Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Chipotle Lime Chicken

I was introduced to canned chipotles in adobo sauce when I made the Charred Tex-Mex Potato Salad and I fell in love. I had 3/4 of a can of them leftover in my fridge and I needed to use them up in a serious way. I knew what I needed to do - rub it all over a chicken. To do this, you need to do something very exciting. You are going to butterfly the chicken. The idea is to make the chicken all one thickness so that you can cook it quickly and evenly at a high heat. If you tried to cook a chicken like this without butterflying it, the chicken would be crispy on the outside and raw on the inside. All you need to successfully butterfly a chicken is a cutting board, a sharp knife, and a little bit of a dark side. If you don't have one passable knife, then just make this chicken whole and cook it longer at a lower heat. This chicken has a depth of flavor that surprised me. Managable spice on the crispy skin and increadably juicy meat. This recipe was born from my need to use up chipotles, but it is fantastic and it will not be the last time I make chicken this way.
Chipotle Lime Chicken
4 lb. chicken
4 chipotle chilies with adobo sauce
1 lime
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 tsp. each cumin, ginger, and paprika
cayenne (to taste)
1 Tbs. salt
1 light beer

1. Wash chicken and pat it dry with paper towels. Sit the chicken up-side-down (wings on the bottom) and slice down one side of the backbone. Once you are all the way through, slice out the other side so that the backbone is removed. Lay the chicken skin-side-down and make a small slice in the middle and remove the small breastbone so that you can squash the whole chicken flat.
2. Make a paste by combining chilies, adobo sauce, lime juice, spices, oil and salt.
3. Blend the mixture in your blender for a minute until smooth.
4. Rub the paste all over the chicken (top and bottom).
5. I make a special (read: budget) roasting rack by putting a wire cooling rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet. I set the chicken on top and pour a whole beer into the bottom of the pan to keep it moist.
5. Roast at 425 for an hour until the juices run clear. It will be crunchy and spicy on the outside and so juicy on the inside.

1 comment:

  1. Two important things.

    1) This looks phenomenal. Peppers AAAAND ginger? I don't even know what to do right now. All the right kinds of spicy.

    2) This wording is supreme. "All you need to successfully butterfly a chicken is a cutting board, a sharp knife, and a little bit of a dark side."