Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with citrusy lime chicken thighs

Citrusy Tequila Chicken Thighs. Photo courtesy of Family Circle magazine.

I like any occasion to add tequila to a meal. 

Many Americans probably agree, hence the eager acceptance of Cinco de Mayo in this country.

I plucked this Fifth of May celebration-worthy recipe from the pages of Family Circle. This is a dish I didn’t alter at all — it was great as-is. Feel free to grill the chicken on the stove if you don’t have a grill.

Citrusy Tequila Chicken Thighs and Rice Salad

Recipe from Family Circle magazine 

Ingredients

  • 1/2  cup  orange juice
  • 1/4  cup  lime juice
  • 1/4  cup  tequila (here’s the zinger!)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  McCormick Smokehouse pepper
  • 6 large skinless bone-in chicken thighs
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons leftover marinade
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3  cups cooked rice
  • 1/2   each red and yellow sweet peppers
  • 2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon  chopped cilantro
Instructions
  1. Place orange juice, lime juice, tequila, canola oil, salt and pepper in a large resealable plastic bag. Add chicken and seal. Marinate in refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Heat gas grill to medium-high or prep charcoal grill with medium-hot coals and set up one side for indirect grilling. Lightly coat grill rack with oil or nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Remove the chicken from the plastic bag and pour marinade into a small saucepan. Boil for 1 minute and reserve. Place chicken on direct heat and grill for 5 minutes per side. Remove to indirect heat and grill for 20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Baste every 5 minutes with the reserved marinade.
  4. To prepare the rice salad, in a large bowl, whisk olive oil, 3 tablespoons of the marinade and salt. Stir in rice, peppers, scallions and cilantro. Serve at room temperature with chicken.


Guacamole success, or, the last time I’ll write about avocados for a while

Let’s just call Saturday Ocho de Mayo, because that’s when my Mexican heritage celebration finally took place.

I bought three avocados Wednesday that were on sale to make guacamole for Cinco de Mayo. Unfortunately, it took until Saturday for them to finally ripen.

So here is my recipe, adapted from this blog. And I promise I’ll post more recipes that aren’t Mexican-inspired, though I do love some good Mexican food.

Guacamole (ingredients purchased at Kroger and Aldi)*

It looks messy, but that's how I like it.The Numbers:

  • Three avocados (69 cents each, $2.07 total)
  • 1/2 red onion ($1.13 each, 57 cents for half)
  • 1/2 green pepper (83 cents each, 42 cents for half)
  • 1 clove garlic**
  • 1/2 tomato ($1.78 per pound, ~59 cents)
  • Juice from 1 lime (49 cents each)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Frank’s hot sauce, to taste

Total cost: $4.14

Cost per serving (about 6 servings of 1/2 cup each): 69 cents

The Action:

  1. Dice red onion, green pepper, garlic and tomato. Combine in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Hull and chop avocados. In another bowl, smash avocados with a fork. Squeeze lime over the smashed avocados.
  3. Mix avocados in the large bowl with red onion, green pepper, garlic and tomato.
  4. Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce.

The Extras:

This is a great dip with some tortilla chips, but it’s also good if you smear it on a burrito. I paired it with some grilled tilapia, salsa and tortilla chips.

A very festive plate.

*I didn’t have the receipt for some of these purchases, so I got the prices from the USDA.

**I couldn’t find the price of garlic, but it’s pretty cheap.


Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with homemade Mexican food

Cinco de Mayo is supposed to be a day to celebrate Mexican heritage and pride (at least, that’s what Wikipedia tells me).

For me, the observance has given me a reason to indulge in large quantities of chips and dip.

Whatever your reason for celebrating Cinco de Mayo, it’s a great day to try a homemade Mexican-inspired recipe. Remember the cheesy chicken nachos?

The nachos, transformed into a burrito.

Tonight, I will make some homemade guacamole using this recipe I found on a fellow foodie’s website called Spicie Foodie. I chose to make guacamole because a) I love me some guac; b) this particular recipe seemed basic and easy; and c) avocados are on sale at Aldi in Louisville for 69 cents each. If that’s not a good reason to celebrate, I don’t know what is.

(Side note: I might end up stocking up on Mexican food supplies at my trip to Aldi, because it looks like they have some fantastic Cinco de Mayo sales.)

I’ll post the results of the homemade guac tomorrow. In the meantime, here are some links to more Cinco de Mayo-inspired recipes and deals:

  • All Recipes has a page dedicated to Cinco de Mayo recipes. I’m tempted to make a grilled version of this fish taco recipe to go with my guac. (site)
  • Paula Deen, one of my favorite Food Network personalities, has a recipe for Mexican Chicken. It includes one of my favorite cost-saving ingredients — canned soup. (recipe)
  • If you visit a Louisville-area Qdoba on Cinco de Mayo, you can get chips and salsa for 50 cents. (site)