Apparently we were very good this year, because Keith the Elf* and Santa left us a beautiful food processor, bunches of new dishes, a ton of dried chilies and grapefruit spoons!
But this post is about the dried chipotle and adobo chilies, because they have been the base for my newest favorite meal. How favorite, you might ask? I've made it 4 out of the last 6 nights.
It's that good.
And the grilled chicken in a chipotle and ancho chili marinade only takes about 3 minutes of hands-on time. Then it's off to the fridge for a half an hour. And then it just takes a few minutes on the grill for the chili marinade to caramelize the chicken. To round out the meal I just marinate some red peppers and cherry tomatoes in olive oil, sea salt and black pepper and then I grill those too. Bonus: a spicy and citrusy kiwi salsa to serve on the chicken.
This meal couldn't be easier, healthier or simpler to make. And it's also colorful, which we desperately need in January.
Ancho and Chipotle Lime Grilled Chicken with Kiwi Salsa
1 inch of dried ancho chili
1 small dried chipotle
½ cup water
½ cup of cilantro
1 scallion, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon of lime juice
2 chicken breasts
1 scallion, chopped
1 tablespoon of pickled jalapenos, diced
1 tablespoon of lime juice
1 cup of cherry tomatoes
½ of 1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1 inch pieces
Microwave the dried chilies in the water for 3 minutes. Cover and let sit for an additional 10 minutes. In a food processor, combine the rehydrated chilies - along with 1 tablespoon of the water - with the cilantro, scallion and lime juice. Blend together. Prick the chicken breasts all over with a fork, and pour this marinade over them. Let sit in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Preheat grill and cook the chicken until the internal temperature reads 180F with a meat thermometer, about 5 minutes per side. Move chicken to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
Combine the tomatoes and red pepper with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on skewers and grill for 5 minutes, turning once midway through.
Skin the kiwi and chop into 1-inch pieces. In a small bowl combine the kiwi, scallion, jalapenos and lime juice. Let sit a few minutes so flavors can fully meld.
Serve the salsa with the chicken and the grilled vegetables.
*Who's Keith the Elf, you ask? He's a very important part of Santa's crew. In fact you could call him Santa's “advance man.” He sneaks in and out of people's apartments and houses in December and makes the decorations a little more festive. He also leaves the first small presents under the tree and he checks to see what the pets want for Christmas. He's also extremely busy and leaves notes that say things like: “Gotta go! Got lots to doooooooooooo!”
(Photos by Launie Kettler)