Saturday, April 16, 2011

Four Chili Grilled Chicken With Cilantro Cream Sauce

Taste The Flavah - Not The Heat!

Find Printable Recipe Here


Four Chili Grilled Chicken – just the name probably starts palpitations in all you non-Texans, right? But do not fear Chili Wrangler is here to teach you how to get the flavor out of your chiles without the heat bomb. You too can be enjoying vitamin rich chiles and peppers just like Big Tex within minutes. It’s so easy!

Four Chili Grilled Chicken or Four Chili Grilled Chix for short is packed with nutrients. Chili peppers are chock full of Vitamin C, VitaminA

Potassium and even calcium. And thanks to the nationwide popularity of fajitas, most people think about comfort food, not nutrition, when they eat them. Little do they know how good chiles are for them.

Mom just prior to her home-going.
Now chicken on the other hand…hmmm. Any of you reading me for very long, know I’m not a big fan of chicken in chickular form. Don’t get me wrong, I like rotisserie and baked chicken now and again, but it’s not something I dream about. I don’t hanker for it. In the old days, I did love my mom’s and WaWa’s fried chicken.









WaWa, Mom & our brothers in the old home kitchen where
we learned to cook.
(WaWa was my dad’s mama who lived with us.) But those are exceptions. In fact, I could probably spend my whole life happily NOT eating chicken. 


The Best Thing About Chicken

But, one of the big things chicken has going for it these days? Chicken is cheap. And let’s face it, who doesn’t look forward to cheap these days? Pork kicked poultry’s booty to the curb recently, so chicken as protein, represents an economy.

Chicken breasts are also very low in fat. And although I don’t fear fat or believe we should eat “low” fat, I do have to be sensitive to how much fat and how many calories I eat daily, in order to lose. I can maintain easily, but to lose weight, I have to cut calories here and there – and Mr. Chicken and his fellow birds of a feather, Mr. Turkey and Miss Cornish Game Hen make it a little easier to make those sacrifices without sacrificing big flavor.



Four Chili Grilled Chicken provides a cast of big flavor players. These strong flavors and spices compliment the meat. Chicken sometimes carries a strong, gamey flavor I find offensive and grilling certainly helps disguise the “off taste” in addition to big bold chiles, Mexican spices and yummy Feta. The four different kinds of chiles used in the Four Chili Grilled Chicken add so much flavor to the dish and believe it or not, the heat doesn’t overwhelm.

I hear ya, you’re skeptical about the chile bomb potential? Go read about Chile Wranglin’ in Tips ‘n’ Tricks. By slicing the chile meat off the seed pod, with minimal jarring of the capsicum membranes and seed pod, you get way more flavor than you get heat. So you can actually use many more chiles and infuse bolder flavors without creating a heat bomb that will paralyze your taste buds. And it’s UNBELIEVABLY quick and easy to skin chiles, too! It’s a much faster method of chili prep. You’ll never mess with another chile or pepper without skinnin’ it again!


Four Chili Grilled Chicken With Cilantro Cream Sauce
Serves 4


Gather all the ingredients together.











Assemble the spices being used in the chili sauté.












Break your chicken breasts free from the freezer and thaw in a pan of cold water. (Big ol’ breasts will take about 45 minutes to an hour to get to the point of being able to butterfly them without ripping your hand open with a knife. Not kidding! It can happen.)



Butterfly the chicken breast.




Dry the breast with paper towels on both sides and season with salt, pepper, granulated garlic powder and a little olive oil.






Wrangle your chilis, skinning and julienne chopping the chiles.


Slice the onion and garlic thinly.











Slice the Campari tomatoes into wedges.









Cut lime into squeezable wedges. (Oh and sometimes I add a julienne of zucchini to add more veggies and bulk to the saute'.











Turn the grill to ignite and let it get screeching hot. Put the pan on and let it get hot, hot, hot! I cook this dish outside because I don’t like chili fumes in the house. It’s just easier outside! Plus my fire gets hotter out on the gas grill. But you can do this in the house, just turn your exhaust fan on high.

