Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Chipotle Chicken Skewers and Quinoa Pilaf

Mallory has been raving about this recipe for awhile and I've had it bookmarked to make for a long time.  So, when she brought this meal to us, I was so excited!  It lived up to her review.  YUM! Both recipes are from Cook's Illustrated.

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 5 medium breasts)
¼ cup light brown sugar , packed
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves , minced
1 chipotle chile in adobo , minced
2 teaspoons adobo sauce
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
nonstick cooking spray

dipping sauce ingredients
¾ cup low-fat sour cream
¼ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
¼ cup lime juice , from 2 to 3 limes
1⁄8; teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves , minced
2 scallions , minced
½ teaspoon salt
1⁄8; teaspoon ground black pepper

FOR THE CHICKEN: Slice the chicken breasts across the grain into 1/2-inch-thick strips (you should have about 30 strips). In a large bowl, toss the chicken with the brown sugar, cilantro, chipotle, adobo sauce, salt, chili powder, garlic powder, and pepper. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the flavors meld, about 30 minutes. (The chicken, covered, can be refrigerated for up to 1 day before cooking.).

FOR THE DIPPING SAUCE: In a bowl, stir all the ingredients together. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until the flavors meld, about 30 minutes. (The dipping sauce can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Season with additional lime juice, salt, and pepper to taste before serving.).

Meanwhile, adjust an oven rack to the top position and heat the broiler. Line a broiler pan bottom with foil and top with a slotted broiler pan top; spray the broiler pan top with nonstick cooking spray. Weave each piece of chicken onto individual bamboo skewers; lay half of the skewers on the broiler pan top and cover the skewer ends with foil, making sure not to cover the chicken. Broil until the meat is lightly browned and cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes, flipping the skewers over halfway through. Transfer the skewers to a serving platter and serve immediately with half the dipping sauce. Repeat, broiling the remaining skewers and serving with the remaining dipping sauce.

Quinoa Pilaf with Corn and Jalapenos

2 t olive oil
2 medium ears of corn, kernels removed from cob
1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 C quinoa, rinsed well
1 3/4 C low-sodium chicken broth
2 medium jalapeno chiles, seeds and ribs removed, then minced
1/4 C cilantro leaves
2 t juice from 1 lime
Ground black pepper

1. Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the corn and cook, stirring frequently, until corn starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer the corn to a bowl; set aside
2. Add the onion, remaining teaspoon oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the saucepan,. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions softened, 8 - 10 minutes. Add the quinoa, increase the heat to medium, and cook, stirring frequently, until the quinoa lightly browns and becomes aromatic, about 5 minutes. Stir in the broth and jalapenos and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is transparent and tender, 16 - 18 minutes.
3. Remove the pot from the heat and lay a clean, folded kitchen towel underneath the lid. Let stand for 10 minutes, then fluff the quinoa with a fork. Stir in the cilantro, lime juice, and reserved corn and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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