Tequila Cilantro Lime Chicken

It’s Sunday, and I found myself left with plenty of eggs, and no bacon, forcing me to think a bit outside the box when it came to my first meal of the day. Two chicken breasts in the fridge were calling out to me, and being disappointed in the flavor (or lack thereof) of the fajitas I made earlier this week, I decided to experiment. I’ve heard of people using orange juice in chicken marinades, so I decided to take it up a notch with a few extra ingredients.

No, I'm not making a strangely savory margarita. It's for the chicken!

No, I’m not making a savory margarita. It’s for the chicken!

I came up with the following measurements: 3 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp each of tequila and orange juice, 1 1/2 tbsp lime juice, 1 spoonful of crushed garlic. I mixed it all together in a medium-large mixing bowl, and added about 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro and half a small yellow onion (chopped). While those ingredients were settling in together, I diced up the chicken breasts into one inch cubes, then seasoned generously with freshly ground pepper, sea salt, cayenne pepper, and chili powder. Finally, I added the seasoned chicken breast to the mixing bowl, carefully coating the chicken in the marinade before covering and marinating in the refrigerator while I did my grocery shopping for the week.

When I returned from Whole Foods, my chicken was ready for some heat. I grabbed a large skillet, turned the stove up to a medium-high heat, and let the skillet get hot before pouring in the chicken and marinade. I let the chicken cook on medium-high heat until it was cooked on all sides and the juice in the pan was sizzling.  I threw the chicken on top of a bed of mixed greens, along with diced tomato and a few queen Spanish olives, and topped it off with half an avocado and a tasty (Whole 30 friendly) local brand of poblano salsa. The end result was delicious, and as Robert commented, “This chicken would’ve gone great with the fajitas.” Alright, then.

The end result!

The end result! I love eating out of bowls so I can mix all my food up and don’t go overboard with portion sizes.

I should probably make note here, somewhere around Day 13 or so, I fell off my Whole30 plan. It probably had something to do with Robert’s arrival back home, and in my excitement I found it necessary to bake (and eat) the most amazing cake ever to come out of my oven. And then when it was all gone, I made another one. Clearly, I’m an emotional baker/eater. Cake aside, I’m still maintaining the integrity of eating grain, dairy, and legume free. I will be sure to post when I officially relaunch another full-on Whole30 effort. It’ll be bigger and better than ever, especially since  1.) I had enough discipline to fully execute 13 successful days, and 2.) I’m now more aware of my areas of weakness and how I can better plan to thwart them.

In other news, this week we decided to employ a new grocery shopping strategy. In the past, we have created lists and planned meals BEFORE heading to the grocery store. Lately, Trader Joe’s has been out of a lot of staples whenever I manage to make it to the store. Also, Robert has decided he doesn’t trust the quality of their meat. Enter, Whole Foods (hereon referred to as WF). I love my WF back in Chicago — it’s literally the Ikea of all WF (Kingsbury St stand up!) — but our local WF leaves a lot to be desired. Anyway, this week we went to WF and decided to buy meat based on weekly sale items, and acquire the necessary produce to fully execute meals for the week. The result being: leg of lamb, salmon, catfish, pork ribs, spicy italian chicken sausage, apple sage chicken sausage, and chorizo (I got a little crazy at the sausage counter). Bonus: The grocery tab was only about $10 more than our average Trader Joe’s tab!

Stay tuned for more food postings showcasing the products of our random grocery excursion, and the very first of my weekly Transformation Tuesday stories!

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