Several lifetimes ago, I worked at an Applebee’s as a server. I made more there than at my “real” job editing a weekly paper. (Which meant doing everything but deliver the darned thing.)
To this day, I can’t go into an Applebee’s without stressing out. The best thing about the job, other than the cash, was the Tequila Lime Chicken. That stuff was awesome. I never figured out how they made it, mostly because I didn’t want that knowledge to ruin the experience of eating it.
We always got weird questions from people asking about the “tequila” part, though, so I wasn’t surprised to see they changed it to Fiesta Lime Chicken or some such thing.
Haven’t tried it since, but the original dish came to mind when I saw this one, which I’d like to try the next time I have tequila in the house.
By the way, this is National Tequila Day. And National Make-This-and-Take-It-to-Jennie Day. Feel free to celebrate.
TEQUILA-GLAZED GRILLED CHICKEN THIGHS
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
6 bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 pounds), skinned
3/4 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup tequila
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons water
2 teaspoons grated lime rind
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat using both burners. After preheating, turn the left burner off.
(Leave the right burner on).
2. Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl; rub evenly over chicken.
3. Combine pineapple juice, tequila, and honey in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 3/4 cup (about 10 minutes). Combine cornstarch and 2 teaspoons water in a small bowl, and stir well. Add cornstarch mixture to juice mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Bring to a boil, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in lime rind, 3 tablespoons lime juice, and red pepper.
4. Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray over right burner (direct heat). Cover and grill 5 minutes on each side, basting occasionally with juice mixture. Move chicken to grill rack over left burner (indirect heat). Cover and grill an additional 5 minutes on each side or until done, basting occasionally.
Makes 6 thighs
Per serving: 241 calories, 7.6 grams fat, 18 grams protein, 17.2 grams carbohydrate, 0.4 gram fiber, 64 milligrams cholesterol, no sodium