Perfect for Southwestern promotions or any time you want zesty, flavorful barbecue fare.   

See other related recipes in The Appeal of the Exotic.

Yield: 24 portions
Preparation time:
40 minutes plus 2 hours marinating time plus 1 hour cooking
Shelf-life:
at least 4 days when cooked

Ingredients

2 ounces canola oil
3 pounds sliced or chopped red onions
3 ounces seeded and chopped serrano chile
1 ounce garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
¾ cup fresh lime juice plus
3 teaspoons grated lime zest
1 cup white Worcestershire sauce
1½ cups bourbon
3 cups prickly pear purée
2 tablespoon salt
3 ounces unsalted butter
24 (6-ounce) skinless chicken thighs, fat removed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped cilantro, to garnish

Method

1. For the sauce: In a large pot, heat the oil. Add onion and sauté over medium heat until wilted and lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Add serrano chile and garlic and continue cooking until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in cumin and coriander, cook 2 minutes, then add lime juice and zest, Worcestershire sauce and bourbon and bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes longer, then transfer mixture to an electric blender and purée until smooth. Return to the pot, add prickly pear purée and salt and boil to reduce by one-third. Swirl in butter and set aside.

2. In large resealable plastic bags, combine the thighs with one third of the sauce. Toss to cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a jellyroll pan. 4. Season thighs with salt and pepper and lay them flesh side down in the pan. Brush with half of the remaining sauce and bake for 25 minutes. Turn and brush on remaining sauce. Return pan to the oven for 25 minutes more, placing it under the broiler and cooking until the flesh is lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove and garnish with cilantro.

Nutritional Data (per portion): Calories: 470; Cholesterol: 170 mg; Sodium: 850 mg; Fat: 24 g; Dietary fiber: 2 g

Ingredient Cost Sheet

IngredientsCost
2 ounces canola oil $.05-.09
3 pounds sliced or chopped red onions $1.45-2.42
3 ounces seeded and chopped Serrano chile $.43-.72
1 ounce garlic, chopped $.07-.12
2 tablespoons ground cumin $.85-1.42
1 tablespoon ground coriander $.45-.76
¾ cup fresh lime juice + 3 teaspoons grated lemon zest $.86-1.44
1 cup white Worcestershire sauce $1.53-2.55
1 ½ cups bourbon $2.83- 4.72
3 cups prickly pear puree $19.99
2 tablespoons salt  
3 ounces unsalted butter $.45-.75
24 (6-ounce) skinless chicken thighs, fat removed $12.91-21.57
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped cilantro, to garnish $.18-1.30

Joanna Pruess is a regular contributor to Specialty Food Magazine.