Thursday, February 26, 2009

Santa Fe Chicken

I'm a big Oprah fan, so when I saw her talk about this Santa Fe Chicken on one of her shows I knew I had to give it a try. I don't know about you, but I really enjoy making chicken for dinner in all sorts of ways. Tonight for instance I had spicy asian chicken that was TO DIE FOR (that post coming later, promise.)

For Oprah's Santa Fe Chicken you need the following:

Juice of 3 limes
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
6 cloves garlic , minced
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
2 whole boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup white wine
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves

Mock Sour Cream or low-fat sour cream
1 lime, sliced into 6 thin slices
6 scallion firecrackers (see Tips below)
1/4 cup fresh salsa or Papaya Salsa

The marinade in this dish is what gives the chicken such a smooth flavor. Although it is ideal if the meat can soak in the marinade for at least an hour before cooking to absorb the intricate flavors of the marinade, if you don't have time, don't be discouraged, because the chicken will still be flavorful. If you are really planning ahead, you can soak the meat in the marinade for up to two days.

It's not practical to keep fresh limes and lemons on hand when I can keep ReaLime and ReaLemon in the fridge to call upon when I need it. If I was making a "special" meal I would probably splurge for the real deal.

I tested this recipe on Jim by marinading the chicken overnight and then cooking them in the oven the day I was leaving for a work trip. I put the cooked chicken breast in the fridge with a note of ideas on how to eat them.

Okay, back to this marinade!

1/4 cup "less sodium" soy sauce.

1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil. I'm combing everything in a bowl here.

1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder. I used chipotle chile pepper for added KICK!

No reason to include this photo (or the first one) but I was cooking and looked down and liked the way my colorful measuring spoons lay on top of each other.

Whole coriander.

Freshly ground. I need 1 1/2 teaspoons.

GARLIC! Recipe calls for 6 cloves. Woo Hoo!

Fresh cilantro.

Add 1/4 cup white wine to your mixing bowl.

Now Whisk!

I put the boneless skinless chicken breasts in a zip top bag then added the marinade.

To be on the safe side, I put the zip top bag in a small shallow dish before putting in the fridge. (Eww, can you imagine marinade and raw chicken juice spilling in the fridge? Well yes I can since it has happened to me before. Trust me, be on the safe side and throw your marinading chicken in a bowl or dish first!)

When the chicken has absorbed all the flavors of the marinade, broil the chicken under a medium flame for 8 to 10 minutes. My chicken took longer to cook through.

Basting with the juices helps keep the chicken moist. This definitely doesn't photograph well, you will have to trust me on this one.

Oprah's recipe suggest transferring the chicken to a platter and slice it at an angle. Then garnish each piece with a little of the pan juice, a dollop of sour cream, slice of lime and a scallion firecracker as well as a dollop of salsa.

What is a Scallion Firecracker?

The scallion "firecracker" is a lively garnish that gets its name from the way the leaves of the onion curl away from the body of the onion, creating a "firecracker" appearance. Cut 2 inches off the green leafy side of the scallion. Trim the roots at the white bulbous end. Then cut three slits about 1/2-inch down through the white, bulbous end. Fill a bowl with ice water and drop in the freshly cut scallions.

It is never too much trouble to cook extra chicken breasts. They hold the flavor of the marinade and are wonderful for chicken salad or sandwiches for work or school. I cooked three for Jim and then put in the fridge for a quick and easy meal when I'm out of town.

This was a really good marinade, but it had a lot of ingredients (too manyin my opinion.) I thought the lime flavor was too prominent, so would use less lime next time. This would be great served over rice or shredded and placed in a soft taco or on a crispy chalupa. Yum!


  1. Mmmmm, that sounds good. That will be on my list to make soon once I buy some chicken.

  2. Sounds fabulous, I'll give it a try! Thanks for sharing.

  3. This looks great and I'm always looking for more chicken recipes. I definitely think making this and putting it into a taco sounds delish. I can't wait for the asian chicken recipe..YUM!

  4. This looks delish! =] Can't wait to try it!

  5. Looks yummy! Thanks for the chicken recipies. Please post more when you can. I need as much help as I can get when it comes to chicken.

  6. looks good to me. But I can see where all of tose flavors would be a bit overpowering

  7. This sounds so good! I bet Oprah makes it for herself alllllll the time ;o)


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