While at the grocery store last week I found myself hanging out in the beverage aisle contemplating the wonderful varieties of organic tonic water, kombucha, and stevia-sweetened sodas. One of the great things about living in Portland is the easy access to a wide variety of grocery items – everything from Asian supermarkets and International Farmer’s Markets to all-organic and locally-sourced supermarkets.
I was perusing some of these incredible options at a Market of Choice store and a bottle of Mango Jarritos caught my eye. Now, I’ve seen Jarritos plenty of times and ordered the pineapple variety at one or ten taco carts over the years, but I wasn’t sure I’d ever tried the mango. Mango is hands-down my favorite fruit, and one of my favorite ingredients to work with in the kitchen. Last week I made a mango cake with alternating layers of mango curd and mango cream-cheese frosting (although it was my first time frosting a cake and it was way too ugly for publication!), and I’ve had a fresh mango for breakfast almost every morning this past week.
It occurred to me that I should find a way to utilize this mango soda in my meal plan for the week, so I accepted the challenge and grabbed the little guy off the shelf. I completely lost my mind and decided to marinate some chicken thighs in a mixture of soy sauce, fish sauce, spices, and an entire 12 oz. bottle of the mango soda. I figured that it would either be awesome or disgusting, and I was willing to take that chance.
As I’m posting this recipe now, you’ve probably already figured out that this recipe was AWESOME. I’ve dubbed it the “soy-soda chicken” and it is definitely going on the regular rotation at our house!
This chicken smelled so good I only ended up with just a few quick photos because I couldn’t wait any longer to dig in.
I made some jasmine rice and tossed it with cilantro and lime to accompany the chicken, and also marinated some onion slices in rice vinegar, fish sauce, sugar, and red pepper flakes to add a bit of bite and texture to the dish.
The husband ate THREE whole pieces of chicken in under ten minutes and did all but lick his plate. I think he regretted this chicken-binge shortly after, as we went to see World War Z just a few minutes after dinner and even I had to loosen my belt at the theater to get comfortable. Okay, that’s a lie. I wasn’t wearing a belt, I was wearing jeans so really I just unbuttoned them. Classy!
World War Z was really good by the way, in case you were wondering. Don’t pretend like you weren’t. I had no idea it was about zombies until fifteen minutes into the movie (ever since we got the DVR I feel like I never see movie previews anymore!).
Right, back to the chicken. This was so incredible easy – just whip up the marinade, throw your chicken in and leave it in the fridge overnight. When you’re ready to eat, put some rice on and heat up your grill. Whatever you do, DON’T think you’re going to be all “waste-not, want-not” and reduce your leftover marinade into an awesome sauce, because the carbonation in there will explode all over your kitchen and make your world sticky as all heck. I ended up making a simple sauce of soy sauce, water, mirin (sweet rice wine), fish sauce, and red pepper flakes. Stir a teaspoon of corn starch into a little cold water and throw that in, too. Bring it to a boil, reduce it to a simmer, and let it thicken up. Mmm, saltiness.
Here’s the recipe:
Makes: 4 servings, 2 thighs each
- 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 12-oz. bottle of Mango Soda (Jarritos brand works great)
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp. ground coriander
- 2 tsp. pure chili powder
- In a large bowl, combine the soda, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic powder, coriander, and chili powder.
- Add the chicken thighs and toss to coat. Make sure each piece of chicken is submerged, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
- Remove chicken from the fridge at least 30 minutes prior to cooking.
- Pre-heat your grill to medium-high heat (I set mine to 375 degrees). When hot, place your chicken thighs on the grill and close the lid.
- Let them cook for 8-10 minutes or until cooked through, turning once.
- Remove from grill and let rest for 3-5 minutes. Serve with rice tossed with cilantro and lime and/or marinated onions.
Nutrition (per serving, chicken only):
222 calories, 6 g. fat, 30 g. protein, 12 g. carbs, 2 g. fiber. WW PointsPlus: 5