Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Grilled Chicken with Cilantro Crema - Bahama Breeze Copycat

My friend Jen has a favorite dish from Bahama Breeze - Grilled Chicken with Cilantro Crema - and I have been promising her that I'd try to recreate it. I had never had the dish, so I had to figure it out from her description and from reading the menu online.

I tried to find a copycat recipe, but could only find one for the cilantro crema, the part of the dish I already had some ideas on based on some things I had made in the past. So I experimented with the chicken, served it over mashed potatoes just like at the restaurant, and she said it was really good! I liked it as well - light and bright, fresh, and easy!

I made creamy mashed potatoes with some cheddar cheese mixed in, but come to think of it, these Roasted Jalapeno Mashed Potatoes would have been perfect with this chicken! Next time.

Here is what I did -

The Chicken
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • Juice from 1/2 of a lime
  • 1/4 c tequila
Mix the oil, garlic, jalapeno, lime juice and tequila. Pour over chicken in a shallow dish or Ziploc bag. Let marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Note, if you do choose to marinate it longer, add your lime juice 4 or less hours from cooking.

Grill the chicken - cook each side for 3 minutes over high heat. Lower heat to medium and cook one more time per side until cooked through (internal temperature reaches 165). Transfer to a plate to rest for a few minutes.

The Cilantro Cream
Adapted from: Eating Well

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon minced scallion greens
  • 1 teaspoon seeded and minced jalapeno pepper chile
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

  • Blend everything in a bowl using a handheld immersion blender, or a food processor, until smooth. Push through a sieve to remove any chunks. Chill until ready to serve.
    The Potatoes
    I grew up watching and helping my dad make mashed potatoes, so never really followed a recipe. Potatoes just need to be mixed and tasted again and again, adjusting as you go, until you reach the desired creaminess, saltiness, and overall flavor. For this dish, this is what I did:
    • 2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
    • Approximately 3/4 c of whole milk (have some extra on hand)
    • Approximately 4 tbsp butter, softened
    • Salt to taste (I probably use 2 tbsp - just keep adding slowly and tasting)
    • 1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
    Boil the potatoes until tender; drain and return to the pot. Slowly add the milk and butter, mixing with a hand mixer. Add the cheese and continue to mix. Start to season with salt as you mix, continuously tasting and adjusting. Add more milk if needed, and adjust salt.

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