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Citrus Tequila Grilled Chicken

Happy 4th of July everyone, long time NO see!! We finally finished our kitchen remodel just in time for the Summer festivities. So, to celebrate I took the opportunity to revisit one of my favorite dishes that was inspired by one of my favorite places, the Coyote Grill, in Laguna Beach. Now that Summer is officially here, I won’t be going there!! Summer traffic on Pacific Coast Highway is too much for this girl  🙂

So let me share MY version of the Drunken Chicken recipe. By the way, if you are a fan of Tequila, pour yourself a shot and let’s get started!
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Citrus Tequila Grilled Chicken

Ingredient List:
Marinade
Tequila………………………………………………..½ cup
Limes (pulp and seeds)………………………4
Lemons, large (pulp and seeds)…………3
Oranges, large (pulp and seeds)………..5
Garlic Paste………………………………………..3 Tbsp
Jalapeno, large (pulp and seeds)……….2
Ground Cayenne Pepper…………………..1 tsp
Canola Oil…………………………………………..1 Tbsp
Salt……………………………………………………..1 tsp
Ground Black Pepper………………………..1 tsp
Cilantro, fresh……………………………………2 Tbsp

Chicken
Split chicken breasts, bone in, skin attached…………….4

Baste
Pineapple Juice…………………………………..½ cup
Corona Beer……………………………………….½ cup
Ground Cayenne Pepper……………………1 tsp

Marinade Instructions:
First, set up an opened 1 gallon size zip-lock plastic storage bag in a pot. The pot will help hold the bag open and make it easier to add your ingredients. Now, measure and pour your marinade ingredients into the bag (the order you do it in, does not matter). Let’s talk about some of the specifics of the ingredients.

When juicing the fruit, cut each one in half and make sure to squeeze out every last drop. Don’t worry about the seeds and pulp because we are going to pour them in as well. When slicing the jalapenos, first half them by slicing long ways from stem to their tips. Next, slice the jalapeno halves long ways again to quarter them. Now starting from the stem top, scrape your knife along the inside of the jalapeno quarters to loosen and separate the seeds. Add every part of the jalapeno to the marinade, including the stem and seeds. When you are finished handling the jalapenos, do not forget to thoroughly wash your hands with warm soapy water.

Now let’s add the fresh cilantro! First, cut off and discard the stems. They are bitter and we do not want that in the marinade. Next, chop the cilantro leafs into extra fine pieces. Then measure 2 tablespoons of the cilantro and add it to the marinade.

Now that all of your marinade ingredients are in the bag, zip it up and shake it well. Once all of the ingredients are incorporated, add the chicken breasts. Zip it up, place the bag on a tray or bowl and place it in the refrigerator. Let it marinade for 24 hours or longer. Make sure that every time you pass by the frig, you flip the bag over – try to do this every hour or as many times as you can.

Baste Instructions:
The next day, light bar-b-q grill on high and while it is heating – it’s time to make your Baste. The Baste is simple; just measure and add the ingredients into a bowl and whisk it altogether. The Baste Ingredients are listed above.

Cooking Instructions:
It is important to note that the total grilling, flipping and basting times of the chicken will vary based on the thickness of the breasts. As you can see in the video, I used very thick chicken breasts. My total grilling time was 24 minutes, so I broke it up into thirds. Each uncooked side of the chicken was grilled longer, at 8 minutes per side, to prevent the breasts from sticking to the grill when flipping. This allowed me to easily flip the breasts multiple times during the last 8 minutes of the grill time. You can use smaller size breasts for a quicker cooking time, but pay attention when grilling, flipping and basting.

With this in mind, your grill is getting real hot – so let’s get cooking! Place the chicken breasts, skin side down, on the grill and spoon out a 1/3 of the baste mixture onto the breasts. Let them grill for 8 minutes, then flip the breasts, drizzle the next 1/3 of your baste onto the chicken, and let it grill for another 8 minutes. Now it’s time to flip the chicken again and drizzle what’s left of your baste onto the breast. During the next 8 minutes be sure to flip the breast as many times as needed so the chicken will not burn. When the chicken is done grilling, place the breasts onto a platter and cover them with foil. Pinch the foil tightly around the platter to help seal in the heat so the chicken will continue to cook. Let the foil wrapped chicken sit for 10 more minutes. When the time is up, remove the foil, salt and pepper to taste, and serve your friends one of the juiciest grilled chicken breasts – ever!!

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