Salsa Marinated Chicken

Salsa Marinated Chicken

Every family has their few go-to recipes that show up every week, or every other week, at the dinner table. Growing up, I remember eating a whole lot of what we dubbed "salsa chicken." The recipe is from the cookbook, Looneyspoons, written by Janet and Greta Podleski, which I know is a staple for many families for its low-fat, delicious and nutritious recipes. This cookbook is, sadly, out of print now, but as a moving out gift, my Mom was lucky enough to find a copy at a local thrift store for $1, so I too would be able to make salsa chicken, among other simple recipes. If you do own Looneyspoons, this recipe is adapted from "The Thigh's the Limit" on page 97. When I made this recipe, I did not have the requested skinless chicken thighs, but stir fry ready chicken breast, so this is a marinate that will work easily with whatever chicken you have on hand. For this recipe, you'll need:

  • 12 skinless chicken thighs (about 3 ounces each)
  • 3/4 cup salsa (mild, medium or hot)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1-1/2 tbsp grated ginger root

1. In a large Ziplock bag, combine all the ingredients, and coat the chicken well.

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But first, my roommate's Dad made many a can of homemade salsa in the summer and I'm lucky enough to have a few hanging around in the apartment. I think it's pretty key for this recipe to have a delicious salsa for marinating, as that is the flavour that dominates the dish, so do yourself a favour and buy the more expensive kind from the good part of the supermarket.

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2. Leave the chicken in the fridge to marinate for at least four hours. Of course, the longer it marinates, the better it's going to taste.

3. Arrange the chicken in a single layer 13 x 9 inch baking dish.

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4. The recipe calls to bake the chicken for 40 minutes in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven, but that is with the full 12 chicken thighs. My chicken took about 20 minutes to cook, so make sure to keep checking while they're in the oven.

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I served my chicken with rice flavoured with turmeric and pan-fried kale, broccoli and carrots tossed in salt, pepper and olive oil. And after all my cooking and preparing, neither of my roommates came home for dinner. Figures, huh?

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What I enjoy most about this recipe is how juicy and well-cooked the chicken is every. single. time. I feel like the mixture of mostly liquid ingredients really creates a no-fail for the perfect chicken. Bonus, it is a great balance of sweet and acidic, and great to serve when you have a lot of different palates to please.

What are your favourite no-fail chicken recipes?

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