Friday, May 20, 2011


I can never make up for all the years I didn't eat Mexican food, but I have found myself searching out recipes for this cuisine that translate well for the home cook. The June issue of Cooking Light had 2 recipes that I knew I had to try at once, one for our favorite part of the bird--the thigh--and the other which used chorizo, a flavor-packed sausage.

If you've ever had your grilled chicken turn out "torched," you might want to try cooking it first over direct heat to sear in the flavors, and then finished over indirect heat. Even though the marinade had alcohol and honey in it, my skinless thighs did not burn and the flavor of the marinade permeated the meat.

Tequila-glazed Grilled Chicken Thighs
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
4-6 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 lbs)
3/4 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup tequila
1/4 cup honey
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp water
2 tsp grated lime rind
3 tbs fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
cooking spray

Preheat grill to medium-high heat using both burners. After preheating, turn the left burner off and leave the right burner on.

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a small bowl, then rub over both sides of the chicken.

Bring the pineapple juice, tequila, and honey to a boil in a small saucepan; cook until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 10 minutes. Combine cornstarch and 2 tsp water in a small bowl, stirring well. Add the cornstarch mixture to the juice mixture and stir with a whisk. Bring to a boil and cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat and add the lime rind, lime juice, and red pepper.

Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray over the right burner (heat on). Cover and grill for 5 minutes on each side, basting with juice mixture. Move the chicken to the left burner (heat off). Cover and grill for 5 minutes on each side, or until done, basting with juice mixture.

N.I. per thigh:  241 cal, 7.6 g fat, 18 g protein, 17.7 g carb, 0.4 g fiber

Baked Black Beans with Chorizo - 6 servings
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup diced Spanish chorizo
cooking spray
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 jalapeno pepper, sliced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
5 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup fat free, lower sodium chicken broth
2 (15 oz) cans lower sodium black beans
1 cup chopped seeded tomato (I like salsa better, so substituted here)
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium high heat and add the oil, swirling to coat. Add the chorizo, saute for 2 minutes, and remove from pan. Coat pan with cooking spray and add the onion and jalapeno. Saute 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt, cumin, red pepper, and garlic and saute 1 minute more, stirring constantly. Stir in broth and beans and bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes. Mash to desired consistency. Spoon bean mixture into an 8-inch square dish coated with cooking spray. Top with tomato, chorizo, and cheese and bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Top with green onions.

N.I. per 1/2 cup serviing: 189 cal, 8.4 g fat, 10.2 g protein, 19.4 g carb, 6.2 g fiber
My sous chef and I agreed that these will be terrific additions to a future BBQ. I will always use the direct-indirect heat method to cook chicken on the grill in the future. It yielded perfectly cooked, juicy chicken without any unwanted char. The beans, though they are not photogenic, are absolutely delicious. The lowfat cheese just doesn't melt well, though it saves calories. I'm sure the tequila glaze would taste just as good on a grilled flank steak or fish. In all, big props to CL for another healthy and delicious dinner.


  1. i've been eye-balling both of those recipes, they look fantastic, so great for summer!

  2. very intriguing flavors here... not a tequila fan this may turn me for sure!

  3. Can I come over? I promise to eat all your leftovers :) This kind of meal is exactly the kind of thing I like to eat. I imagine all those flavors just sing together. Plus, you know how I love my beans.

  4. Oh my had me at tequila and kept me at chorizo ;). Looks like seriously good eats, Arlene! (p.s...I'm Heather...ha!)

  5. We love black beans, too, Arlene, and this chicken sound very tasty! Not sure if my hubby will let me ues his tequilla this way, but I'll sneak soem by him ;)

  6. ...and you didn't invite me?! Great flavors going on here.

  7. Arlene, your meal sounds amazing. I love black beans and am always looking for new ways to prepare them. I've bookmarked this post and will be giving both dishes a try in the next week or two. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  8. This looks like a fabulous and flavorful meal and a good way to make up for uneaten Mexican meals.

  9. Those sound delcious, especially with the glaze. I'll be trying this out on the grill very soon, thanks for posting!


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