Add olive oil, garlic and thyme to the pan and cook for a minute without stirring.



Now add the onions and cook a couple seconds and close the lid to let them cook quickly.




Add the remaining ingredients – except tomatoes and limes, close the grill and walk away for 1 minute. (Oh yeah, I happened to have a little zucchini hanging around, so I julienned it and added it to the veggies. They were awesome and added negligible calories or carbs.)




Come back, stir veggies. Add your spices and close lid to cook one more minute.















Add chicken breasts to the open side of grill. (Hey don’t forget to keep the fire on ignite on both sides of your grill! Now close the lid for 1 minute and walk away.)














Open the lid, stir the veggies and time it for one more minute with the lid up. See? The chicken is turning opaque on the edges.



















It’s time to turn it over! Wooohooo! (You’ve cooked it for 1 minute on ignite lid down and 1 minute on ignite lid up.)















Go ahead and add your tomatoes to the veggies now.

Stir veg again and flip chicken. Close lid and cook 1 minute on ignite. Now open the lid and cook 1 more minute. (You’re at 4 minutes total for the chicken. Bingo!)
















See? The veggies are done! Remove the veggies from the grill and finish cooking your meat.

The chicken is now ready to cook on indirect heat for 3 more minutes. Turn the fire off underneath the breasts, but keep the burner on the opposite side of the grill cranked to high or ignite. Close the lid, set the timer for 3 minutes and have a beer – low carb, of course!




Veggies done. Check!













Chicken done. Check! (6-7 minutes should be sufficient to cook your chicken, especially when you use the highest heat setting for 4 of those minutes.)














Time to make the Cilantro Cream Pan Sauce. Pan sauces are so delicious and easy. First deglaze your pan with either Extra Dry Vermouth (cheap and resealable – keep it in the pantry), chicken broth, or water.














Scrape the pan to loosen all the browned bits. This is called “fond” and it’s the mother’s milk of flavor!!!














Add lime juice. I squeeze one or two wedges into the sauce.




Plunk in the sour cream and stir to incorporate into a creamy sauce.























Cilantro is the last in the pool.

Voila! It’s done. Taste it and adjust flavor if necessary (add salt or pepper). Turn the heat off and prepare to plate.





Slice the chicken on an angle.

Put ¼ of the sauce on the plate. Top with ¼ of the chicken or 4-6oz of cooked breast. Top with ¼ of the chilis. Add 1/2oz Feta cheese and squeeze a little lime over the top. Garnish with more cilantro or avocado if you’d like. You could even add a little sour cream on the side.

I like to serve this with zucchini zoodles or smashed cauli or Mexi-cauli Rice. Hope you enjoy. It’s a great money, calorie and fat bargain!



Four Chili Grilled Chicken With Cilantro Cream Sauce


Serves 4
Difficulty - Easy
Active Prep Time - 15-20 minutes
Cook Time - 15-20 minutes

Ingredients:
1 Large Poblano Pepper, fresh
2 Serrano Peppers, fresh
1/2 Large Red Bell Pepper
1 Habanero Pepper
1 Large Onion
4 Large Cloves Garlic
2 Sprigs Thyme, fresh or 1/4 tsp dried (divided - 1/2 for veg & 1/2 for sauce)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Cumin, ground
1 tsp Coriander, ground
1/2 tsp Cayenne, ground
1 tsp Black Pepper, freshly ground if possible
1 tsp Kosher Salt
2 Campari or Roma Tomatoes
1-2 Wedges Lime, fresh squeezed
1/4c Sour Cream
3 oz Extra Dry Vermouth (or dry white wine, or chicken broth, or water)
24 oz (1-1/2 pound) Chicken Breast, boneless, skinless
2 oz Feta Cheese
1/4c Cilantro, fresh, chopped

Thaw chicken breasts in a pan of cold water for 45 minutes to an hour. Remove from water, butterfly breasts and dry with paper towels. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Drizzle seasoned breasts with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.

