I had the pleasure to spend a couple days last week working outside observing an install. Most people would not be as excited as I am to spend 12 hours a day in the blazing sun, but to me any day I get to spend soaking up Vitamin D is a good one, not to mention I find our installs fascinating. If I could change my job title to “Professional Install Watching Ninja,” believe me, I would be all over it. Alas, I only get to observe 1 per year usually since most of our installs are further away.
I will say this: no matter how giddy it makes me to be paid to hang outside all day, it is mid-June in the South and it is hot out there! Hulk out hot. Melt onto the sidewalk hot. Way far beyond pit stains hot. The only thing that makes me feel better about getting so sweaty is knowing that I can turn my AC down to 68 when I get home, take a freezing cold shower, and chill out on the couch with Cheese.
On my lunch break before heading over for the first day of the install, I went to the best grocery store I have ever been to: The Green Spot in Dalton, Georgia. I love this place! They have the best meat section. Their prices are hard to beat, and these days who gets the chance to buy groceries from locally owned stores? The owners live across the street from my grandparents and I grew up with their grandchildren.
One of my favorite things about cooking is walking around the grocery store looking for inspiration for a recipe I have never tried before. First stop: meat section. I knew I wanted chicken… it is just so easy! I picked up some boneless, skinless chicken breasts. To me, that is the only way to fly with chicken; something about peeling off skin and cooking around bones grosses me out! How many grocery stores do you shop at where you tell the in-house butcher exactly what you want, and they prepare it for you, and then wrap it in white paper? Boom!
But what to marinate the chicken in? That always seems to be the question. Yeah sure, you can grab a bottle of pre-made marinade. It is so simple and easy to do it that way, and trust me I do it often. My personal favorite is Fat-Free Italian Dressing. Today, however, I wanted something a little more that I had never tried before. To the produce section!
I told you last week about my love of citrus fruits. I could not ignore the oranges or limes lined up so perfectly in the fruit bins. These are probably my two favorite fruits; I love how the orange is sweet while the lime is the slightest bit sour. That is a great flavor combination, and they were practically begging to come home with me. Boom!
I can now see a citrusy marinade in my mind, with some cilantro and garlic for extra flavor, but there just seemed to be something missing. It needed something that packed a big punch. I wandered aimlessly until I saw one of my favorite knock-out ingredients: Thai Chili Sauce. Have you tried this stuff? It is amazing! It is the perfect combination of sweet and spicy and it does not take too much of this to knock your socks off. Pow!
And there you have it kids… the recipe for Boom Boom Pow Chicken is born!
Let’s make some marinade, shall we? Zest and juice the fruit, saving the pulp for salsa if you want. Mix that with Thai Chili Sauce, some cilantro, and add a couple cloves of minced garlic. Whisk all of this together, and throw it with the chicken in a Ziploc baggie in the fridge until you are ready to cook it. This is perfect for grilling, but I cooked in on the stove instead to save time and clean up after working all day.
While the chicken is marinating and the pan is warming up, why not make some salsa? Salsa is one of my favorite things to make because you can make it out of virtually anything and at any consistency you want. Normally, I am a pico girl, but today I am in a hurry and so it is all going into the food processor. This Orangey Lime Salsa is the perfect addition to my Boom Boom Pow Chicken because it basically pulls in all the flavors of the chicken but more potently than the marinade does.
On the side, I steamed some broccoli and red peppers. I think some Pinto beans would have gone nicely too; maybe next time. And since I wanted a little extra Pow! I added some extra Thai Chili Sauce to the tops of the chicken while it was cooking.
If you want to try this yourself, here is the full chicken and salsa recipe. I hope you enjoy it!