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Margarita Chicken Sliders

Great Grilling with Margarita Chicken Sliders!

July 18, 2013
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Who’s looking for the perfect summer grilled chicken recipe? Step right up, folks – here is the easiest summer recipe: Grilled Margarita Chicken Sliders with Mango Salsa! It sounds like one of those fancy cooking show recipes, but this is insanely easy and it only has three main ingredients!

One of the ingredients is margarita mix! Woo-hoo! Don’t go all crazy on me here; it’s a non-alcoholic mix, but it makes this chicken amazing!

We are in full-on summer with pool time, summer baseball, play dates, summer reading programs and everything else that we are supposed to do to make sure our kids are contributing members of society one day. My life seems a little more scheduled, but it works for our family.

So when I find a recipe that is simple and awesome, I know it is one I want to write about and share with you! I am going to apologize to my family and friends right now – this is the chicken that we will be eating all summer long. If you invite me to your house, this is what I am bringing. If you are coming to my house for dinner, this is what we are having.

I try to have my dinners planned out sometime during the morning so I can make sure I have what I need to make it later in the day. If the chicken needs to be marinated, I can throw it together in the morning and pull it out later when I am ready to cook.

Grilled Margarita Chicken Sliders with Mango Salsa. Take one look at these pictures on the recipe and tell me – who wouldn’t want one of these?

The prep time to marinate the chicken is very quick! Take out four boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I use my kitchen shears to cut chicken – it seems easier and more fun than using a knife! Next, cut them in half like this:

Cut Chicken

Place the chicken into a plastic bag and flatten to 1/2 inch thickness. This is the part that my kitchen helpers like to help with! They get to use the illegal meat mallet! You know, the one that is flat on one side and has pointy edges on the other side? Take your aggressions out on the chicken that needs to be flattened – it’s excellent therapy.

Pound Chicken

With the cut-up, flattened chicken breasts in the large plastic bag, pour in 1 cup non-alcoholic margarita mix. I’m just going to be honest, I thought about using the alcoholic version, but there’s no need for the extra cost, nor does it really add any extra flavor.

Marinade Chicken

Next add 1 tablespoon freshly chopped cilantro leaves. You can use scissors to cut up the leaves, but I use a pizza cutter just because it is a bit of a time-saver.

Chop Cilantro

Seal the bag and turn it several times to make sure that all the chicken is coated.

Place the bag into a 13 x 9-inch pan and refrigerate it at least 30 minutes. Turn the chicken occasionally. Doing this in the morning is an easy way to ensure that it’s ready to grill at dinnertime!

Cilantro Marinade

Next it’s time for the salsa! Your friends will be really impressed if you take the time to actually make the salsa. However, if you are pressed for time, most stores sell a mango salsa. I would encourage you to make this salsa, as it isn’t hard or too time consuming. Here’s how to make it:

Okay, so I did have to go out and buy a jar of orange marmalade, I figure I will make this all summer long, so not such a big deal. You only need to use 1 tablespoon orange marmalade.

Spoon Orange Marmalade

Then dice up a red pepper until you have 1/4 cup.

Dice Red Pepper

The hardest part of this recipe is cutting up the mango. Here’s a little lesson on mango cutting 101! Select your mango so that you know it is ripe. It should be a reddish color and should feel a little soft when you squeeze it – almost like a ripe peach.

Mangoes have a really tough pit area in the middle. The best way to cut the mango is in half like this:

Chopped Mango

Then score the mango like this.

Score Mango

The inside of the mango away from the peel – it will already be in diced pieces.

You will need about 1 cup mango when you are done.

The recipe calls for 1 to 2 tablespoons of finely chopped jalapeño peppers. We are a “mild” kind of family, so when I brought home a jalapeño, the family freaked out! So I promised I would only use a little bit. This was after I retrieved the bag containing one pepper that was being used to chase the other boy around the kitchen. Be careful when you are handling the pepper so that you don’t get the oils on your hands. The membrane and the seeds are said to be the hottest parts!

Chopped Jalapeno

Add in 2 tablespoons of chopped up fresh cilantro leaves and mix well. It looks amazing and smells even better!

Mango Salsa

Next it’s grilling time!

Preheat your grill. Then remove the chicken from the bag. Make sure to discard the extra margarita marinade.

Marinaded Chicken

Next, sprinkle the chicken with a little salt before you grill. Here is a great grilling tip to keep the chicken from sticking to the grill: You can lightly spray the chicken with a no-stick cooking spray. Spray it in a pan before you grill. Don’t do it on the grill when you are about to flip the chicken over – the aerosol will cause the grill to flare up.

Place the chicken onto the grill.

Grill Chicken

Grill chicken, turning once, about 10 to 12 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches at least 165°F and chicken is no longer pink in the center. The marinade smells incredibly good on the grill – the cilantro is awesome!

Turn Chicken

In the last minute of grilling, top each chicken piece with 2 quarters of American cheese.

Add Cheese

Remove the chicken from the grill and your sliders are ready for assembly! Place one piece of chicken onto the bottom half of each bun.

Top each with 1 tablespoon of the homemade mango salsa.

Assemble Sliders

Top with the other half of the bun.

Voila! Ready to serve!

Finished Sliders

The sliders began disappearing. My friends and kids were eating them too fast to get many pictures! I guess that’s a sign of a great recipe, right? I can tell you that there were no leftovers at all. The chicken was moist and tender! It was the perfect recipe to make a simple dinner even easier. If you are looking for a great summer chicken recipe, Grilled Margarita Sliders with Mango Salsa is it!

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