Citrus

My Favorite “Salad Chicken”

by Shawnda on August 24, 2014

in Chicken & Poultry,Citrus,Lighter & Healthier,On the grill,Quick & Easy,Salads

My Favorite Salad Chicken: Mojo Brined Grilled Chicken Breast

Since I started training for the half marathons on my calendar later this year, I’ve been (mostly) trying(ish) to keep my nutrition in check. That just means aiming for a better balance of calories, eating 6-10 servings of veggies and fruit a day, and eating more chicken breast at lunch than I have in my entire life.

My Favorite Salad Chicken: Mojo Brined Grilled Chicken Breast

Aside from losing 10lbs in 8 weeks (because let’s be honest – that’s the most important part to me), that’s… actually it. I have nothing more to add to that statement. Like I said – for me, it’s the most important part of running :)

For lunch, I’ve developed a love for chopped salads (picking from the myriad of veggies I now have to keep on hand to make 6-10 servings a day) topped with grilled chicken. But not just plain ol’ grilled chicken – because that *&^% got old on day 3. Instead, I top my salads with Mojo-Brined Chicken.

My Favorite Salad Chicken: Mojo Brined Grilled Chicken Breast

Now, don’t let the word “brine” scare you. You probably just flashed on an old episode of Good Eats that involved a special bucket or a cooler, loads of ice, and a turkey the size of your 4 year-old.

NOPE.

To brine this chicken, we’re talking about a pie plate, a gallon freezer bag, a cup of water, and a tablespoon of salt. THAT’S IT. It’s a quick and small recipe that yields an insanely not-boring, juicy chicken breast flavored with citrus and garlic inspired by Cuban mojo sauce.

My Favorite Salad Chicken: Mojo Brined Grilled Chicken Breast

I pick up one of those gigantic, 5-6lb value trays of chicken breast that always seem to be on sale, throw the brine together on Saturday night/Sunday morning, and then grill them all at once on Sunday afternoon (when we’re sure to already have the grilled fired up) to have for lunches all week.

It’s by far the best part of every salad I make.

Mojo-Brined Chicken

Grilled, juicy chicken breasts marinated in a mojo-inspired brine of oranges, garlic, and oregano.

Ingredients

  • 2.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 small valencia oranges (juice from both oranges, the zest from 1)
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp salt

Instructions

  1. Lightly pound the chicken breast to an even thickness.
  2. Place in a gallon zip-top bag with the remaining ingredients: orange juice, orange lest, lime juice, garlic, oregano, water, and salt.
  3. Seal the bag after pressing out the extra air and squeeze it a few times to mix the brine.
  4. Place in a pie plate (or other walled-dish to prevent a fridge disaster should your bag spring a leak) and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (I typically do it overnight).
  5. Heat your grill to medium-high, remove chicken from marinade, and grill ~6 minutes on each side.
  6. Let stand for ~10 minutes before slicing.

Notes

Yields: ~6 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 4 hours 30 minutes

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Tequila Lime Chicken Fajitas

It’s grilling season. Kind of.

And by kind of, I mean there are currently icicles hanging off the new grill. The new grill I bought specifically to make these fajitas.

Tequila Lime Chicken Fajitas

Of course there are icicles. Because this is Texas and Spring Break is 3 days away and the Bluebonnets and Paints are already peeking out along 71 near LaGrange. So it’s time to nuke everyone’s happiness with garden-crushing temperatures and “Thundersleet.”

So I guess that makes them Thundercicles™.

They can take our beautifully deceptive spring weather, but they can’t take our tequila. Unless it’s after 9pm or Sunday and then there’s no place open to buy tequila.

(Tequila. It makes the intolerable aspects of Texas slightly more tolerable.) (™)

Tequila Lime Chicken Fajitas

Chicken breasts are marinated in, essentially, a margarita. Then they’re grilled to charred perfection and served wrapped in fluffy tortilas with grilled vegetables, pico de gallo, and avocado. And washed down with a pitcher of margaritas.

Happy Another Texas Spring Break Spent in a Sweater!

Tequila-Lime Chicken Fajitas

Juicy chicken fajitas marinated in tequila and lime.

Ingredients

  • For the marinade:
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 1/2 oz (3 Tbsp) tequila
  • 1 tsp of chile powder
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 lb chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness
  • For serving
  • Olive oil
  • 1 lime, cut in half
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, cut into 1/3-inch rounds
  • 2 green bell peppers, cut into 1/3-inch slices
  • Small flour tortillas
  • Pico de gallo
  • Sliced avocado

Instructions

  1. Place the marinade ingredients into a gallon freezer bag and squeeze to mix.
  2. Add the chicken, seal, turn to coat, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (Longer is better.)
  3. Oil grates and heat grill to medium-high.
  4. Drizzle onion rounds, bell pepper slices, and cut ends of the lime with olive oil and place on the grill (if your grates are very large, grill on folded-to-double-thickness foil with slats cut through it).
  5. Add the chicken and cook for 6-7 minutes and then flip everything (veggies included) and cook for 6-7 minutes more until veggies are nicely charred and juices run clear from the chicken.
  6. Let chicken rest 10 minutes before slicing.
  7. Serve chicken on tortillas, topped with grilled veggies, pico, avocado, and a squeeze of grilled lime.

