Chipotle Honey Chicken
A while back I was introduced to the wonder that is chipotle peppers! They are smoked dried jalapeño peppers that are canned with a very tasty tomato sauce, adobo. I pretty much always have a can of chipotle peppers in my kitchen. They are great for adding a nice smoky spicy flavor to almost anything. Amy came over tonight, so I made some dinner for us. I make a great tasting marinade for chicken with the adobo from the chipotle peppers.
One tool that I would not be without is my FoodSaver. Sure, there is the obvious use, of buying big packages of food, and splitting them up into usable amounts. I have chicken, pork, chops, etc. in the freezer bagged, vacuumed, and sealed. I always buy the rolls so I can make my own bags in whatever size I want. The other great thing you can do with a machine like this is marinade things quickly. If you are adventurous, and very careful there is another use, called sous vide. We’re not going to mess with that tonight though.
I make a bag big enough for a couple of skinless, boneless chicken breasts. You can use a zip top bag if you don’t have a vacuum sealer thing, but you will have to leave it in the marinade for longer. Into the bag I put a couple of tablespoons of the adobo, a squeeze of honey, salt, pepper, a little bit of cumin, and a splash of lime juice. Obviously this is a Latin inspired marinade. Once everything is in, seal it up, and put it in the fridge. If you have vacuumed it, it won’t take long, an hour will get you some nice flavor. You’ll probably need to double it if you have a zip top bag. The vacuum seems to cause the meat to suck in the marinade more, and gives you a faster result. I have done this with frozen breasts, and let them thaw. I have also put everything together and frozen it for later. Either way works great.
When you are ready to cook you have lots of options. Grilling works great. Tonight since I wanted to use my grill pan for desert I decided to pan sear the chicken. I heated a skillet, and seared both sides of the chicken, and then put them on a cookie sheet, and into the oven at 350F until the juices ran clear. I made some rice, and corn, because I was actually feeling fairly lazy! It was still very tasty! I’ve also used this chicken in tacos, with a little lime juice, chopped onion and chopped cilantro, in a corn tortilla!
I guess I wasn’t feeling super lazy, because I wanted to have a little dessert. I decided that I would make some grilled pineapple. Its very simple, and tastes great. I have a cast iron grill pan that I use fairly often since I don’t have an actual grill. When I went to the farmer’s market Saturday I got a great deal on a fresh pineapple! It tastes great. Of course you have to get into it. Seems hard? Its really pretty easy. First, cut off the top, and bottom. Apparently, you can plant the top, and grow a pineapple plant. Amy is going to try, we’ll see how this goes! Then stand it up on one end, and cut down the sides making sure to get all of the eyes. Turn it over, and make sure that you got it all. Then, cut it in half straight down through the core. Then cut each half in half again, through the core. I cut out the core by setting a quarter on the cutting board with the rounded side to my left, and slice diagonally to remove it. There are several other ways so do what you are comfortable with. I cut up most of the pineapple into chunks, and saved it for later. I cut several 1/2 inch thick slices from one of the quarters. I got my grill pan out of the oven, sprayed it with non-stick spray, and placed the slices in the pan. I left the stove on medium-high to maintain the heat in the pan. After a few minutes I checked a piece to see if I had any marks. Then I turned the slices 90 degrees. Again, after a few minutes, check. If you are satisfied with your marks, flip the slices, and mark the other side. This method can be used for pretty much anything you want to have grill marks on. Chicken, pork chops, burgers, it will all work. The key is to not screw with it, and wait. I had planned on serving this with a little bit of sour cream to balance the tartness of the grilled pineapple, but I didn’t have any. Oops! Anyway, you could use plain yogurt (Greek style), sour cream, or creme fraiche to give a nice balance.