Chipotle Chicken – Copycat Version

It’s a rare thing for me to make exact copycat recipes. But I’m a huge fan of the popular chain, Chipotle. I’ve already made a cilantro-lime rice that rivals theirs, and a corn salsa. Now it’s time for the main ingredient, the chicken. This chicken is full of strong flavors and you can turn up the heat or turn it down by how many chili’s you put in it. I didn’t put the whole 7oz of chipotle peppers in because I didn’t want it too spicy. I was able to find dried ancho chiles in my local Walmart’s produce department. You should also be able to find the chipotle peppers in adobo in Walmart’s Hispanic section. When you make this, use the leftover peppers in adobo in my hot corn dip. It’s to die for!

I will admit, that while these were really good, nothing can beat the actual burrito’s at Chipotle’s. Maybe it’s the atmosphere. But you can have fun with your family making them at home. I put everything together and then set everything out on a table so people could make their own burrito’s. Make sure you have plenty of lettuce, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and of course, the cilanto-lime rice and corn salsa. It’ll make your burrito’s shine!

Chipotle Chicken:

  • 5-6 boneless and skinless chicken breasts, pounded flat (about 1/2 inch thickness)
  • 1 (2 ounce) package dried ancho chiles or 4-6 ancho chiles
  • 1 (7 ounce) can chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (discard chipotle pepper, skim out seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 red onion, quartered
  • 1/4 cup oil (canola/vegetable/olive)

 

  1. Soak the dried chilies overnight in water, until soft. Remove seeds. (If you forget to do this part, like me, pour boiling water over chiles and let soak till soft, about 30 minutes)
  2. Add chilies and rest of the ingredients in blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. Place chicken in a ziploc bag and pour marinade over chicken. Let refrigerate and marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  3. Once chicken is ready, prepare your gas or charcoal grill. Cook over medium-high heat until cooked through, about 8-10 minutes per side. Make sure the chicken is cooked thoroughly. When done, take off heat and chop into small dices. Enjoy!

Source: slightly adapted from Chipotle Fan

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Corn Salsa

This is the time of year for corn and we eat it at least once a week during the summer. Sometimes it’s nice to have corn in different ways other than right off the cob. This salsa tastes like the one from chiptole and you can pair it with the cilantro-lime rice I already posted about. You could also use this salsa to go with any grilled meats. It would be great with steak. I cooked the poblano chile pepper on the grill while I grilled chicken. But if you aren’t making this when you were planning to grill, you could easily put the pepper under the broiler. Just be to sure to turn the pepper every couple minutes and watch it closely so it does not burn.

Corn Salsa:

  • 1/2 small poblano chile pepper, seeded
  • 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels (from 2 ears), or 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  1. Preheat a grill to medium high. Brush the poblano with 1 teaspoon olive oil and grill, skin-side down, until charred but still firm, about 5 minutes. Cool slightly; peel and finely chop.
  2. If using fresh corn, bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. Add the corn and cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes; drain. (You can use leftover corn and just cut it off the cob without having to re-heat it)
  3. Mix the corn (if using frozen, add it here), poblano, jalapeno, cilantro and red onion in a bowl. Stir in the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, the lime juice, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Serve and enjoy

Source: Food Network

Homemade BBQ Sauce

Grilling season is right around the corner. I’m more than ready to be enjoying the warmer weather and grilling on the back porch. We had a beautiful weekend so I decided to smoke a rack of ribs. I’m so glad I had the chance to be outside because this coming weekend we are expecting some snow. Blech!

Normally, I cook my ribs low and slow in the oven and then finish it off on the grill. But this time I wanted to do the entire cooking process in the smoker. I wanted to make a BBQ Sauce that would compliment the long time it takes to smoke ribs. Normally, it takes hours to make a really good BBQ Sauce. I wanted to find something that would be a little easier for everyone who wants homemade but doesn’t have hours to spare. This is it! It’s tangy and sweet, exactly what I was looking for.

Quick and Easy BBQ Sauce:

  • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 tbs cider vinegar
  • 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbs Dijon mustard
  • 5 tbs molasses (I forgot to get some used a sugar free syrup)
  • 1 tsp hot pepper sauce
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp liquid smoke (optional)
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  1. In a food processor or a blender, process the onion and the water until pureed and the mixture resembles slush, about 30 seconds. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a liquid measuring cup, pressing on the solids with a rubber spatula to obtain 1/2 cup juice. Discard the solids. 
  2. Whisk the onion juice, ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire, mustard, molasses, hot pepper sauce, black pepper, and liquid smoke (if using) together in a medium bowl. 
  3. Heat the oil in a large nonreactive saucepan over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add the garlic, chili powder, and cayenne; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Whisk in the ketchup mixture and bring to a boil; reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently, uncovered, until the flavors meld and the sauce is thickened, about 25 minutes. Cool the sauce to room temperature before using. 
Note – The sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 1 week.
Source: slightly adapted from The New Best Recipe by Cooks Illustrated

Independence Day Goodies

A lot of us are planning big gatherings with family and friends this weekend. I’ve made a list of dishes that would be perfect for your parties. I’m very excited for the weekend, I am going to be surrounded by family and friends at my new house. We have gotten a lot accomplished and I am now able to start thinking about cooking and my blog again.