Notes

Yields: 8 fajitas

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 1 hour 35 minutes

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Blood Orange, Spinach, and Quinoa Salad

How excited am I that blood oranges are back? That excited ^.

Also? This excited:

Blood Orange Margaritas

Last spring, we planted a tiny blood orange tree in the backyard. And somehow it survived. We won’t let any blooms go to fruit this year but next year, man. Next year.

Blood Orange, Spinach, and Quinoa Salad

Besides margaritas, one of my other favorite things to have for lunch is this salad. You might recognize it. It’s spinach & quinoa tossed with a quick vinaigrette of blood orange juice, white wine vinegar, and shallot and then topped with blood orange segments and crumbled goat cheese.

Blood Orange, Spinach, and Quinoa Salad

I can make it on the weekend and then eat it cold, straight from the fridge, for the next several days. It sort of balances out those weekend margaritas. Or at least, that’s what I tell myself.

Looking for more blood orange recipes? Check out our winter citrus favorites here!

Blood Orange, Spinach, and Quinoa Salad

An easy winter salad with fresh spinach, quinoa, goat cheese, and blood oranges in a simple blood orange vinaigrette.

Ingredients

  • 3 blood oranges
  • 1 cup quick-cooking quinoa, cooked according to package directions and chilled*
  • 3 oz fresh baby spinach (half a large clamshell or bag)
  • 4 oz crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped shallot
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (I use light-tasting oil)
  • *If you're not working with cold, leftover quinoa, spread the hot quinoa on a plate and put it in the fridge to chill, stirring a few times to help speed up cooling.

Instructions

  1. Segment the oranges over a bowl topped with a strainer set - let any seeds and segments fall into the strainer while the juice goes into the bowl below.
  2. After segmenting, squeeze all the remaining juice from the "membranes" left in your hand into the strainer.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the spinach, cold quinoa, goat cheese, and blood orange segments together.
  4. In the bowl with the blood orange juice, whisk the vinegar, shallot, mustard, a pinch of salt and pepper together.
  5. Slowly stream in the olive oil while whisking.
  6. Pour over the salad, tossing to mix.
  7. Serve cold. Leftovers will keep a few days in the fridge.

Notes

Yields: 4-6 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 45 minutes

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Margarita-glazed Fish Tacos

I get the best dinner ideas when I don’t have the ability to write them down. Like sitting at dinner with a fork in my hand. Or pushing The Little through HEB in one of those soul-killing plastic car-cart monstrosities.

Or playing Candy Crush :oops:

Then 2 nights later, I’m looking at a random collection of ingredients trying to remember what I was supposed to do with them.

That’s why I found myself heavy a pound of white fish and a single orange last week. Since they’re usually for margaritas, I never just buy one orange. It had to be one of those “all I need is X and Y because I have everything else” ideas.

I never did figure it out.

Instead, I whipped up a quick margarita-esque marinade, let the fish sit a bit, and then reduced the marinade down to a boozy, citrusy glaze while the fish cooked and I finished the rest of dinner.

Drizzled over the fish tacos before serving, the glaze really adds a bright punch of flavor to the tacos.

So let this be a lesson: When in Doubt, Margarita.

Margarita-Glazed Fish Tacos

Smokey, grilled fish tacos get a summery, flavorful punch from a margarita glaze.

Ingredients

  • For the fish:
  • 1/4 cup tequila
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (2-3 limes)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice (1 small orange)
  • 1 lbs white fish (cod, tilapia, etc)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 6 small tortillas
  • For the pico de gallo
  • 2 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • Small handful of cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Salt

Instructions

  1. Add the tequila, lime juice, zest, orange juice, and fish to a large zip-top bag and let sit for no longer than 30 minutes (less if your fish is delicate; tilapia and cod tend to hold up well).
  2. Heat your grill to medium-high.
  3. Stir together the ingredients for the pico de gallo and set aside.
  4. Grill the fish 4-5 minutes each side, until the center is just opaque.
  5. While the fish is grilling, pour the marinade into a large sauce pan over high heat and bring to a boil, reducing to ~1/4 cup.
  6. Season the fish with salt and pepper and flake into large chunks.
  7. Serve the fish on tortillas topped with pico de gallo and a drizzle of the tequila reduction.

Notes

Yields: 6 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 45 minutes

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