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Tequila and Lime-Marinated Chicken Skewers with Cilantro Sauce

Serves: Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • Bamboo skewers
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup tequila
  • 2 fresh limes, juiced and zested
  • 1 jalapeño chile, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 6 ounces skinless chicken breast, cubed


  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups cilantro leaves
  • 2 cups ice water
  • ¼ cup tequila
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • ½ cup canola oil, plus 2 tablespoons for grilling
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Procedures:

By quickly blanching the cilantro leaves in salted, boiling water and shocking the leaves in iced water, you are preserving the bright green color from the chlorophyll contained in the herb. This technique is useful when making other herb and oil-based sauces.

If using bamboo skewers, soak in water for at least 1 hour before using.

To make the marinade: In a large mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, tequila, lime juice and zest, chile, paprika, salt and chicken. Thoroughly mix the chicken in the marinade, cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

To make the cilantro sauce: While the chicken is marinating, prepare the cilantro sauce. Place a saucepan filled with water on the stove to boil. When the water is just starting to rapidly boil, add the salt and blanch the cilantro leaves for 10 seconds and set the color. Immediately remove from the hot water and plunge in the ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain leaves and pat dry. Place the blanched cilantro in a blender with the tequila and garlic. Pulse to combine and, with the motor still running, slowly add the canola oil, processing until the mixture is thick and bright green. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

To assemble and cook: Thread the marinated chicken onto the skewers. When threading the chicken, keep a little space between each piece; this will allow for quicker, more even cooking.

Heat a large grill pan over medium heat and brush the pan with a thin coating of canola oil using a silicone pastry brush. Place skewers on grill and cook, turning frequently, until chicken is cooked through, about 7 to 9 minutes.

To serve: Arrange the cooked chicken skewers on a serving platter, and serve with cilantro dressing on the side.

Tested and perfected in the Sur la Table kitchen

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