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Cinco de Mayo is upon us and gives us another reason to break out of our routine & try something new on the grill. We like a great many things, including tequila and cheering for the underdog - frequently at the same time. With this in mind, we're celebrating the unlikely victory of our southern neighbors over invading French forces by whipping up this version of Tequila Lime Chicken - and, as a bonus, avoiding amateur hour at our favorite Mexican restaurant.
Tequila Lime Chicken
  • 3/4 cup tequila
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (2 oranges)
  • 3/4 cup lime juice (4-5 limes)
  • 2 serrano peppers, halved lengthwise
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 - 2 lbs chicken, skin on
Rinse your chicken & pat it dry with paper towels. Lightly salt the chicken, combine all of the ingredients, and marinate for 2-6 hours. Make sure your grates are clean & hot, lightly oil them (the citrus likes to stick) and cook over medium heat until internal temp reaches 165F.
There are a few things to consider when putting together your shopping list.
  • Don't use expensive tequila - it doesn't seem to make a difference (it also makes it really easy to just skip cooking & spend the time drinking margaritas).
  • Swap out serrano peppers for jalapenos if you want something more mild. Remove the seeds & membranes for even less heat.
  • Don't marinate for longer than 8 hours - the citrus changes the texture of the meat and it gets too tangy. Just a couple of hours is fine.
  • White meat works, but we prefer legs & thighs for this - it's picnic food and we like that.
Hot Shot
The right jalapeno rack and a little smoke are all you need to show off your popper chops. Start with an 8oz block of cream cheese, combine it with bacon crumbles, leftover chicken, and a handful of onions. Core a dozen peppers, load 'em 3/4 full, grill over indirect heat.
Easy peasy, super cheesy.
Brush of Fate
OK, that's a little dramatic, but this is our absolute favorite grill brush. This design from Weber has bristles on three sides and a durable, long handle. Oh, yeah - it's also only $9.99 & is totally worth keeping a couple on hand.
Block Party
We may be celebrating our friends to the south, but throw some food on the grill and invite your neighbors from the north, west and east, as well. It's a great way to build community - and it doesn't hurt to have someone to borrow charcoal from, either.
We'll see you at the grill.