Lime Margarita Chicken Thighs & Road Trippin’ BlissPosted: August 10, 2014
Greg and I went road trippin’ for the last 3 weeks, driving from Denver to Oregon to visit friends and family. We alternately brainstormed business and book ideas, listening to 60’s music and audio books. We may go for miles and hours without a word, but you’d be hard pressed to find a happier or more content couple on a car trip than we are. “I just love driving with my Baby,” Greg said. “I love it too. But what do you like most?” I asked. “It is just you and me, alone, together.” We love people. Adore our family and friends. In fact we just said good-bye to two weeks of family in our home, here to celebrate my youngest son’s wedding to his darling bride.
Rachel and Jared and little Jackson drove up and stayed for almost a week, and I was … simply put… in Nonny Heaven the whole time. The morning after they drove away, I sat on the porch swing, looking at the strewn toys and “fire hose” that Jackson used to put out the “flower fires” for me, and had a good hard cry missing the sound of his sweet, cheerful voice waking me up with, “Hey Nonny! Let’s go outside and play.”
My sister and my nieces — who love to cook (and eat!) – joined me in the kitchen, whipping up goodies with unabashed joy.
My parents, too, came to bless us with their always-encouraging presence. They prayed for us as we left them in charge of our house today, sending us off with travelling mercies and love.Every single moment of the last two weeks was a delight. That said, there is nothing quite like the quiet joy of being alone together, a party of two, with lavish amounts of unpressured time. The busier our lives, the larger our circle of family and friends, these times feel more and more like a luxury.
And there is something about being together in the car for miles on end that recharges us. ***** After I wrote the above, we enjoyed several more days of being alone together in pretty Oregon hotel rooms before arriving at the coast for a family reunion with my husband’s brother and sister and kids & more, where there are anywhere from 10 to 15 people coming for dinner on any given night. I had planned to cook something simple and easy for the first night: I’d just buy a few deli-roast chickens for main course. Unfortunately, the chickens at the beach-side grocery store were closer to the size of sparrows, but cost as much as filet mignon. I quickly recalculated a cheaper Plan B. Boneless chicken thighs were on sale, feed a bunch on a budget, absorb marinade quickly, cook fast and are generally juicier than breasts. I decided to make my old favorite recipe for tequila lime chicken, which basically involves marinating chicken pieces in a giant margarita until they get relaxed and happy and just a little bit tipsy. If you poke the boneless thighs with a fork before marinating, they absorb the yummy juices much faster so that in less than an hour they are ready for a quick grilling on both sides, to create a delicious chicken dinner that will put a silly grin on everyone’s face.
Lime Margarita Chicken Thighs
Serves 4, allow 2 boneless thighs per person)
8 boneless chicken thighs
Juice of 2 limes and 1 orange (If limes are small and not very juicy, as is sometimes the case, I will add juice of a lemon, too.)
¾ cup tequila
¼ cup agave nectar
Grill Seasoning (Or salt, pepper, garlic powder)
Directions: Poke chicken thighs several times with a fork. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with grill seasoning. Mix citrus juices, tequila, and agave nectar and pour over the chicken, coating and submerging chicken pieces into liquid as much as possible. Let them hang out in the “margarita marinade” for an hour.
At this point you can grill the chicken pieces on an outdoor bbq grill or on a grill pan or skillet (graced with about a tablespoon of olive oil) indoors. Grill just a few minutes on each side on medium high heat until thighs are golden brown on both sides. Put them on a large warm oven proof plate and cover with foil to let juices form and flow before serving. Spoon juices over the top before serving.
As you can see in this picture, I served the chicken, as over a bed of freshly sautéed spinach and a quick salad of corn, tomatoes, and avocado. Another fun way to serve these are to arrange grilled thighs (just slightly overlapping) in a pretty oven-proof platter or oblong Pyrex, sprinkle the whole dish with shredded cheese and some crumbled tortilla chips and run them under the broiler (heat source about 8 inches from pan) until the cheese melts and tortillas are golden Then you can top the whole dish with diced tomatoes, avocados and chopped jalapenos or green onions or cilantro for your next fiesta. *Alcohol cooks out of this recipe, but the distinctive sweet-tender taste that the tequila leaves behind is delicious.