I want to start off by saying cooking is hard work (which is probably why I haven't spent much time on it in the past). Between the prep, cook time, and clean up, I spend a good 3 hours on this meal and it wasn't even that involved! The good news is I really enjoyed myself those 3 hours. I had great company and some quality learning took place.
The first thing that I did was pick out a recipe. I love chicken, so I decided that was what I wanted to do my first week and then I set out to doing some research on recipes. I looked in the BBQ books I was given along with some online research on Pinterest. I finally decided on Tequila Lime Chicken.
I started my journey at Sprouts (my go-to grocery store) and picked up what I thought were all my ingredients for the meal. Initially, I wanted corn on the cob and rice as my side dishes but after realizing corn is not quite in season yet, I went with asparagus and couscous. When I got home I realized I had forgotten the tequila but to the suggestion of my boyfriend, I substituted an IPA beer instead. Before starting, I was not sure how this was going to turn out. After laying out all the ingredients for my chicken marinade (in the picture above) I was skeptical to say the least.
I added the chicken marinade ingredients into a bowl and mixed it with the chicken thighs. While marinading, I learned how to clean the grill (very exciting stuff!) and looked at a cheat sheet I found for what temperature to cook chicken at and for how long. I waited until the grill hit 350 degrees F (on medium to high heat on my gas grill) and cooked each side of the chicken for 6-8 minutes adding marinade along the way so the chicken didn't dry out. About 3-5 minutes before the chicken was done, I added the asparagus (which had been marinading in a bag of olive oil, garlic salt, and pepper) to the grill and cooked it for only a few minutes. After they were done, I put both the chicken and asparagus in foil so it didn't get cold and brought it inside to serve. While it may not sound very hard, I must say I am very impressed with myself for this first meal! Everything was really good and I got great feedback from my guests. This is probably the first meal I have cooked in over six months so this is a huge accomplishment for me. My only struggle was getting everything to be done at the same time. The couscous was done way earlier than the chicken and asparagus but thankfully it didn't matter much in the end. Overall, I think my first week was a great success and I can't wait to try more next week!
5 chicken thighs
1/3 cup IPA beer
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 lime juice
1 tsp agave syrup
2 cloves finely chopped garlic cloves
1. Turn on grill to medium/high heat, wait 5 minutes
2. Clean grill with brush
3. Wait until grill is at 350 degrees F
4. Put on chicken
5. Cook 6-8 minutes, add marinade
6. Flip, cook 6-8 minutes, add marinade
7. Turn grill off (very important)