Who-catan? Yucatan!

August 5, 2011

Depressed but not defeated after the other night’s failure to procure Mexican food, we once again had to rely on our own kitchen to produce a fantastic meal. We were quite surprised to learn of a Rick Bayless recipe we had not yet attempted, and after tasting it, we wish we had made it a lot sooner. The flavors of this dish are simply sublime. Garlic, pepper, cinnamon, and oregano make the marinade come alive. The tomatoes soften just slightly under the hot chicken and absorb the flavor of the broth. Chef Bayless suggests the option of serving this with pickled onions, and we couldn’t agree more. We also served this with fresh corn on the cob, and we strongly recommend keeping the corn on the same plate as the chicken, because it too will absorb the broth and negate the need for any butter or salt for the corn. This is a full plate of flavor, people. Get cooking. Enjoy!

Rick Bayless’ Grilled Chicken with Tangy Yucatecan Spices and Tomatoes

(serves 4)

For the Yucatecan Garlic-Spice Marinade
1 head garlic, broken into individual cloves (you want about 12 cloves)
1/3 cup vegetable or olive oil
6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
pinch ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, preferably Mexican canela
1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Salt, to taste

1/2 an onion (red or yellow), sliced into thin rings

1/4 cup lime juice

1 tsp. salt

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves or 8 boneless, skinless thighs (about 2 pounds total)

1 cup chicken broth

4 Roma tomatoes

Place onion slices on a plate and top with lime juice and salt. Let stand 30 minutes. Cut a small slit in the side of each garlic clove, and place them all into a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 30 seconds. When cool enough to handle, slip off the papery husks. Put them into a running food processor one at a time, letting each one get fully chopped before adding the next. Stop the food processor, and add the remaining marinade ingredients, along with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Process until smooth. Scrape half the marinade into a medium bowl, and the other half into a small saucepan. To the saucepan, add the broth and 1/4 teaspoon salt. To the bowl, add the chicken pieces and toss to coat evenly with the marinade; set aside. Heat grill to medium. Cook for 5 minutes, until nice and brown. Flip them over and cook until completely tender (the juices will run clear when the meat is pierced with a fork), about 5 more minutes, maybe longer if the pieces are very large. Meanwhile, get the tomatoes ready. Slice them and set on four separate plates; season with salt. Bring broth mixture to a boil. Taste and season with salt if necessary. Top tomatoes with chicken pieces, then drizzle broth over chicken. Serve with the onions. Eat!



  1. Where do the onions go? On top? On bottom?

    • Wherever you like,..I just served them on the side.

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