Whoever stated that necessity is the mother of invention got it partly right. When it comes to cooking, invention is often the result of having a limited set of ingredients to work with, coupled with the need to use up things before they spoil. Such situations are credited as the origins of chili, pizza, countless soups and stews…even “chop suey.” Our recipe today hails from the same humble beginnings, created while we were away from home with only a package of chicken breasts, a couple of limes, a grapefruit, a small jar of blended herbs and spices, and a 3/4 empty bottle of tequila (and in spite of what you’re thinking, I assure you the inspiration was not born from the consumption of said bottle of tequila – we hadn’t touched it).
- 3 chicken breast halves, skinless and boneless
- juice of one medium grapefruit (pulp too)
- juice of two limes (pulp too)
- 2 oz tequila (whatever stuff you’ve got)
- 2~3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (not pictured)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp no salt seasoning blend (this time, the blend on hand was a mix of chili powder, thyme, oregano, rosemary, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, paprika, garlic, onion, orange peel, and lemon peel)
Juice the limes and the grapefruit into a medium mixing bowl. If you have a citrus juicer with you, great! We didn’t this time, so I got the pleasure of juicing these the old fashioned way – squeezing like mad using my bare hand. Add in the tequila, salt, seasoning blend, and olive oil and mix it all up well.
Place the chicken breasts in a shallow dish or bowl that will just hold them and the liquid. Pour the margarita marinade mixture over top, then turn them all once to make sure they are coated evenly. Place in the fridge to marinade for at least an hour (up to about 4 hours), turning once half-way through.
Just before heating the grill, remove the chicken from the fridge and discard the marinade. Warm the grill to medium-high heat (around 400 degrees). Grill the chicken for about 7 minutes per side until just cooked through and still moist and juicy in the center (use an instant read thermometer or slice into the center of the thickest breast to check). Transfer to a plate and tent with foil for about 5 minutes to rest.
Slice into 1/4 thick slices and serve warm along side some sweet potato fries (made this time using the same spice/herb blend and sea salt with more of the olive oil we had on hand) and a green garden salad. If you’ve got another lime left in the fridge (or half a grapefruit), you can add a squeeze of citrus juice over the chicken as well. Dig in!