Tequila-Glazed Grilled Chicken

Today is a special day.  It’s Baking Jenn’s Blog’s one month birthday! Commence Happy Birthday songs!  I am really excited to have been blogging for a month and sharing my recipe (and just overall love of food) with so many wonderful people.

I had no idea how big of a response that I would receive! You all have been so kind to me and I’m really happy I decided to give this a try.  So thanks to you all!

To celebrate, I bought the domain for my blog.  I’m http://www.bakingjenn.com now! I am so excited about it!  I feel so much more official now.

Please continue to comment and leave feedback on my posts.  I really enjoy hearing from everyone.  Also, if anyone tries any of the recipes featured on my blog, please let me know.  I’d love to know how they turned out for you (as well as share a link to your blog from my own).

To share my excitement with you all, I would like to share a recipe for my favorite type of grilled chicken.  Zack and I made this over the weekend for some of his family and it went over GREAT.  Everyone agreed it was the best grilled chicken they’ve had.

This is really saying a lot, because these guys are die-hard burger fans and usually disregard chicken entirely.

If you don’t like tequila, (I definitely don’t) don’t be turned off from this recipe.  The flavor of the tequila blends in with the other flavors and it is not even detectable.

The picture does not really do this chicken justice.  It’s WONDERFUL.

Also, a whole chicken breast only has 181 calories.  You really can’t beat this chicken.

Tequila-Glazed Grilled Chicken

Yield: 8 servings.

– 2 teaspoon ground cumin

– 1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

– 3/4 teaspoon salt

– 1/2 teaspoon Chipotle chile powder

– 8 4-ounce chicken breasts

– 3/4 cup pineapple juice

– 1/3 cup tequila

– 1/4 cup honey

– 2 teaspoon corn starch

– 2 teaspoon water

– 2 teaspoon grated lime rind

– 3 tablespoon fresh lime juice

– 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or more to taste

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a small bowl; rub evenly over 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 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 for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and stir in lime rind, lime juice, and red pepper.

Place grill on grill rack coated with cooking spray.  Cover and grill for 5 minutes on each side, basting occasionally.

Grilled Citrus Chicken

As much as I hate to admit it, I think grilling season is drawing to a close.  The nip of the fall air is becoming more pronounced.  Last weekend Zack, Dad, and myself took advantage of the remainder of the warm-ish air and not only grilled out, but ate outside.

This chicken was pretty good, but not really good enough to have again.  I think I might have marinaded it for too long, because the citrus taste was so overpowering that you couldn’t even taste chicken.

The recipe called for the chicken to be marinaded for 2 hours, but I did it overnight.  I guess they specified the time in the recipe for a reason.  Oh well.

If I kept every recipe I tried, I would quickly run out of room in the binders that I keep them in! 🙂

Grilled Citrus Chicken

Prep: 10 minutes.  Marinade: 2 hours.  Grill: 20 minutes.  6 servings.

– 1/2 cup frozen (thawed) orange juice concentrate

– 1/4 cup vegetable oil

– 1/4 cup lemon juice

– 2 tablespoons grated orange peel

– 1/2 teaspoon salt

– 1 clove garlic, finely chopped

– 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

Mix all ingredients except chicken.

Place chicken in a Ziploc bag.  Pour marinade over chicken; turn chicken to coat with marinade.  Seal bag and refrigerate at least 2 hours, but no longer than 24 hours, turning chicken occasionally.

Heat grill for direct heat.

Remove chicken from marinade, reserving marinade.  Cover and grill chicken 4-6 inches from medium heat 15-20 minutes, turning and brushing with marinade occasionally, until juice of chicken is no longer pink when centers of thickest parts are cut.

Heat remaining marinade to boiling; boil and stir 1 minute.  Serve with chicken.

Texas Chicken Quesadillas

These.  Are.  Delicious.  I made these for dinner last night and they barely got to even touch the table before they were being gobbled down.

It’s rare for Zack and I to both LOVE a food, but this one we both agree on.  I asked him what he thought and he said, “so good, probably should make them again tomorrow.”  Silly man.

Just for interest’s sake – I used 1/4 cup of Kraft Honey BBQ sauce and 1/4 cup of Sweet Baby Ray’s Sweet ‘n Spicy (I ran out of honey BBQ right in the middle, that’s why I mixed them).  The flavors actually complemented each other really nicely.  It was very sweet but had a small kick to it.

I also used probably more than 1 cup of cheese.  Even though it’s pretty unhealthy, Zack and I are big cheese fans.

I didn’t really measure the olive oil either.  I just poured a little in the skillet each time it called for it – I really doubt I used 2 whole tablespoons.

