This is an adaptation of a recipe that I’ve been making ever since it appeared in the August 1978 edition of BON APPETIT magazine. It’s a favorite at our annual St. Patrick’s Day party. This makes a LOT, but the recipe can be easily scaled down.
3 quarts chicken stock
16 bone-in chicken breast halves
2 cups fresh lime juice (about 16 limes)
9 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
1/2 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves*
1 tsp. dried tarragon leaves
2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 tsp. sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Tomato wedges and chopped fresh basil
Bring chicken stock to boil in a large stockpot. Reduce heat to low, add chicken breasts and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until almost firm when pressed. Turn heat off, stir and let the chicken cool in the stock for an hour or two.
While chicken is cooling, combine ingredients for marinade in a large bowl or Tupperware container. Set aside at room temperature.
Drain cooled chicken and remove skin and bones. Pull apart with hands or slice meat into strips about 1/2 inch wide. Place in marinade, stir to coat, and refrigerate for 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
To serve, drain chicken and arrange on platter. Surround with tomato wedges and sprinkle with basil.
* Use fresh basil if at all possible … it makes a huge difference. If necessary, however, you can substitute 1/4 cup of dried basil leaves.