Chicken & Marinade
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (organic or free-range is best)
1 c. water
1/3 c. teriyaki sauce (We use Soyaki sauce from Trader Joes.)
2 T. lime juice
2 t. garlic, minced
1 t. Liquid Smoke (Totally not "crunchy" or healthful, but it's in the recipe and the flavor is hard to mimic)
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. ginger
1/4 t. tequila (optional)
Mexi Ranch Dressing
1/4 c. mayo
1/4 c. sour cream
1 T. milk
1 1/2 t. white vinegar
2 t. tomato, minced
1 t. jalapeno, minced (optional)
1 t. onion, minced
1/4 t. parsley, dried
1/8 t. salt
1/8 t. dill weed
1/8 t. paprika
1/8 t. cumin
1/8 t. chili powder
dash garlic powder
dash black pepper
*Note...I tried making this with 1/4 c. mayo, 1/4 c. sour cream, 1 T. buttermilk, minced tomato, 1/2 T. ranch seasoning, 1/2 T. taco seasoning and a pinch of cayenne pepper and it was excellent. It was so nice to not have to measure out 1/8 t. of this and that. :)
1 c. cheddar jack cheese, shredded
2 c. tortilla chips, lightly crushed (We like Garden of Eatin' brand blue corn chips.)
Mexican Rice (Here's a recipe for homemade Mexican Rice with great reviews. Make sure to read the suggestions from others for best results!)
1. Combine all ingredients for marinade in a sealed plastic bag or a lidded container. Add chicken breasts and allow to marinade for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator. Hint: I make up an extra batch of marinate to freeze for the next time I make this dish. Just freeze in a labeled freezer bag, thaw overnight in fridge and add chicken breasts the following morning.
2. Stir together all ingredients for the Mexi Ranch Dressing and allow flavors to blend while the chicken cooks. This dressing could be made up a day ahead and kept in the fridge.
3. Grill chicken breasts on an outdoor grill, cast iron grill pan on the stove, etc. until they are cooked thoroughly and no pink remains in the center.
4. Place grilled chicken breasts in a casserole dish, cover with 1/4 c. dressing and 1/4 c. shredded cheese. Place under broiler until cheese is melted and bubbly or microwave for several minutes until cheese melts.
5. Serve chicken over 1/2 c. crushed tortilla chips with Mexican rice on the side.
Tip for Dealing with Picky Eaters: My kids will eat the tortilla chips (of course!), mexican rice (sometimes) and the grilled chicken (plain), so I leave one chicken breast "unadorned" and cut it up for the kids. That just leaves more dressing to put on the chicken for the grown-ups! :)