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