Apps are done, lets get down to business. MEAT.  No narrative today, grab some limes and parsley and get to it.

Spicy Citrus Chicken

  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Serrano Chile Pepper, seeded
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup sliced scallions
  • Chicken Breasts bone-in (also sold as split rib)

Whisk together the oil and lime juice, add the garlic, scallions, chopped chile pepper,  and a generous amount of kosher salt. Clean and dry your chicken and marinate for 2-3 hours. The oil protects the chicken a bit but if you marinate longer the acid of the lime juice will start to cook the chicken and you’ll have a poultry ceviche. Not yummy.

Citrus Chile Chicken - Marinating

I prefer bone in chicken for grilling because a lot of cooks say the flavor’s in the bone, and for chicken breasts, the rib acts as a natural rack of sorts to hold the flesh from direct heat so it doesn’t dry out so fast. If you’re going skin-off and boneless, drop your marinating time to 30 mins  and keep a close eye on the grill. It will cook fast and dry out even faster.
Grill till inside is 165 degrees or until flesh resists / springs back when touched.

Chimichurri Steak

  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley (1 C  with stems removed)
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 c red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 c olive oil
  • Red chili pepper flakes to taste
  • Kosher salt

Easy peasy, right? only 5 ingredients. It’s gonna be amazing, I promise. Blend everything together and set half aside to serve with the meal. Use what’s left to marinate your steak.

There are LOTS of guides to choosing a steak, including  multiple episodes ofgood eats and manygood articles. In short: look for marbling with little gristle, a thick cut (thin steaks will cook fast and sieze up and ones that have been pounded thin are cheap cuts that the butcher has tried to tenderize by breaking some of the muscle fibers) , and get the best grade you can afford.

Chimichurri is an Argentinian marinade and sauce commonly seen with flank or skirt steaks. I was lucky to catch sirloin on sale. Don’t get used to it, we’re not that fancy round here. Grill your meat to desired temperature. I used to be a strictly well-done, no pink kinda girl but have discovered the glory of a nice juicy medium steak. Here is an excellent chart with grilling times for various proteins and veg.

Right about now, your world is smelling amazing. You’ve got spicy, garlicky, herbacious, citrus all coming off the grill and you want to eat now now now. But wait! Letting your proteins rest after coming off the grill is going to keep everything juicy and tender. If you cut into that blazing hot piece of meat, all the juice will run out and you’ll undo all of your hard work. Ya’see, protein juices don’t like heat, so when meat hits the grill it all runs away to go hide in the middle. As your meat of choice cools, the juices re-distribute and are re-absorbed by the fibrous tissue. For a no-fail juicy steak, undercook a little, then wrap in foil for 5 minutes.

Serve as is, or for a party situation, set up a taco bar. I served with corn tortillas, salsa, the rest of the chimichurri sauce, jack cheese, and sour cream.

BONUS RECIPE!!!! (be excited!)
Woman cannot live on meat and cheese alone, how about a nice Black and Brown Salad. The black is from black beans and the brown is brown rice, but don’t let the name food you, there’s a lot of good stuff in this.

  • Brown Rice, cooked
  • Canned Black Beans
  • Red onion OR Scallions depending on preference, diced
  • Corn  (I like Peruvian white corn)
  • Tomatoes, chopped
  •  Cilantro
  • Lime Juice
  • Kosher Salt, black pepper

Combine the rice with the beans and veg, then season with the lime juice, salt and pepper to taste. This is great to make a few hours ahead because all the flavors start to get friendly as it sits.

Next up, dessert! See you soon, friends.