Monday, March 5, 2012

Beer Marinated Chicken over Grilled Nopales with Tomatillo Jalapeno Sauce

My store recently started stocking fresh Nopales( Prickly Pear Cactus pads). They are nutritious and delicious, Kind of like a green bean, asparagus, green pepper cross with an okra texture. They can be cooked any number of ways so if you can pick some up, give them a try!
This is a fantastic marinade for chicken even if you don't want the cactus!

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup beer (flavor/darkness of your choice)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 garlic clove, finely minced
2 TB minced onion
2 tsps sweet paprika
salt and pepper to taste

4-5 large tomatillos, husk and carve out the stem top with a small sharp knife
1 jalapeno, top removed (and ribs/seeds  for less kick)
1 clove garlic, smashed
1/2 tsp lemon juice
salt to taste

6 Nopales(I actually had some really big ones so I only used 3 and gave everyone 1/2, you can use as much or little as you like, the ones I got on my last trip were more "personal" sized LOL)
1 cup beer

Mix marinade ingredients , pour over chicken breasts , cover and allow to marinate at least 4 hours.

Sauce: can be made ahead of time and re-heated
Boil the tomatillos and jalapenos until they are tender, tomatillos will turn a pale color
drain the water and place in blender with garlic clove and lemon juice, process until smooth, add salt to taste. Set aside.

Hold at the base and de-thorn but running a sharp knife or vegetable peeler over them, make sure you get all those needles off, they hurt! Rinse well.

Grease grate and pre-heat grill for medium high( I was intending on doing this on the outside grill, but the weather failed me so I used my griddle pan)

Slice into fingers, leaving them attached at the base.

At this point get the chicken on the grill and cook to an internal temp of 165. Remove to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

Continue with the nopales by dipping in beer and place on hot grill, press down and cook until browned well, about 4-5 minutes, flip and do the other side.

Slice off the base and place strips on a plate top with chicken.

Pour over a little warmed sauce and serve.

I served a side of simple quinoa boiled with chicken broth

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