Monday, July 4, 2011

Peruvian Chicken and Mexican Corn

How better to celebrate the Fourth of July than with a Latin American dinner? (Okay, so there are probably many ways, but this way was delicious so I don't care.) Peruvian chicken comes from Cooks Illustrated (reproduced here, though it's missing the sugar, see below). The recipe is for a whole roasted chicken, but we had boneless chicken thighs so we used them instead (we halved the marinade for about 1.5 lbs of chicken). Mexican corn is just grilled corn with the addition of mayo (sounds gross but it's not, remember that mayo is just oil and eggs after all), cheese, ancho powder, lime juice and salt. With some brown rice to round it out and a Goose Island Summertime Ale, a good meal was had by all! (All two of us that is.)

Peruvian Chicken Marinade
adapted from Cooks Illustrated

1/4 cup, loosely packed, fresh mint
1 habanero chile (we subbed a jalapeno b/c, guess what, the grocery store was closed)
3 garlic cloves
1 t salt
1 T granulated sugar (sub honey if you like, but don't skip it!)
1/2 tsp of black pepper
1 T ground cumin
1 t pimentón (smoked paprika)
1/2 t dried oregano
2 T olive oil
2 t lime zest
1/4 c lime juice

Mix all ingredients in a small food processor or blender. Marinate chicken (boneless or bone-in chunks, or a whole chicken, or whatever) for 4+ hours. Grill until cooked, outer edges will brown and caramelize and be amazing. Cook time will depend on your chicken choice and grill temperature/temperament. Serve with brown rice or quinoa or potatoes or sweet potatoes or nothing at all.

Mexican Corn
a few ears of corn
cheese (parm or, ideally, queso añejo)
ancho or other chile powder
lime juice

Prepare corn for grilling: Carefully peel back husks (do not remove!) and pull out all silks. Re-wrap the ear in the husks. Some people like to then soak the ears for 15 minutes in a large bowl of water, but it seems to be totally unnecessary. Either way, grill the corn for 20-30 minutes over moderate heat. Outer husks will char and kernels will be tender (stab with a fork if you're unsure, but it's hard to overcook it.) Once it's barely cool enough to handle, peel back husks and slather in mayonnaise (good stuff please), then sprinkle heavily with cheese, spritz with lime juice, and dust with chile powder and salt. Eat while still warm. Wonder why you haven't moved to Mexico yet.

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