Texas Chicken Quesdillas

– 2 tablespoons olive oil

– 1 small onion, sliced thinly

– 1 tablespoon honey

– 2 chicken breasts, diced

– 1/2 cup BBQ sauce

– 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese

– 4 whole wheat flour tortillas

Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a pan over medium high heat.  Add the onions and cook until they begin to caramelize.  Mix in the honey and stir until it is golden brown.  Remove and set aside.

Place the remaining oil in the pan and add the chicken.  Cook through over a medium high heat.  Stir in the BBQ sauce to evenly coat the chicken.

Spray a different skillet with nonstick cooking spray.  Place tortilla in the skillet and sprinkle cheese over the entire thing.  Then, on just half of the tortilla, spoon onions and chicken.

Let it heat through a little until the cheese is melted and tortilla starts to brown a bit.  Then, fold it in half and let it sit for a minute.  Repeat for remaining tortillas.

 

🙂 Yummy!

Slow Cooker Shrimp and Chicken Jambalaya

New Orleans was my favorite place for years (it was only recently beat out my Seattle).  I’ve been there 3 times and I plan to go more.  It’s kind of strange how much I like New Orleans, because I’m not into drinking.  I just really like the Cajun people and their lifestyle.  As a general rule, they are very friendly (and have such a wonderful accent!).  I also really like the architecture in New Orleans, especially in the French Quarter.

As a fan of spicy food, New Orleans is the perfect place for me.  They love spicing up everything and the Cajun-style of cooking is so great! I could go there and do nothing but eat.  I decided to bring home a little bit of that cooking style and try my hand at some Jambalaya.  Turns out I’m not half bad at it 😉

Since I’m feeling so nostalgic, I am going to include some pictures from the last time I went to New Orleans, back in 2009.

Mmm, mmm, good.

Crayfish! My dad sampled some of these, but neither Zack or I were brave enough to.  I’ve heard they’re actually really good, though.

Zack and I with the Mississippi River in the background.  We were there in November and it was freezing!

Here’s Zack holding a baby alligator on a swamp tour that we went on.

I do not look too happy to be holding an alligator! Oh, and that’s my dad in the background.  I look a lot like him.

Okay, back to the good stuff.  Here’s the Jambalaya in the slow cooker before the shrimp and rice have been added.  The colors are so pretty!

Slow Cooker Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya

Yield: 6 servings

– 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces

– 3 celery stalks, chopped

– 1 green bell pepper, chopped

– 2 onions, chopped

– 3 garlic cloves, minced

– 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes, undrained

– 1 tablespoon sugar

– 1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves

– 1/2 tsp dried basil leaves

– 1/2 cup instant brown rice, uncooked

– 1 lb frozen cooked shrimp, thawed

Combine all ingredients except rice and shrimp in a slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours, until chicken is cooked through.  Stir in rice, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until tender.  Add shrimp, stir, cover and cook an additional 3-5 minutes, or until heated through.

Yummy!

Sticky Lemon Chicken

Zack LOVES lemon flavored stuff.  I can’t stand it.  I don’t even like the smell of anything lemon baking.  This recipe changed my mind, though.

The sticky lemon chicken is a great combination of sour, sweet, and salty, but not too much emphasis on any of them.  It was pretty easy and quick to make, too.  From setting out ingredients to placing the chicken on the table, it took about 30 minutes.

Zack and I both really liked this recipe.  We had zero leftovers which is very unusual, because I usually cook way too much.  We’ll definitely be having this chicken again.

Just for fun, I reserved some of the cooked lemon slices and garnished the platter of chicken with them.  You can see one in the back corner.  It made the platter look dressier.

Sticky Lemon Chicken

– 1-2 lbs chicken breast

– sea salt and black pepper

– 3-4 tbsp olive oil

– 2 cloves garlic, halved horizontally

– few thyme sprigs

– splash of vinegar

– 2 tbsp dark soy sauce

– 3 tbsp honey

– 1 lemon, finely sliced

– bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan. Brown the chicken over a high heat with the garlic and thyme for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Add the vinegar and bubble until reduced by half. Drizzle the soy sauce and honey over and shake the pan to mix.

Pour in a ladle full of hot water and add the lemon slices. Let the liquid bubble and reduce down until syrupy, which will take about 10 minutes or so. By now the chicken should be cooked through.

Transfer the chicken to a platter and sprinkle over the chopped parsley.

Enjoy!

Spicy, home cooked meal with dessert!

This evening one of our good friends, Martin, came over for dinner.  It was really good to see him and hang out with him.  I tried out 5 new recipes! That makes for a very happy Jenn.

