Applebee's Tequila Lime Chicken Reduced-Fat
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Applebee's Tequila Lime Chicken Reduced-Fat

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This item has been a huge best-seller since it was first added to Applebee's menu in 1993 as promotional summer chow. The original version of this chicken dish is topped with an oil-based Mexi-ranch dressing, plus a melted cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese blend, making it every shade of tasty, yet brutal on the midriff. This lighter version of the original recipe cuts the fat in half. You'll need only a small amount of tequila to make this taste like the original—we're not making a margarita here! I learned the hard way that if you add more than the seemingly minuscule 1/4 teaspoon of tequila to your chicken, it'll taste like it just got back from a bachelor party in Tijuana. 

Nutrition Facts
Serving size–1 entree
Total servings–4
Calories per serving–495 (Original–580)
Fat per serving–15g (Original–30g)

Source: Low Fat Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 1 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon mesquite liquid smoke flavoring
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon tequila
  • 4 skinless chicken breast fillets
Fat-Free Mexi-Ranch Dressing
  • 1/4 cup fat-free mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons minced tomato
  • 1 teaspoon minced canned jalapeno slices (nacho rings)
  • 1 teaspoon minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco pepper sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried dillweed
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili powder
  • Pinch garlic powder
  • Pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 cup reduced-fat shredded Cheddar/Monterey Jack cheese blend
  • 2 cups crumbled baked corn tortilla chips
  • Do This
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    • Instructions

      1. Prepare the marinade by combining the ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the chicken to the bowl, cover, and chill for 2 to 3 hours.

      2. Make the Mexi-ranch dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well until smooth, then cover the dressing and chill it until needed.

      3. When you are ready to prepare the entree, preheat the oven to high broil. Also preheat your barbecue grill to high heat. When the barbie is hot, grill the marinated chicken breasts for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until they're cooked al the way through.

      4. Arrange the cooked chicken in a baking pan. Spread a layer of Mexi-ranch dressing over each piece of chicken followed by 1/4 cup of the shredded cheese blend. Broil the chicken for 1 to 2 minutes or just until the cheese melts.

      5. Spread a bed of 1/2 cup of the crumbled tortilla chips on each of 4 plates. Slide a chicken breast onto the crumbled chips on each plate, and serve with your choice of rice and pico de gallo or salsa.

      Serves 4 as an entree.

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I'm Todd Wilbur,
Chronic Food Hacker

For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.

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