Sunday, 27 May 2012

Tortillas with Grilled Chicken, Tangy Green Chile and Grilled Peppers and Onions

It has been pretty hot here for May, and that means we like to cook outside as much as possible. Thankfully our cooking club is featuring Rick Bayless, and his Mexican fare is perfectly suited for outdoor grilling.

This dish starts with a Roasted Poblano-Tomato Salsa that I adapted for the grill, part of which gets made into a marinade for fresh chicken breasts. Grill those babies up with some green onions (yes, I said green!) and sweet peppers, wrap it all in a soft tortilla with extra salsa and you have the perfect summer meal!

Tortillas with Grilled Chicken Breast, Tangy Green Chile and Grilled Peppers and Onions
Serves 4, double recipe for larger crowd
Adapted from Rick Bayless, Salsas that Cook

2  fresh jalapeno chiles
2 cups Roasted Poblano-Tomato Salsa (see recipe below)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 limes, each cut into 6 wedges
3 large boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
8 green onions, roots and wilted greens removed
2 sweet peppers (I used red and orange)
A few tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil
4 large tortillas

In a small ungreased skillet, dry-roast the jalapenos over medium heat, turning them regularly until the chiles are soft and well darked in spots, 5 to 10 minutes. Place in a food processor or blender with 3/4 cup of the salsa, the Worcestershire and the juice from 3 or 4 lime wedges. Process to a smooth puree. Arrange the chicken breasts in a single layer in a baking dish, pour the salsa mixture over them, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour but not more than overnight.

Preheat a gas grill or light a charcoal fire and let burn until the coals are covered with gray ash. With a brush (or an oil mister), lightly coat the green onions with oil, then lay them over the fire in a pot that's not too hot. Grill, turning them regularly, until they're soft, sweet and mouthwateringly browned, about 4 minutes. Remove 2 of the largest green onions, chop them into 1/4-inch pieces and stir into the remaining 1 1/4 cups of salsa. Squeeze another lime wedge or two over the remaining onions and keep them warm on the side of the grill or in a low oven.

Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade, scraping as much as possible back into the pan; reserve the marinade. Brush (or mist) the chicken lightly on both sides with oil, lay on well-oiled hot grill grates until cooked through but still juicy, about 8 minutes per side. During the last couple of minutes on the grill, brush a nice coating of the reserved marinade over the chicken.

Cook the peppers when you cook the chicken - halve, seed and stem the peppers, brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill till nicely charred and sweet with some crunch left.

Slice the chicken into 1/2-inch-wide strips, scoop it onto a warm serving platter and flank with the grilled onions and lime wedges. Pass the platter with warm tortillas. Let your guests make their own wraps with the chicken and grilled peppers and  onions, encouraging them to spoon on the salsa-onion mixture and squeeze on lime to their liking.

Roasted Poblano-Tomato Salsa with Fresh Thyme
adapted from Rick Bayless, Salsas that Cook


3 tomatoes (ripe)
2 medium (5 ounces) fresh poblano chiles
1 small (2 ounces) red onion, sliced ½ inch thick
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, loosely packed
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste

Thread the onion slices and the garlic on skewers.
Brush all the veggies with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Char on the grill to taste, gently. Let cool.
Pulse in the food processor until small, add cilantro and thyme. Pulse again and season to taste.

Rick Bayless @IHCC button rounded IHCC