Thursday, April 10, 2014

Southwest Citrus Chicken Marinade

So the weather is getting a little warmer and I'm craving more fresh and bright flavors.  A good marinade can change everything (YES EVERYTHING!)  I'm serious though, I think marinading meat is one of the best ways you can make sure what you're making is going to come out straight up delicious.  What I like about this marinade is that it is really healthy and fresh because there is no oil in it.  It's great for those who are looking to eat healthier and don't want to skip out on good tasting food (like everybody).  I like to serve this chicken it tacos, burrito bowls, or even on a southwest inspired salad!

S O U T H W E S T  C I T R U S  C H I C K E N  M A R I N A D E  R E C I P E

☂ 1½ lbs. chicken tenders
☂ 1 Tbsp. orange zest
☂ olive oil

☂ ¾ cup of fresh squeezed orange juice (make sure to use delicious oranges and this will take around 3 oranges)
☂ 6 garlic cloves
☂ 1 chipotle pepper (from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce)
☂ 1 cup of cilantro (it's okay if there are some stems included)
☂ 1 tsp. black pepper
☂ 2½ tsp. salt

☂ Place all marinade ingredients together in a food processor and blend until smooth (it will take about 2-3 minutes).
☂ Place chicken tenders in a large bowl and pour marinade into the bowl.  Mix the marinade together with the chicken until all the chicken is well coated.
☂ Cover the bowl and you can marinade the chicken on the counter for an hour or in the refrigerator for up to 10 hours.  
☂ After marinating (I typically just do an hour of marinating), heat up a large pan on medium-high heat and drizzle in a little olive oil.  Then place in about half of the chicken tenders (place as many as will fit in a single layer) and give each tender a little shake before adding it into the pan so the chicken in the pan isn't swimming in marinade.  
☂ Cook the chicken tenders for about 4-5 minutes on one side (flip when the chicken starts to brown), and then for about 2 minutes on the other side.  (Just cut one chicken in half to make sure they're cooked through before removing from the pan).  Repeat this cooking method with the remaining chicken.  Also, if you notice the chicken is burning a bit just turn down the pan to medium heat. 
☂ When all the chicken is cooked, top it with the orange zest to give it an extra fresh flavor!
☂ WALAH!  Enjoy and start feeling nourished

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