Since I started training for the half marathons on my calendar later this year, I’ve been (mostly) trying(ish) to keep my nutrition in check. That just means aiming for a better balance of calories, eating 6-10 servings of veggies and fruit a day, and eating more chicken breast at lunch than I have in my entire life.
Aside from losing 10lbs in 8 weeks (because let’s be honest – that’s the most important part to me), that’s… actually it. I have nothing more to add to that statement. Like I said – for me, it’s the most important part of running 🙂
For lunch, I’ve developed a love for chopped salads (picking from the myriad of veggies I now have to keep on hand to make 6-10 servings a day) topped with grilled chicken. But not just plain ol’ grilled chicken – because that *&^% got old on day 3. Instead, I top my salads with Mojo-Brined Chicken.
Now, don’t let the word “brine” scare you. You probably just flashed on an old episode of Good Eats that involved a special bucket or a cooler, loads of ice, and a turkey the size of your 4 year-old.
To brine this chicken, we’re talking about a pie plate, a gallon freezer bag, a cup of water, and a tablespoon of salt. THAT’S IT. It’s a quick and small recipe that yields an insanely not-boring, juicy chicken breast flavored with citrus and garlic inspired by Cuban mojo sauce.
I pick up one of those gigantic, 5-6lb value trays of chicken breast that always seem to be on sale, throw the brine together on Saturday night/Sunday morning, and then grill them all at once on Sunday afternoon (when we’re sure to already have the grilled fired up) to have for lunches all week.
It’s by far the best part of every salad I make.
Grilled, juicy chicken breasts marinated in a mojo-inspired brine of oranges, garlic, and oregano.
- 2.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 2 small valencia oranges (juice from both oranges, the zest from 1)
- Juice from 1 lime
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 cup water
- 1 Tbsp salt
- Lightly pound the chicken breast to an even thickness.
- Place in a gallon zip-top bag with the remaining ingredients: orange juice, orange lest, lime juice, garlic, oregano, water, and salt.
- Seal the bag after pressing out the extra air and squeeze it a few times to mix the brine.
- Place in a pie plate (or other walled-dish to prevent a fridge disaster should your bag spring a leak) and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (I typically do it overnight).
- Heat your grill to medium-high, remove chicken from marinade, and grill ~6 minutes on each side.
- Let stand for ~10 minutes before slicing.
Yields: ~6 servings
Estimated time: 4 hours 30 minutes
I love how you unabashedly admit that to run to lose weight and that you didn’t need to come up with some other reason. My #1 reason for running is losing weight or keeping it in check. I am also LOVING the idea of brining chicken breasts to grill for salad. I’m going to have to try it out, because I also eat a lot of chicken on salad. Something has to balance out that bowl of ice cream 😉
This looks so yummy! What kind of dressing do you use for this salad?
Thanks, Rachel! It’s this one: http://www.jasonandshawnda.com/foodiebride/archives/9422/ It’s a knock-off of the “house vinaigrette” from our favorite pizza joint.
I love the simplicity of this! I’m making up a batch for myself to have this week. Thanks for the great share!
Definitely making this week! Love the idea of grilling it all ahead of time… and I’ll def make the salad in the picture, too! <3 Avocado, grilled corn, feta – some of my faves!
Can you remind me that the whole KEEPING MY WEIGHT IN CHECK thing is the reason why I run? Because I have been so lazy and need to get back on the bandwagon. Somehow I feel like a salad like this will help.
I loved to have it as a main course!
What exactly what do you have on the side of the chicken and under the chicken. It looks so good and now I am really hungry