Mexican Chicken Marinade

Last night
I went to the garage and stared into the freezer trying to decide what I wanted to cook the next day.  In the end I didn't really know, but pulled out a package of chicken breasts. They are so versatile - salad, grill, bake, air fry, stir fry, soup - I didn't have to know exactly what I would do with them. Then today I was going through my blog drafts and saw this interesting Mexican marinade on a site called The Endless Meal.  Done. 

I was only missing one ingredient, cilantro, but I prefer to buy that as fresh as possible. So after a morning of typing away at my computer I headed out in the beautiful sunshine for a long walk that would take me by a grocery store.  

Grilling called me on this lovely day, so that part was easy.  had seen a few videos that slash the tops of chicken breasts both to get the seasonings and/or marinade deeper inside, and to shorten the cooking time.  Quick and easy. All I had left was choosing a side. I went with Southwest Quinoa Salad from a quinoa cookbook I haven't used in years. It paired well with the chicken and I was able to use it the next day to create full meal salad - just layer bed of spinach, quinoa salad, cooked meat, and feta cheese.

The chicken was absolutely delicious. The slashing really helped the marinade sink in more, shortened the cooking time just a little, and helped the chicken cook more evenly. This is my new favorite chicken breast prep technique. I will be using it every time I cook with while chicken breasts. And I will be making this recipe again soon! It was that good.


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Mexican Chicken Marinade

Ingredients - 

½ C                    Cilantro, finely minced
¼ C                    Avocado oil
¼ C                    Lime juice
1 T                     Chili powder
1 tsp                   Cumin (original recipe used 2-1/2 tsps)
1 tsp                    Oregano
1 tsp                    Sea salt
2 cloves             Garlic, finely minced
2 lbs.                  Chicken thighs or breast (I used breasts and only had 2, but used the full amount of marinade. Great flavour.)

Instructions - 

In a small bowl, combine the cilantro, avocado oil, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and garlic.  If using chicken breasts I suggest slicing the thick top for quicker cooking and to get the seasonings deeper in the meat, but this is optional.

Place the chicken in a shallow bowl or baking dish and pour the marinade over the top. Mix the chicken around a little so that it is well-coated in the marinade. Cover the chicken, put it into your fridge, and let it marinate for 30 minutes - 24 hours.

To Grill (Highly recommend for best flavor) - Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill over medium heat for 10 minutes for boneless thighs, 18-22 minutes for breast, and 30-35 minutes (over indirect heat) for bone-in thighs.

To bake (Grill if you can) - Pre-heat over to 425. Put the chicken and all of the marinade into a shallow baking dish. Bake uncovered, for 15 minutes for boneless thighs, 20-25 minutes for breast, and 35-40 minutes for bone-in thighs.

To Freeze - Put the raw chicken into freezer bags then pour the marinade over the top. Squish the bag around a little so the chicken is coated in the marinade then seal the bag and put it into your freezer.