This has been a favorite of ours for a long time. The brilliant thing about the recipe is that it understands that chicken breasts are about as exciting as a Steven Raichlen marathon and one needs a pretty creative trick to overcome that. And the trick is this: reserve some of the marinade (before it touches the raw poultry of course) to drizzle on after the chicken (and vegetables) are cooked. Did you hear that MacArthur Foundation? Because it’s genius.
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
1/3 cup lime juice, from 2-3 limes
4 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 jalapeno chile, seeds and ribs removed, minced
1-1/2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1.5 lbs), trimmed of fat, tenderloins removed, and breasts pounded into 1/2″ thickness
1 large red onion, peeled and cut into 1/2″-thick rounds (do not separate rings)
1 large red bell pepper, quartered, stemmed and seeded
1 large green bell pepper, quartered, stemmed and seeded
8-12 plain flour tortillas (6-inch)
Optional garnishes: avocado, sour cream, shredded cheese, lime wedges
In a bowl big enough to accommodate the chicken, whisk together the lime juice, 4 tablespoons of the vegetable oil, garlic, Worcestershire, brown sugar, jalapeno, cilantro, 1 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Remove 1/4 cup and set aside in a separate bowl. Add another teaspoon of salt to the remaining marinade and add chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Brush both sides of onion rounds and peppers with remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, light a chimney starter worth of charcoal and burn until covered in grey ash. Empty coals evenly into grill and position grate.
Remove chicken from marinade and place on grill along with onions and peppers (discard marinade). Cook chicken approximately 4-5 minutes per side or until it reaches 160 degrees. Transfer to a plate or cutting board and tent with foil to keep warm. Cook peppers and onion until charred on both sides. When you have enough room on the grill, add tortillas and cook briefly until just toasted on each side (keep a careful eye on them as they will burn quickly). Place in foil to keep warm.
Separate onions into rings, cut peppers into 1/4″ strips and place all vegetables in a serving bowl or platter. Toss with 2 tablespoons of reserved marinade. Slice chicken into 1/4″ strips, toss with remaining marinade and arrange on platter. Serve with warm tortillas and garnishes.