Applebee's® Tequila Lime Chicken

It's one of Applebee's top-selling signature dishes
and a big request here on the site. This tasty dish
combines the tangy flavor of the tequila lime marinade
with creamy southwestern-style dressing, and tops it all
off with a melted cheese blend. Just be sure you don't
marinate the chicken longer than the 3 to 4 hours, or the
citric acid in the lime juice may toughen the chicken.
The bed of crispy corn tortilla strips can be easily
cloned with crumbled store-bought corn chips, but if
you want strips like those served at the restaurant,
just follow the "tidbits" below. Serve this dish with
your choice of rice (Spanish rice is recommended),
along with some pico de gallo (you can find a recipe here)
or salsa on the side.

1 cup water
1/3 cup teriyaki sauce
2 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 chicken breast fillets

Mexi-Ranch Dressing
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons minced tomato
1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon minced canned jalapeno slices (nacho slices)
1 teaspoon minced onion
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco pepper sauce
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
dash garlic powder
dash ground black pepper

1 cup shredded cheddar/monterey jack cheese blend
2 cups crumbled corn chips or fried tortilla strips (see tidbits)

1. Prepare marinade by combining marinade 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 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 or indoor
 grill to high heat. When the grill is hot cook the marinated
 chicken breasts for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until
they're done.
4. Arrange the cooked chicken in a baking pan. Spread a
layer of mexi-ranch dressing over each piece of chicken
(you'll have plenty left over), followed by 1/4 cup of
the shredded cheese blend. Broil the chicken for 2 to 3
minutes, or just until the cheese has melted.
5. Spread a bed of 1/2 cup of the tortilla strips or crumbled
 corn chips on each of four plates. Slide a chicken breast onto
 the chips on each plate and serve with your choice of rice,
 and pico de gallo, or salsa. (
Serves 4.

Crumbling store-bought tortilla chips is the easy way to
 make the bed of crunchy chips that the tequila lime chicken
 rests on. But, you can make tortilla strips like those served
 at the restaurant by cutting a stack of eight 6-inch corn
tortillas in half. Stack the halves on top of each other and
slice the tortillas into thin strips. Fry the tortilla strips
 in 2 cups of oil preheated in a large skillet for 3-5 minutes
 or until crispy. Salt lightly and cool on paper towels to drain.

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