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May 30, 2013

I am not a chef.

I enjoy cooking thoroughly, but I am not a chef.

With that said, I made some kick ass chicken for dinner last night. A little back story on how I came up with it: me and my best friends Alyssa and Meagan were out at an "authentic" Spanish restaurant in Brooklyn, and the meats we got in our meals were okay to put it simply, so there wasn't much else but the delicious rice and beans and the simple mild salsa on the side. When you think of salsa you think of liquidy goodness with chunks of tomato, but I'm talking salsa like when you ask for mild tomatoes in your burrito at Chipotle - just tomatoes, red onion, lime juice, and cilantro. Simple, fresh, delish.

So while eating that salsa I said to the girls, "wouldn't a piece of grilled chicken drowning with this stuff be amazing?" Neither of them were as excited as I was, but that's okay.

So last night I got home from work early and went to town on my fantasy meal. I chopped up three vine tomatoes, a little less than half of a large red onion, mixed those together, then added a shit ton of cilantro, because I love it. Then I squeezed in the juice of one lime, seasoned with salt and pepper, and that was that. Easiest thing to make in the world. I set that aside and went to work on the chicken. Before work I had mixed together some olive oil, lime juice, and cilantro in a little bowl to sit all day and stew together. I let the chicken sit in it for about 30 minutes while I prepped the salsa, and then, because I'm grill illiterate, my dad BBQ'd the chicken for us.

Disclaimer about this method of prep: lime juice actually cooks meat. It's totally normal, it's a chemical reaction, but you don't want to sit your chicken in the lime juice mixture for more than 30-45 minutes, because it starts to cook (this is the way ceviche is cooked) and you want to make sure that you take it out of the mixture and let it grill all the way through rather than letting it cook with the lime juice. I'm no professional, and maybe you could leave it in there for days and have amazing chicken, but I think it's a little weird, so I don't like to let it go too far.
I made a couple of side dishes, including a Trader Joe's multigrain blend with vegetables, and planned on taking a picture of my colorful plate, but was so excited to eat that I forgot. So here's the leftover chicken in a fancy plastic chinese food container:
Mmm mmm good.

Let me know if you make this, have made it, or make a variation of it!

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