Sun May 18, 2008
I'm so over boneless skinless chicken breasts. There was a time where I could not survive without them, but unless I'm frying them to make schnitzel, they no longer have any place in my diet. They represent a lifeless lazy food to me and their convenience does not out weigh the often dry, tasteless meals they produce. That being said, last week I played the role of total hypocrite by reverting to my old ways in the name of saving time for weeknight grilling, but the end results were pleasant enough that I feel confident in passing them along to you.
I ended up in this time bind because I focused my dinner around what I wanted for a side, grilled sweet potatoes. With my attention diverted, I wanted a main course that was simple to grill and didn't require much thought, but also would play well with the potatoes. Chipotles were the first thing to come to mind, I find their smoky spiciness to be an excellent compliment to the sweetness of the potatoes.
I started my search with that one idea, but chipotle recipe after chipotle recipe required long marinades that just didn't fly with my hurried schedule. So I started thinking of other ingredients that could deliver on flavor without any drawn out wait. Lime was a logical next step, since the sweet potatoes would be dressed with a lime vinaigrette. "Chipotle Lime Chicken" went into Google, and out popped a recipe that was everything I was looking for, but featured the dreaded boneless skinless chicken breast.
Yes, I could have chosen to do this recipe with something other than boneless skinless breasts. I could have gone with bone-in breasts, which cook up much tastier since they have their skin in place, which equals more fat, which equals more deliciousness, but those take longer to cook. I could have gone with chicken thighs, but while dark meat is where I go first for chicken, the fiancee does not find them to be as agreeable as I do. Options low, time almost non-existent, it seemed as if I was headed down a path sure to end in disappointment.
I don't know if low expectations played an influence, but I was pleasantly surprised with outcome. The chicken breast itself still was rather tasteless, but the flavor of the marinade over powered my disdain and made me a happy eater. As I had hoped, the sweet/smoky/spiciness of the chicken went great with the sweet potatoes, and alternating bites between side and main created a very satisfying meal.
I still haven't given up my contempt for the boneless skinless chicken breast, and I would advise you to try this recipe with other cuts of poultry, but if you're in a pinch (or just lazy) as I was, I don't think you can really go too wrong here.
Grilled Chipotle Lime Chicken Breasts
Adapted from Mama's Kitchen on Recipezaar.com
2 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, about 6
1 chipotle chile in adobo, minced
1/2 teaspoon adobo sauce, from the canned peppers
1/4 cup lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
In a small bowl mix together chipotle, adobo sauce, lime juice, garlic, and oil. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and put them in a ziploc bag and pour half of the marinade in. Seal the bag, getting out as much air as possible, and let the chicken marinate while you prepare the grill. Add the honey to the remaining marinade.
Light 1 chimney of charcoal and when it's lit and covered in gray ash, pour out onto charcoal grate. Arrange the coals on one side of grate, creating a two-zone fire. Oil cooking grate.
Grill the chicken breasts directly over the hot coals until browned on both sides, 4-5 minutes per side.
Move the chicken to the cool side of the grill and baste all over with the reserved marinade. Cover the grill and continue to cook chicken until sauce lightly browns, about 5 minutes more.