooking oil to a large skillet and heat over medium high heat.  Add your chicken in a single layer to the hot oil.


Make sure you turn chicken periodically during cooking so that all sides get browned.  Once chicken is golden brown, remove and transfer to a paper towel lined plate.


Add broccoli and peppers to the hot skillet and let cook for about a minute or so.  If you like your broccoli a little softer and not so crunchy, you can boil it for a few minutes prior to adding it to the skillet.


Add chicken back to the pan.


This is the General Tsao’s sauce that I picked up at the grocery store.  It was really tasty!  I had a recipe to make the sauce from scratch, but I couldn’t find one of the ingredients, so I decided to take the easier route and use the pre-made stuff instead of chancing that the absence of this one ingredient would completely ruin the sauce.


Add about 1/3 – 1/2 cup of the sauce to the chicken and veggies and stir to coat completely.


Doesn’t that just look divine!!!?  By the way….this is not a low calorie meal.  So just keep that in mind. 😉


Add chicken and veggies to a bowl on top of a fluffy bed of white rice.  The crispiness of the chicken really added great texture to the dish!  It is definitely a repeater meal in our house!  Enjoy!