First of all, we had spicy grilled chicken for the main entree.  Zack and I marinaded the chicken starting last night in Buffalo Wild Wing’s Hot BBQ sauce.  Zack and Martin are both avid fans of Buffalo Wild Wings and I like all things spicy.  Grilling the chicken turned out really well, too.  Plus, we served it with the remainder of the bottle of sauce for dipping.

 

For the vegetable portion of the meal, we had corn on the cob.  I know this is no incredible feat, because anyone can boil corn, but I was still excited, because I’d never done it before.  I didn’t try it, but Zack and Martin both seemed to enjoy it.  All you do is bring a pot of water to a boil and then put in the corn and boil it for 10 minutes.  Easy enough.

 

Not everything went perfect with this dinner, though.  We were supposed to have Cheesy Twice Baked Potatoes, but, alas, I broke the shells of the potatoes! Oh no! Instead of fretting, I simply mixed everything like I was going to for stuffing the potatoes and stuck the mixture in a casserole dish.  Then I baked it the second time like that.  No biggie.  It still turned out yummy, but looks kind of ugly.  I’ll give the recipe as it calls for, though.

Cheesy Twice Baked Potatoes

– 2 large baking potatoes, scrubbed and rinsed

– 4 slices thick cut bacon, diced into 1 inch pieces

– 1 tablespoon butter

– 1/4 cup milk

– 1/4 cup sour cream

– 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese, plus about 1/4 cup more for topping

– 1/2 cup grate Monterrey jack cheese

– 2 green onions, diced, about 2 tablespoons

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Puncture potatoes with a fork about 6 times around the potato.  This will allow steam to escape while they are cooking.  Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the skins are crispy but the potato is soft.  You should be able to insert a fork and remove it easily.

While your potatoes are cooking, cook your bacon until brown.  Remove to paper towel lined plate.  Set aside.

Once your potatoes are baked, turn your oven down to 350 degrees.

Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise.  They will be HOT.  Be careful not to puncture the skin, spoon out the insides, place them in a mixing bowl and set the skins aside.

Add butter, milk, and sour cream to the potatoes.  Use an electric mixer and mix until smooth.  Stir in 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, Monterrey jack cheese, green onions, and bacon.  Mix well.

Fill the potato skins with the mixture.  Top with remaining cheddar cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees in a baking dish until the cheese melts.

I also whipped up a batch of buttermilk biscuits.  There is something about biscuits…I cannot get them right.  I’ve tried two different recipes so far and both have not really gone that well.  These bottoms are a bit too brown and the biscuits are a bit too flat.  I keep rolling my dough too thin, I think.  I will get it right eventually.  I ate mine with apple butter (another marvelous thing about fall!).

Ester’s Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits

– 2 cups flour

– 1 tbsp. baking powder

– 1/2 tsp. baking soda

– 3 tbsp. Crisco

– 1 cup buttermilk

Sift dry ingredients together.  Cut in shortening (fingers work great!).  Add the buttermilk and stir until all dry ingredients are moist.  Pour out on floured surface and work in a small amount of extra flour, just until it works smooth.  Do not let dough get stiff from too much flour.  Roll out to about 1/2″ thick, cut and place on ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.  Do not overbake or biscuits will be hard.

Yield: 12 biscuits

 

For dessert we had Eclair Torte.  It was an incredibly easy and fast dessert to make.  It was also a huge hit! Martin took a bunch home with him and Zack really enjoyed it too (he should, he’s the one that picked it out for me to make!).

Eclair Torte

Prep: 20 minutes + chilling

Bake: 30 minutes

– 1 cup water

– 1/2 cup butter

– 1/4 tsp. salt

– 1 cup all purpose flour

– 4 eggs

– 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened

– 2 cups cold milk

– 2 packages (3.4 oz each) instant vanilla pudding

– 1 carton (12 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed

– 2-3 tablespoons chocolate syrup

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the water, butter, and salt to a boil.  Add flour all at once and stir until a small ball forms.  Remove from the heat, let stand for 5 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.  Continue beating until mixture is smooth and shiny.

Spread into a greased 13 x 9 baking pan.  Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.  Cool completely on a wire rack.  If desired, remove puff from pan and place on serving platter.

In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until light.  Add the milk and the pudding mix.  Beat until smooth.  Spread over puff, refrigerate for 20 minutes.  Spread with the whipped topping.  Refrigerate.  Drizzle with chocolate syrup just before serving.  Refrigerate leftovers.

 

Yield: 12 servings

 

Today was such a good, fun day! I don’t think I’ll get to do any baking or cooking tomorrow, but I will probably post about something I’ve made previously.  Sunday and Monday I am making a ton of goodies, though!