I hope everyone has a terrific 4th of July and that you are safe and surrounded by loved ones.

P.S. I am coming up on the 1 year Anniversary of Gina Marie’s Kitchen. I can’t believe it’s been almost a year. To thank you for all the support I am planning a little giveaway to one of my readers. Please stay tuned…

Pasta Mozzarella Salad has all the best summer has to offer.

What cookout would be complete without Baked Beans

Another great use for tomatoes is this Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart

This Potato Salad will be at our cookout this weekend. It’s a must have!

Want some ribs?

Stuffed Strawberries are the perfect 4th of July treat

Another use for berries is this Strawberry and Blueberry Crostata

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review: KC Masterpiece Southern Style BBQ Sauce

What a crazy week I’ve had. Heck, the next month or two is going to be crazy due to my son’s baseball, finding a house, and then planning the move. But I wouldn’t ask for anything else. I have a decent stockpile of recipes to share but no time to sit down and get them on the blog. But I do want to share with you my review on a new product until I can focus a little better.

When I got the KC Masterpiece Souther Style Barbecue Sauce in the mail, my plan was to get my charcoal grill ready for barbecue chicken. But, when the day came and I had everything ready, the skies opened up and said you will not be grilling today. Instead, I threw the chicken in the oven and smothered it with the barbecue sauce  and baked it for about an hour. The barbecue sauce itself is a lot thinner than most other sauces. It’s really tangy and has a nice kick from the red peppers. I wasn’t too excited about it over the chicken. I personally think it would be much better with pulled pork or a beef brisket. I love a tangier sauce with my beef brisket.

Overall: KC Masterpiece has a winner with the Southern Style Barbecue Sauce. When I buy a bottled sauce I always get KC Masterpiece and will continue to do so. I recommend using it with pork or a beef brisket. But try it and see which way you like it best.

Note: I was not paid for this post; the opinions and views are strictly my own.

BBQ Spare Ribs

Most people have their own version on how to make great spare ribs. But for those who are a little scared of making them, take a deep breath, it’s going to be ok. You can do it! These are very easy but they do need a little bit of advanced preparation. That’s the key to making really good ribs. Letting the ribs sit overnight in a nice dry rub, helps get the flavors into the meat. The next step is cooking it low and slow in the oven and finishing it off on the grill.

I am going to unveil my top secret ingredient. You can find it in your local grocery store or Walmart. I use this in so many ways. I make potato salad, homefries, chicken salad, ribs and many other things with it. Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning is amazing. I can’t even begin to explain the magic that happens when you put it in potatoes. I will post my potato salad recipe soon.

Before the grilling season ends, make sure to make some spare ribs

BBQ Spare Ribs

  • 1 package of Pork Spare Ribs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar ( I use splenda brown sugar on these)
  • 1/4 cup Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning (use a little less if you don’t want it too spicy)
  • 1 bottle of beer
  • 1 1/2 cups of your favorite BBQ Sauce
  1. Rinse and pat dry the spare ribs. On the side of the ribs where you see the bones, there is a thin layer of skin, pull it off. (It might take you a few tries but it will come off. Key is getting it started at the sides)
  2. Evenly spread the brown sugar and Creole Seasoning on both sides of the ribs. Set in a baking pan, big enough to hold it. Place in the refrigerator, covered, and let sit overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Take ribs out of refrigerator, add the beer and cover with tin foil. Bake for 4-5 hours, till the meat is tender but not yet falling off the bone.
  4. Heat your grill and when ready, place the ribs on the grill. Get a good sear on both sides of the ribs. Once you have the sides seared start putting on  your BBQ sauce. Continue flipping and adding the BBQ sauce each time you flip it. You will probably flip it 10-12 times.

BBQ Baked Beans

I am not a huge baked beans fan and definitely don’t like it straight out of a can. If I had to I could eat a little bit but never ever have a second helping. Last year we went to stay with some very dear friends out in Wilmington, NC. We had such a great time and our hostess Connie fed us well. One of the things she made was these baked beans. For the first time in my life I went for another helping! These beans are so delicious that you can’t have just one scoop. With being smack in the middle of grilling season these will make a perfect side dish to whatever you are grilling.

If you want to lesson the amount of fat that will come out of the bacon, fry it for a few minutes in a pan to release some of that fat. (But why would you?) Then proceed to topping the beans with the bacon.

BBQ Baked Beans

Serves 6-8

  • 2 16oz cans pork and beans, drained of liquid
  • ¾ cup BBQ Sauce
  • 1 oz golden raisins
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ½ cup brown sugar (splenda brown sugar does work)
  • 1 tart apple, peeled, cored and chopped (Granny Smith works well)
  • 3 strips uncooked bacon, cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all but the bacon in a 2 quart casserole. Top mixture with bacon and bake uncovered 1 hour until nice and bubbly.