Marinades are obviously nothing new, but I usually turn to them when I want to soak a whole cut of meat for grilling or roasting. I usually am too far behind on all of the chores I need to do to think about making a homemade marinade for an easy weekday dinner.
However, marinades are magical. We all know how much they can affect both the texture and the flavor of meats. Last week, I had a hankering for an easy skillet meal with chicken, corn and beans. I got to thinking it would add a whole new dimension of flavor if I marinated the chicken in advance, so I put together a simple homemade marinade that would complement the flavors of a Southwestern-style chicken skillet meal.
I want to share this recipe with all of you because although it is simple, it turned out SO WELL. My husband rarely eats something I cook without salting it at the table (partly because he is a salt fiend and partly because I don’t add a lot of salt when I cook), but even he did not feel the need to salt this dish. It was definitely the marinade that added the extra punch. I hope you like it. Feel free to alter the seasonings or use the marinade in other ways, such as for grilled chicken or pork.
Chili-Lime Chicken Skillet
Juice of 4 limes (about 8 Tbsp.)
4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced (or 1/4 tsp. garlic powder)
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. Sriracha hot sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
Dash of sugar or honey
1 1/2 to 2 lbs. chicken, boned and skinned and cut into small pieces*
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 cans diced tomatoes with jalapenos, undrained
1 can black beans, drained
1 can corn, drained
1. Whisk together all of the marinade ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Place chicken in a gallon-sized zipper-lock bag and pour the marinade over it. Squish it around and put it in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
2. Heat olive oil in a skillet. Add onions and cook until they are softened. Add chicken and HALF of the marinade. DISCARD the rest of the marinade. Cook the chicken, stirring, for just a few minutes.
3. Add tomatoes, corn and beans and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Serve over rice.
* You could certainly do this recipe with bone-in chicken. You’d just need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.