Thursday, September 12, 2013

Chicken Burrito Bowl

I've never posted such a blatant imitation of a recipe that is pretty widely known by food-consumers nationwide: the Chipotle Burrito Bowl.  But if we're all going to collectively admit anything as a society, it should be that Chipotle is tasty.  So, I  share with you my scientific recreation of the burrito bowl if only to be able to proclaim "NAILED IT," and then enjoy how tasty it is in the comfort of your own home.  Oh, it's probably much less doused in sodium than the restaurant version.

Chipotle and I actually have a historic relationship that dates to the fall of 2000.  So we're talking pretty early on in Chipotle expansion.  I really lucidly remember my first trip to Chiptole as a sophomore in high school (Schaumburg, IL location, if you're curious).  My friends and I sort of made going to Chipotle our thing before Chipotle was a thing.  So I'm loyal.  

How loyal?  I moved to Ann Arbor, MI for college in 2002 and immediately began emailing the Chipotle company about once a month telling them to get their stuff on campus.  REAL PEOPLE WOULD ACTUALLY EMAIL ME BACK and thank me, telling me they would be in Michigan soon.  They weren't even in the state yet.  I literally had my boyfriend at the time pick up Chipotle in Chicago en route from Madison to Ann Arbor when he would come to visit.  Put that aluminum-swaddled baby on ice.  It wasn't until I was a senior that the chain would open a location near campus, and perhaps by then I was sort of over it.

So, I guess that's sort of my confessional about Chipotle.  I rarely eat there now...but when I do I still think it's good.  And, I think you'll be impressed by how near-to-restaurant taste the recipe here achieves if you're willing to make all the individual components.  I'm sure you could cut out one of the salsas, maybe the guac, and still nail it (but I highly recommend all components).   If you really want to keep things simple, purchase the salsas and guacamole and make the rest at home.

You'll notice I do not include shredded lettuce in my bowl.  Shredded lettuce is offensive.  Also, I don't include cheese (not needed, and keeps this a healthier version). 

This will make 4 servings (not quite as massive as what you get at Chipotle).

Chiptole-Marinated Grilled Chicken:
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 dried chipotle peppers
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp. diced red onion
  • 1 tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp. fresh oregano (or 2 sprigs)
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. coriander 
  • salt to taste
Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice:
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • juice of 1-2 limes
  • salt to taste
 Black Beans:
  • 1 can low-sodium black beans (15 oz), not drained
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
Pico de Gallo:
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp. red onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp. lime or lemon juice
  • salt to taste
Tomatillo Salsa:
  • 4 tomatillos
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp. lemon or lime juice
  • salt to taste
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 tbsp. red onion, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp. lemon or lime juice
  • salt to taste
Other Garnish:
  • greek yogurt (or sour cream)

Let's get a few things prepped in order for these components to come together efficiently.  You need a little time to reconstitute the dried chipotles.  You can do this relatively quickly by chopping them into chunks and allowing them to sit for about 15 minutes in a bowl of warm water. 
Meanwhile, skin and rinse your tomatillos, halve them, and place them on an aluminum-lined baking pan.  Spray or coat lightly with oil, and put under the broiler until they blister.  At the same time, roast your poblano pepper right on the stove top, turning regularly to blister on all sides (if you have an electric stove, you can roast it with the tomatillos, but it will take longer). 
While all that roasting is happening, go ahead and take an entire bunch of cilantro and chop it finely (use a food processor, if you want).  Dice up the tomato, jalapeno, and half a red onion.  You can now mix the portions of each above for the pico de gallo, adding a bit of lemon juice and salt, as well.
When the tomatillos and poblano have roasted, you can make the tomatillo salsa.  Under cold water, rinse the blistered skin off the poblano, then stem and seed it.  Place it in a blender with the tomatillos, cloves of garlic, lemon or lime juice, and a dash of salt.  Blend until smooth.  Add salt if needed.  Done.  Set it aside with the pico de gallo.  Now go cook your rice (1 cup rice, 2 cups water).
Your chipotles should  be ready.  Add them to the blender with 2 tbsp. of your red onion, 1 tbsp. of your cilantro, the oregano, garlic, oil, and spices.  Blend until smooth (it will be thick).  To quickly marinate your chicken, stab it all over with a fork, coat it with this marinade, cover, and let it sit for 15 minutes.
Now is the perfect time to make the guacamole.  Mix all those ingredients in a bowl.  Go put that can of black beans in a small pot on the stove over medium heat.  Add cumin and stir until warm.
Throw the marinated chicken on a grill or grill pan, cooking for about 5-6 minutes on each side, depending on thickness.  If things work out well, your chicken and rice will be done at about the same time.  Chop up your chicken in to cubes.  Mix the rice with the cilantro, lime juice, and salt in a large bowl.
Check, check, check.  Throw it all together in a bowl.  Mix.  Eat.

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