a year in food and life

Mojito chicken with mint and lime May 18, 2007

Filed under: chicken,food,veggies — superspark @ 5:50 am


You know when you have a mixed drink and you say to yourself, “Wow, if only I could come up with a chicken dish that captured this flavor?” No, me neither. But I am all too familiar with the predicament of having a giant bag of literally 40 chicken breasts in the freezer, with only two of us to consume them. Such excess necessarily inspires creativity, because how many times can you handle the same old Asian-inspired stir fry or salt-and-pepper seasoned chicken breast?

I am a fan of the recipes from the women’s health magazines (Self, Shape, Women’s Health, etc…) mainly because whereas I often find myself cringing at the amount of butter, oil, and cheese called for in recipes from magazines like Gourmet, the women’s health magazines make an effort to print only seriously healthy recipes. With these recipes, I tend to find myself cheating, if anything, by adding a little more cheese or butter, rather than scrimping as I often do in typical recipes. With this recipe from Women’s Health, though, I didn’t need to cheat, as the recipe worked perfectly fine as is- think stir fry meets Kentucky Derby.

At 435 alleged calories, mojito chicken was both healthy and filling, and luckily, wasn’t too close in flavor to the eponymous cocktail. The mint and lime were prominent in the flavor profile, but the rum ended up fading into the background and could probably be omitted.

And may I recommend velveting your chicken? (No, it’s nothing dirty!) We heard about this technique on America’s Test Kitchen several months ago, and tried it here for the first time with fabulous results. The chicken was so much more tender and delicious, with only a minimum of extra effort involved.

All in all, two thumbs up for mojito chicken; while it may not become your go-to chicken recipe, to add a little variety to the monotony of chicken breast, it’s well worth a try.

With mint, lime, and asparagus (herbs, fruit, and veggies!), this is my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted this week by Rinku of Cooking in Westchester.

Chicken mojito with mint and lime over couscous (serves 4)

1 cup couscous
24 spears asparagus
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp sugar
4 chicken breasts (or one per person), cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup light rum
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

1. Cook couscous according to package directions.

2. Preheat oven to 400. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Chop asparagus into bite-sized pieces, arrange on cooking sheet, and coat with cooking spray (we used olive oil in a diffuser bottle). Season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Roast 15 minutes, until tender.

3. [OPTIONAL] Velvet the chicken by drying it very, very well with paper towels or a clean dish towel. Then season with salt and pepper. Mix 2 tbsp cornstarch with 2 tbsp oil, then toss with chicken in a bowl to coat.

4. Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and sugar. Saute about 3 minutes.

5. Add chicken and saute 3-5 minutes until golden brown on all sides. Add rum and broth and simmer 5 minutes.

6. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice and zest. Season with salt and pepper.

7. Put a bed of couscous on each plate, top with chicken mixture and asparagus. Garnish with mint.


12 Responses to “Mojito chicken with mint and lime”

  1. kalyn Says:

    Just wow. I think it sounds fabulous. I have a lot of mint in my garden, but never really thought of mint with chicken before.

  2. […] All in all, two thumbs up for mojito chicken; while it may not become your go-to chicken recipe, to add a little variety to the monotony of chicken breast, it’s well worth a try. With mint, lime, and asparagus (herbs, fruit, …… […]

  3. elle Says:

    wow, what a good idea–mojito chicken-so now we can eat our cocktails

  4. Lydia Says:

    Great combination of flavors! I’m always looking for new ways to use the mint in my garden.

  5. cooknkate Says:

    That does sound yummy but I would totally leave out the rum. White wine might be a better option.

    I always always velvet my meats for a stir fry; I read it in Cooks Illustrated well over a year ago and once I tried it, I never looked back. Simple, yet a profound taste difference.

    I love The New Best Recipe cookbook too.

  6. Georgia Says:

    When I saw this recipe, I was like “wow, we can eat mojito chicken and make mojitos!” I wasn’t super thrilled with the way it turned out, it was pretty good, but not something I think I will make again. It was a little too sweet, maybe if I took out the sugar it would be ok…anyway, sorry to be a negative nancy…because I really like your site and the stuff you make…

  7. interesting…. thank you

  8. […] it be the simple velveted chicken we had alongside the salad.  Learn how to “velvet” here (read on until the bottom) and even those who eschew the lowly boring chicken breast will become […]

  9. Amy Says:

    I tried this last night, and loved it! Will be keeping this recipe in my book. Thanks!

  10. endless thank you. these are yummy! I have a cooking recipe site as well and Id like to exchange links with you. Let me know if this is possible. Thanks.

  11. […] Martha Stewart’s Blueprint, March/April 2007 (I wish they still published that magazine!), Chicken Mojito with Mint and Lime over Couscous from Women’s Health, and Strawberry Margarita Sorbet from Cooking Light, June 2006. I picked […]

  12. Kai Says:

    Made it with less sugar, quite a bit less rum (makes it friendlier for 7-year-olds), and it was quite tasty! Funnily enough, I stumbled across this recipe because we were faced with precisely the same dilemma: we were recently presented with 2 bags of frozen chicken breasts!

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