Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Chipotle Mexican Grill

My first Chipotle burrito was at one of the original locations while visiting my friend Erin in Denver in 1998.  Ten years later I was so excited when I heard that -- in place of the hot dog stand -- we were getting a Chipotle here in our little town.  Their food is delicious, but you can imagine how small the seating area must be if the restaurant replaced a hot dog stand, so usually one of us will run in and order while the other stays in the car with Olivia, and then we eat at home.  One day I wondered if, since we're eating at home anyway, maybe I should try to make this myself, so I googled.  It did entail a trip to Wegmans, but I'm not sure if that was actually necessary or just a good excuse.  My favorite combination is a chicken burrito with rice, pinto beans, corn salsa, and cheese; chips and guac on the side.  Here are the recipes (with my comments) I thought were pretty darn close:

Chicken Marinade

1 (2 ounce) package dried ancho chiles
1 (7 ounce) can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, peppers discarded (or just buy adobo sauce)
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons cumin powder
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
6 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons salt
1 red onion, quartered
1/4 cup canola oil
2 pkgs boneless chicken thighs

1. Soak dry chilies overnight in water, until soft. Remove seeds.
2. Add all ingredients except chicken to blender or food processor. Puree until smooth.
3. Stab chicken with fork to let the marinade soak in, especially if you are marinating for just an hour.
4. Spread marinade over chicken, refrigerate for one hour or up to overnight.
5. After marinating, salt meat to taste (optional), and grill on medium high on an indoor grill where the chicken can be pressed flat, turning only once. If using an outdoor grill, use charcoal to make it ultra delicious. Place foil wrapped bricks on top to press chicken flat. You can also make this on a Panini grill on medium high heat. Place something heavy on top to weigh it down.  (Steve just grilled the chicken on the gas grill, no pressing, was fine.  Also?  You could probably halve the recipe before adding the chicken and freeze half of the marinade for next time so you can save yourself some work. I'm just sayin'.  One package of chicken thighs was enough for 6+ burritos.)

Cilantro Lime Rice
(We 1/5-ed a recipe, hence the weird numbers)
1 cup long-grain white rice
2 cups water
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp soy oil  (Couldn't find, went with canola)
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp lime juice

Cook rice, water, bay leaf, and salt in rice cooker for 20 minutes. Let rest, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. Mix in oil, cilantro, and citrus juice.

Corn Salsa
6 ears sweet corn (or 3 cups frozen corn)
2 poblano chiles
1/2 red onion, diced
2 jalapenos, diced
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon lemon+lime juice
Salt to taste

Roast the corn and poblano chilies on a grill and let cool. Cut the corn off the cob. (We just used frozen corn and sauteed it in a large skillet.) Combine all the ingredients and add salt if necessary.  Try not to eat it all with chips before your burrito is created.

Guacamole (Confession: We bought Wholly Guacamole instead of making our own.)
1 large ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 large serrano or jalapeno chiles, seeded and chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt

Using fork, mash avocado with lime juice in small bowl. Add cilantro, onion, garlic, chiles, and salt; stir to combine. Makes about 1 cup. 
Making the Burrito
Buy the biggest tortillas you can find.  I warmed each one in the corn skillet for a few seconds before assembling.  A scoop of rice, a spoonful of (canned, warmed) pinto beans, a spoonful of chicken, a spoonful of corn salsa, a sprinkle of Monterey Jack, and you're good to go.  Please don't overfill your burritos.  They will be impossible to wrap, and (geez, you piggies) the real thing is two servings.  If you need instructions on how to wrap a burrito, check out YouTube.  ¡Buen apetito!

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