Thursday, July 9, 2009

Chipotle Chicken Salad For Quick Munchies

Dear readers, I've finally made it out from under all those unpacked boxes. And have almost fully recovered from that nightmare of a move. My feet no longer scream in agony and my new apartment looks so much more livable. Oh it's not done yet, not by a long shot. But at least I don't have reams of bubble-wrap and tape coming out the wazoo like I used to, and there's no imminent danger of heavy boxes raining down on me! We actually have clear space to move around in. As a matter of fact, the Ozz-meister is smitten with the wooden floors (now that we can see them) and has made it a nightly ritual of galloping noisily from one corner of the apartment to the other, giddily sliding all over the place. It's cute to talk about, but when it happens at 5am every single damn day, then you just want to grab him by his tail and ... and ... you get the picture! I just hope the neighbors don't complain.
The first one to feel right at home. Ozzy's already found his new favorite spot.

So do I like the new apartment yet? I think so. I'm being cautious. I like the layout. I like how nothing is falling apart (as compared to the old place). And it's cozy (see, I'm trying to find the silver lining). I've even managed to make the kitchen look tidy. As a matter of fact, I've been cooking up a storm in there recently. I haven't had a moment to spare for my beloved blog until this moment though. I've even lost some of my photography mojo, but I'll slowly get it back I suppose. For a few weeks, you're going to see posts that have pics from the old apartment mixed in with recent shots inside the new apartment - please don't get confused; just focus on the food!

This recipe for Chipotle Chicken Salad has been my standard go-to recipe for most picnics, get-togethers, pot-lucks, or just a quick and fun weeknight meal. I got it off the Whole Foods Market website actually. I keep 3 or 4 ingredients the same, but depending on time and availability, I can change around the rest of the ingredients that go into this. You can really play around with this recipe, and the results will always be scrumdiddlyumptious!

Chipotle Chicken Salad (original recipe found here)
Serves 4-6

Click here for the printable recipe

1 rotisserie chicken OR 2-3 chicken breast halves, with bone & skin
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 medium red onion, diced
1/2 -1 cup frozen corn, thawed OR canned corn, drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup mayo (approximately)
1/4 cup canned chipotles in adobo sauce, pureed
Juice from 1 whole lime
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. If using the chicken breast halves, boil them in water for a good 40 mins, before taking them out, discarding the skin and bones, then shredding the meat. Of course, if you can just buy a rotisserie chicken, nothing better! Once again, remove the skin & bones and shred all the juicy meat. Keep aside. Can be refrigerated for 2-3 days in an airtight container.

2. The key to this chicken salad is the canned chipotles in adobo sauce. I found these in the spanish aisle of my grocery store. Puree these, and mix with the mayo, chopped cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Keep this blush-colored spicy mix to the side.

Do you see the typo? Do you?! Oh come on ... what the heck is a "chilpotle"?

Squeeze those limes baby, squeeze 'em good!

3. Next, add the chopped bell peppers, onion and corn to the chicken. Pour the spicy mayo over the top and mix thoroughly. You may need more mayo if the mixture looks too dry. Don't forget to taste for salt. Sometimes I drizzle in some additional adobo sauce at this point if I want it spicier, and also add more fresh lime juice if I think it needs that tang. Chill in the fridge till you're ready for some lip-smacking fun!
A rainbow of colors and textures, waiting to be drenched in spicy mayo.

Verdict: My favorite way to serve this is as a quesadilla. Spread the mixture on one half of a flour tortilla, sprinkle some shredded cheddar over the top (this stuff is my fairy dust! From a big, fat fairy that is!). Then fold up the tortilla and place on a hot griddle till brown and crisp. I love the play of textures, between the crunch from that first bite of the tortilla, to the gooiness of the cheddar, the bright flavors of the vegetables, the soft bite of the chicken, all jazzed up with chipotles and lime - like a fiesta for your mouth. Probably a healthier way to eat this is as is, on a bed of crisp lettuce. I tried it, but it just wasn't as satisfying!

Then of course, this chicken salad is great for picnic sandwiches, or just if you're a busy blogger with barely enough time for lunch.