Monday, August 20, 2012

Ultimate Grilled Mexican Chicken Salad

I have been craving  Mexican flavors lately so I decided to make a huge batch of Mexican grilled chicken.  I used 2 whole chickens (under $1.00 per pound) and grilled them using my Simple Grilled Whole Chicken technique.  Instead of traditional poultry herbs I made a butter sauce using ancho chile powder, cumin, garlic, chopped cilantro and lime juice.  I also grilled several large bell peppers (red, green, and poblano) next to the chicken.  While the chicken and peppers were cooking, I whipped up a batch of fresh pico de gallo and chunky guacamole.  The ultimate salad is here.  For a limited time.

One meal makes 2?  I grilled 2 whole chickens, saved all the bones and made a delicious bone broth by placing them in a slow cooker with some chopped onion, celery, bay leaves, garlic and poultry seasoning.  Pour filtered water on top and simmer for about 24 hours.  I am going to use this broth and the leftover chicken and peppers I have to make Leftover Chicken Tortilla Soup.  Stay tuned for this delicious recipe coming up next!

Best salad in the world
Ingredients (this makes enough for salads, leftovers, and chicken tortilla soup the next day!):
2 whole chickens (use sheers to cut out the spines on the back and flatten them out on a baking sheet.  See my Simple Grilled Whole chicken recipe for a picture and more detail on this)
3tbs butter, melted
1tbs minced garlic
2tsp ancho chile powder
2tsp cumin
1tsp oregano
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper

2 red bell peppers, seeded and cut in half lengthwise
4 green bell peppers, seeded and cut in half lengthwise
2 poblano peppers, seeded and cut in half lenghwise
1tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 head romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
2c jicama, diced

Pico de Gallo Ingredients:
2 pints cherry tomatoes
1 large handful cilantro
1/4 white onion, chopped
1tbs minced jalapeno
1-2tsp minced garlic
1tbs lime juice
garlic powder and salt to taste

Chunky Guacamole Ingredients:
2 avocados, diced
1/4c chopped cilantro
2tsp minced jalapeno
2tsp lime juice
garlic powder, cumin, and salt to taste

1. Mix together butter, garlic, chile powder, cumin, oregano, and cilantro in a small bowl.  Add a bit of salt and pepper.  Season the chicken with the mexi-butter:  Using your fingers, spread it under the chicken skin.  Use the leftovers to spread it over the top.  Generously salt the skin.
2. Heat your grill to medium high.  Toss your peppers in oil.  Grill on both sides until soft and charred, about 10-15 minutes.  Let cool and dice.
3. Grill your flattened chickens skin side down until nice and deep brown, about 10-15 minutes.  Then flip over, grilling bone side down, about 30-40 minutes until done (if needed, flip once more).  You want the breast to reach 165F and the thigh to reach 170F.  Juices should run clear. (You can do steps 2 and 3 simultaneously if you have enough room).
4. While the chicken is cooking, prepare your salad:  Place some lettuce and chopped jicama on 2 large plates. 
5. Make your pico:  In a large food processor, add the cilantro, onion, lime, garlic and jalapeno.  Pulse until the onion is chopped.  Add in your tomatoes and a bit of garlic powder and salt.  Pulse a few times until the tomatoes are chopped but still chunky.  Taste and season as needed (stir in more seasoning instead of pulsing it if you want chunky salsa).
6. Make your guac:  In a large bowl, add diced avocado, onion, jalapeno, lime, garlic powder, cumin and salt.  Give it a good stir.  Take a few pieces and mash them with a fork then stir again.  You want your guac to be chunky not runny!
7. When the chicken is done, let it rest for a few minutes, the pull it off the bone and chop it. 
8. Assemble the beast:  Add a generous scoop of pepper on top of the lettuce.  Add some diced chicken, then a generous helping of pico de gallo and guacamole.  Viola!  A masterpiece is served.
Note:  Save some diced peppers and chicken for leftover chicken tortilla soup (recipe to follow soon!)

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