Monday, October 31, 2011

Chili lime chicken with black bean & corn salad

It's the sweetest day of the year and you're desperately trying to figure out what to have for dinner so you get something substantial in your stomach before the glorious sugar overload begins.  (Or, perhaps it's the finale to weeks of sampling the candy dish in your office... ahem.)

Contrary to my frequent unfulfilled wishes, candy is not an appropriate meal substitute. 

Here's a super quick meal you can whip up in 20 minutes that will leave you feeling satisfied and ready to attack the pile of sweets without an excess of guilt-- chili lime chicken and black bean and corn salad.  Summery (pffffff October) southwest flavors for the win!

This is one of those almost-not-a-recipe recipes that is so simple, and therein lies the brilliance of the dish.  The spices play on the more flavorful leg meat of the chicken while the skin crisps up nicely.  And, by covering the chicken after drizzling lime juice over the legs, the meat absorbs all of that yummy citrus flavor and makes it even more fall-off-the-bone tender.

Paired with a I-can't-believe-that's-all-it-takes side of black bean and corn salad, and you've done and made yourself a better-than-takeout-meal.

(Have you been introduced to can't-separate-her-words Katy?  She's a bit off her rocker... try not to make eye contact.)

And then, when you've had a nice balanced meal, you can delve head-first into that bag of crack Whoppers.  Oh, how I can't resist them, no matter how hard I try or old I get.  Whether you're young enough to go door to door for treats, or you're old enough to drive yourself to Target and buy a bag of your favorite confections for munching at home, Halloween is definitely a frighteningly good time for all!  Did you attend any costume parties this weekend?  If so, what were you?

Me?  I was a bridesmaid for an absolutely stunning bride :)

Congratulations to two of my very best friends, Natalie and Nick who tied the knot this weekend! 

Chili Lime Chicken Drumsticks
(adapted slightly from One Cup Awesome)
-serves 3-4, depending on the size of the drumsticks

A few notes: If you're not a chicken drumstick enthusiast, chicken thighs and breasts will work just as well.

2 pounds chicken drumsticks, rinsed and patted dry
Olive oil, for brushing
Chili powder
Ground black pepper
1 lime, cut half

Preheat oven to 425F.  Line a baking sheet with foil.  Brush each drumstick with olive oil and place on sheet.  Liberally season with chili powder, salt, and pepper.  Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes until skin begins to crisp and turn golden brown.

Remove from oven and squeeze juice of one half of the lime over the drumsticks.  Cover chicken with foil and allow to rest for 5 minutes.  Serve immediately and enjoy!

Black Bean & Corn Salad
-serves 4-5

1 (14.5 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (10 ounce) bag frozen corn, thawed
Garlic salt
Ground black pepper
Juice of one half of a lime
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Mix beans and corn and heat in microwave.  Add remaining ingredients, toss, and season to taste.  Serve immediately.  Store leftovers in sealed container for up to 5 days. 

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