Skin and julienne chilis. Discard capsicum membranes and seed pods. Learn how to skin chiles here!

Cut onion in half and slice in a thin julienne. Slice garlic thinly. Cut tomatoes into wedges. Cut lime into wedges.

Preheat non-stick or cast iron pan to screechingly hot! I like using the outside propane grill for this but you can cook it inside. Be sure to turn your exhaust fan on high.

Add the remaining 1-1/2 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic, 1 sprig of thyme into the hot pan and let sautee for a little bit. Now add the onions and cook a couple seconds and close the lid to let them cook quickly.

Add the remaining ingredients – except tomatoes and limes, close the grill and walk away for 1 minute. (Oh yeah, I happened to have a little zucchini hanging around, so I julienned it and added it to the veggies. They were awesome and added negligible calories or carbs.)

Come back, stir veggies. Add your spices and close lid to cook one more minute.

Add chicken breasts to the open side of grill. (Hey don’t forget to keep the fire on ignite on both sides of your grill! Now close the lid for 1 minute and walk away.)

Open the lid, stir the veggies and time it for one more minute with the lid up. See? The chicken is turning opaque on the edges. It’s time to turn it over! Wooohooo! (You’ve cooked it for 1 minute on ignite lid down and 1 minute on ignite lid up.)

Go ahead and add your tomatoes to the veggies now. Stir veg again and flip chicken. Close lid and cook 1 minute on ignite. Now open the lid and cook 1 more minute. (You’re at 4 minutes total for the chicken. Bingo!)

Remove the veggies from the grill and finish cooking your meat.

The chicken is now ready to cook on indirect heat for 3 more minutes. Turn the fire off underneath the breasts, but keep the burner on the opposite side of the grill cranked to high or ignite. Close the lid, set the timer for 3 minutes and have a beer – low carb, of course! (6-7 minutes should be sufficient to cook your chicken, especially when you use the highest heat setting for 4 of those minutes.)

Time to make the Cilantro Cream Pan Sauce. Pan sauces are so delicious and easy. First deglaze your pan with either Extra Dry Vermouth (cheap and resealable – keep it in the pantry), chicken broth, or water.

Scrape the pan to loosen all the browned bits. This is called “fond” and it’s the mother’s milk of flavor!!! Add lime juice. I squeeze one or two wedges into the sauce. Stir the sour cream and stir to incorporate into a creamy sauce. Add chopped cilantro and remove sauce from heat.

Taste it and adjust flavor if necessary (add salt or pepper).

To plate, slice the chicken on an angle. Place ¼ of the sauce on the plate. Top with ¼ of the chicken or 4-6oz of cooked breast. Top with ¼ of the chilis. Add 1/2oz Feta cheese and squeeze a little lime over the top. Garnish with more cilantro or avocado if you’d like. You could even add a little sour cream on the side.

SusieT's Notes:
This recipe works for almost any meat you can imagine! It's awesome with flank or skirt steak or pork chops - even sliced turkey breast cutlets and firm-fleshed, white fish like snapper work well with it. You can grill up more chiles than you need and refrigerate the leftovers. The chiles are great the next morning on scrambled eggs with cheese or work great as toppings on salads.


Also, I use Feta cheese because I almost always have it in the ice box - unlike cotija or queso fresco (a crumbly, sharp, Mexican cheese that tastes similar to Feta). Feel free to substitute Monterrey Jack or Cheddar Cheese for the Feta if you don't like sharp cheese.


Please don't be put off by the presumed heat of the chiles. They really taste so great! Serve Four Chile Grilled Chicken with Zucchini Zoodles and a dust of Feta Cheese and hear the rave reviews start rolling across the table!


Find Printable Recipe Here



Nutritional Information for Entire Recipe






















Nutritional Information per Single Serving


2 comments:

  1. Beautiful photos! You are definitely a gourmet cook!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hugs lady! Right back at ya! I don't know about gourmet, but necessity is the "mothah" of invention! LOL.

    ReplyDelete

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