So here is Part Two from last weeks Guacamole Post. The flavors of this recipe is definitely on point, I feel it tasted exactly like a Chipotle Burrito Bowl (Just wish I cooked the rice a little better). I guess really the only thing is convenience, it's a lot easier to just go buy a Burrito Bowl at Chipotle. I think where this recipe would shine is if you had a party or if you have a larger family and you could have people build their own burrito bowls.
One thing that I did learn though is a really easy substitute for Chipotles in Adobo. Me being the bone head I am, forgot to grab a can for this recipe. So I did a little googling to find this substitute that worked out really nice. You simply mix 1 Tbsp Ketchup, 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar, 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika, 1/2 tsp Cayenne Powder, 1/2 tsp Cumin, and a pinch of oregano. It worked surprisingly well! Permanent substitute? No, but an easy fix with some common household ingredients for sure. On to the recipe!
Prep time: 1hr | Cook time: 30min | Total time: 1hr30min | Yield: 4 portions
For the Chicken
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, finely chopped
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
For the Rice
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 cup white basmati rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
- kosher salt to taste
For the Toppings
- 1 cup black beans, warmed
- 1 cup charred corn (canned or frozen), warmed
- 1 each red and green pepper, julienned and sauteed
- 1 cup guacamole
- 1 cup pico de gallo, or salsa of your choosing
- 1 cup monterey jack cheese, finely shredded
For the Chicken
- Combine the vegetable oil, chopped chipotle peppers in adobo, garlic powder, cumin, dried oregano, and black pepper in a small bowl, stir to combine.
- Place the chicken in a large zip top plastic bag and add the marinade. Zip the bag and mix the chicken into the marinade. Place in the fridge and let it marinate for at least 1 hour.
- Heat a large saute pan or outdoor grill to medium high heat. Place the chicken on the cooking surface and cook 5 to 6 minutes per side, until the internal temperature reads 165F. Remove chicken and let rest for 10 min. Chop the chicken into small bit sized pieces and use as needed.
For the Rice
- In a heavy saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the white rice and lime juice and saute for 60 seconds to toast the rice.
- Add the water and bring the rice to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low and cook until the rice is tender and all the water is absorbed.
- Add in the cilantro and fluff the rice with a fork.
- Arrange equal parts of the white rice and chopped chicken in 4 bowls. Top with equal parts of the black beans, corn, guacamole, fajita peppers, and cheese. Season with salt and pepper as needed and serve immediately.
Cooking your meats to the perfect temperature is crucial not only from a food safety stand point, but from flavor and tenderness stand point as well. Make sure you cook your chicken, like in this recipe to 165F. The best way to accurately monitor the internal temperature of your meats is by using a Thermapen MK4. They are the most durable, accurate, fast, and reliable thermometer on the market. These are a kitchen MUST HAVE! Go buy yourself a Thermapen MK4 today!
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The weather last week was absolutely incredible for mid-February in Northeast Indiana. Mid-upper 60s all week and I took advantage of it in a big way! I cleaned my Weber Performer Deluxe, got a couple bags of charcoal, some propane canisters, and grilled out pretty much every night of the week....it was GLORIOUS!! Saturday I ended up smoking a rack of spare ribs for the first time in shorts and a t-shirt while sippin' on a Yeungling...IN FEBRUARY!! The spare ribs turned out alright, but I wasn't quite happy with them enough to share them quite yet....so I am going to continue working on the recipe and hopefully will have that to you soon. Of course, now we are back to normal February weather...blah! So, my smoking experiments may have to wait, unless I am feeling bold.
But, one thing that I was VERY happy with were these Cajun BBQ Chicken thighs. The one reason I absolutely love chicken thighs is because they are soooo much cheaper than chicken breasts. For typically half the price I can get 4 chicken thighs, but they don't seem to be all that popular. I believe the reason why is because they are a little intimidating to the average home cook. But, I promise you, there isn't anything to be scared of! Two things you want to make sure of is 1) Getting the skin nice and crispy and 2) Obtaining a temperature of 175F. The reason why we want a higher temperature compared to chicken breast (165F) is because chicken thighs contain a lot more connective tissue so they can withstand a lot higher heat than the breast. But, if you don't cook them to a higher temperature you typically get a chewy mess because that connective tissue hasn't broken down. You know what the best way to achieve this temperature? Get your butt over to Thermoworks and pick yourself up an Thermapen MK4. You want to talk about a useful piece of cooking equipment, they are totally worth the money and would make a perfect gift for a cook in your family. Easy to use, accurate, durable; you can't beat them! Now onto the recipe!
Cajun BBQ Chicken Thighs
Prep time: 10m | Cook time: 30min | Total time: 40min | Yield: 4 servings
- 6 Tbsp paprika
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp ground white pepper
- 2 Tbsp garlic powder
- 2 Tbsp onion powder
- 1 Tbsp dried thyme
- 1 Tbsp cayenne
- 4 chicken thighs
- Barbeque Sauce, as needed
- Mix the first 8 ingredients together and store in an container. This is a standard cajun seasoning that can be used on a number of different things.
- Season the tops and bottoms of the chicken thighs generously with the cajun seasoning. I prefer to let them sit overnight in this seasoning, but you can use them immediately if you don't have the time.
- Heat grill, either charcoal or gas, so that there is a direct heat side and an indirect side. Whenever the grill is hot, place the chicken thighs, skin side down, on the direct heat side. Grill for 4 minutes and then rotate 90 degress and grill for another 4 minutes until skin is crispy. Watch for flare ups during this period and make sure the skin doesn't burn.
- Once skin is crispy transfer the chicken to the indirect side, skin side up, cover and continue cooking. Once you reach an internal temperature of about 160F, go ahead and apply some barbeque sauce on the tops. Cover and continue to cook until you reach an internal temperature of 170F.
- Remove from grill and let rest for 5 min, the cooking processing should continue during this rest period and get you to exactly 175F. Grab some napkins and dig in!
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Ahhhh life is just so good right now! It has been busy, but it has been also filled with many blessings. As of last week I officially put 200,000 miles on my Prius and have drove through the state of Ohio, in it's entirety a total of 8 times since Thanksgiving!
But all of this driving was not in vein, I had to drive to Indiana last week to officially accept my job offer as a Territory Manager for Ecolab! It just felt so good after working so hard to earn my degree to sign a paper that more than doubled my annual salary. Now the next step of the journey is to pack up our house and move on out to Fort Wayne, IN to officially begin the next chapter. I start my new job next week, but won't be leaving Happy Valley until the 25th. Lots of emotions since I have been living in this area now for 28 years. But, mostly I am full of excitement!
I have also been working hard the past few weeks to re-establish my blog, rekindle some old flames with my fellow foodies, and update Happy Valley Chow. Be sure to check out the updated "About Me" page (Assuming you want to better know the man behind the curtain) and definitely check out my new "Store" that has a few different pages of products and cookbooks that I use on a regular basis. Thanks again everybody for being such great supporters and always stopping by to say hello. You guys are awesome and I hope you keep coming back to visit!