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Spicy Baja Chicken offers some pizazz after turkey

Nov. 29, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

My dinners before a big holiday are usually meek and meager or none at all. I seem to think of nothing but the big day and all other dinner plans pale in comparison. If you are anything like me, you appreciate something quick and hearty to get you through to the main event.

Years ago, with a heavy heart and even heavier back side, I spent most of my time snacking days before Thanksgiving and Christmas, which wrecks any fantasies of sitting before the bountiful meals I work hard to make eating my fill until I can't move. No, I'm a little different in that restraint is not my friend and I end up grazing throughout the days prior.

I find the months of October, November, and December are powerful sugar marketing months i.e. Halloween candy, cakes and pies, and cookies for Santa. In my old age I am hopeful I have grown out of that kind of behavior as the candy corn I traditionally buy during this time of year is still here. In times past, the bag would never survive two days.

I almost opted to eat out on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, thinking that the few days ahead would include some monster cooking and I could use the rest. But the chicken in the fridge wasn't getting any younger and then it occurred to me food is good, snacking is bad. With that adult kind of thinking I put together a little Baja grilled chicken. It's a little spicy but with that big ol' turkey presenting its bland self as the main event on Thursday, this is a perfect contrast for the meal before or after.


3 chicken breasts, flattened

3 T. hot sauce

1/2 tsp. dried tarragon

2 T. fresh parsley

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. powdered garlic

1/2 tsp. powdered onion

2 T. olive oil

juice of 1 lime

Sprinkle the chicken with the salt, garlic, onion, tarragon and parsley. In a bowl combine the rest of the ingredients and toss to coat. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes. Go ahead and turn on the grill to allow to heat.

Grill for 3-5 minutes on each side depending how thin you pounded the chicken or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.

Serve with a salad.

Janet McCormick is the owner of The Tea Room Cafe in Proctorville, Ohio, and the author of "10-Minute Meals." She can be reached at 304-654-2003 or www.10-minutemeals.com.