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hello sunshine
by Yee-Fan Sun 1 2

As soon as the warmer temperatures start making an appearance, I start dreaming about grilling. Some folks might crave a fat juicy steak when it comes time to fire up that grill thatís been hidden away all winter, but me Ė Iím much more of a chicken fan, and not just because itís generally healthier. Beef just always tastes kind of, well, meaty to me; chicken, on the other hand, seems so much more infinitely adaptable to a variety of different flavorings. Iím always playing around with different marinades; the one below is one of my current favorites. Serve it up on the patio with a big, fresh salad and a tall glass of iced sun tea; kick back, eat slowly, enjoy the sunshine.

tequila-lime grilled chicken
I like to grill up extra chicken when Iím making this Ė it makes for good leftovers that can be tossed with pesto and pasta for a quickie dinner, mixed with mayo and apple for a tasty chicken salad, or tossed with greens for a light lunch. The marinade can also be used for shrimp.

2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. tequila
juice from 1 fat lime
juice from 1/2 orange
2 fat cloves garlic
3 stalks scallion
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 serrano chile or cayenne pepper to taste, optional
4-6 chicken breasts

Tear the scallions into 2-3Ē sections; smash and peel the garlic. De-seed and de-rib, then chop up the chile, if youíre using it (itís a good idea to wear gloves when working with chile peppers). Toss it all in a mixing bowl, and add the remaining ingredients. Stir it up until the sugarís dissolved. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Trim the excess fat from the chicken breasts. Lightly pound the chicken breasts so that theyíre more or less even in thickness. Marinate for at least an hour, preferably several.

Heat up the grill. Over medium-high heat, cook the chicken, brushing on extra marinade from time to time. The actual cooking time will depend upon how thick your chicken is, as well as how hot you have your grill; I find it usually takes between 6-8 minutes per side. I can generally tell when itís getting close to being done because the chicken feels firmer when I give it a poke. To check for certain, pull a breast off the grill and slice it half-way through the thickest section; when the chicken is mostly white and opaque with just the very middle still a tiny bit pink, the chickenís done Ė itíll continue cooking to juicy perfection after itís pulled off the heat.

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