There are A LOT of different copycat recipes for Chipotle, so I set out to find the best ones...in my humble opinion, of course!
Let's start out with the pico de gallo, which I adapted from here.
1 and 1/2 cups seeded, diced roma tomatoes
1/2 cup (or so) chopped cilantro
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1/2 jalapeno, diced NOT seeded
1/2 red onion, finely diced
Juice from 1 lime
1/2 t salt
Sprinkle of garlic powder
Stir all of the ingredients together. Taste it to see if you need more salt or a bit of garlic. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Note about cilantro: I've learned that I have to dry the cilantro before I chop it or else it gets all clumpy and weird. I just squeeze it in a paper towel before I chop it (or cut it with a kitchen scissors).
Note about jalapeno: I like spicy things, but I'm certainly not crazy about things being so spicy that my tongue is on fire. That being said, I didn't think it was very spicy at all with the seeded and diced jalapeno, which is why I added half of another one with the ribs and seeds. The ribs and seeds are where a vast majority of the spice is in a pepper.
I made this during nap time!
Next up: the veggies!
I decided that I wanted to make a fajita bowl, so I did these veggies. I'm so glad I did! I just sliced up 1 red onion and a half each of green, orange, and yellow bell peppers.
I heated about a tablespoon of canola oil (not olive oil, it scorches when heated that high) over medium high and waited until the pan got really hot! I added the peppers all at once and let them sit for like 30 seconds to get a little char on them. Then, I shook the pan (like I was all fancy on the food network or something :)) occasionally to make sure they didn't burn. You want them to definitely still have a little crunch and be firm.
Then, I did the same for the onions!
For the beans, I just drained and rinsed 2 cans of black beans.
And the rice...oh, the rice! I followed this recipe from Iowa Girl Eats. The flavor is right on, but I could never get my rice to not be sticky. I tried rinsing it before cooking and rinsing the rice after it was cooked. But, it was still sticky. I even tried using white basmati rice, because I read that's what Chipotle allegedly uses.
I pushed on, though, adding the juice 1 lime, a small handful of chopped cilantro, and some salt.
I found out the trick, though, the following day when I reheated the rice for leftovers. It wasn't sticky at all! So, the next time I make these (there will be a next time!!!), I'll make the rice a day ahead of time, reheat it in the microwave, and add the goodies from there!
Now, it's guacamole time!
Here's my guacamole trick:
I cut the avocado in half, get out the pit, cut it into cubes while in the skin, scoop it out, and put it in a ziplock bag. I squish it around to make guacamole! When it's at my preferred consistency, I cut a corner of the bag and squeeze it into a bowl. I only added lime and salt, because I think that's what Chipotle does.
Free tip: If you do this in a freezer bag, you can suck the air out and freeze it! I do that often, and just stir in some chopped tomato and a little onion after it's thawed.
Last, but certainly not least, the chicken (adapted from here).
While Aaron thinks that the flavor of the rice really makes this perfect, I think the flavor of the chicken makes it perfect.
I think we're both right :)
Here's what you need for the rub:
This amount of spice is for about a pound of chicken breasts. First, I brushed the chicken breasts with oil and rubbed on the rub. You can do this up to a day ahead of time, but be sure to let it sit in the fridge for at least 3 hours with the rub on.
Then, you just grill it, let it rest for a few minutes, and cut into bite sized cubes!
Now comes the good part...assembling!
I made this when we had friends over (this is a super fun recipe for a group!), so I kept running outside like a blogging weird-o to take these pictures :)
I used a plate for this, but you can totally use a bowl!
Start with the rice,
then the beans,
followed by the chicken,
the amazing veggies,
sprinkled with shredded monterey jack check,
and topped with a few spoonfuls of pico de gallo,
a nice thwack of guacamole,
and a bit of sour cream!
I'm hungry again just looking at it!
I served it with chips that I got at the deli of our little grocery store...the flavor was more Chipotle-esque (although without the lime) than regular ones.
Now that you made it to the end, I'll show you what we had for dessert later that evening!
I followed the Pioneer Woman's recipe, and let me tell you, she knows what she's doing! It was SO amazing!
I'd be lying if I said this wasn't a lot of work, because it kind of was. Totally worth it, though!
Keep in mind, there's a lot you can do ahead of time!
- Make the pico de gallo
- Slice the fajita veggies
- Make the cake
- Put the rub on the chicken
- Make the guacamole (if you leave it in the bag)
- Make the rice (which you really should do anyway)
That just leaves the actual cooking for meal time prep!
So, the next time you're craving Chipotle and don't have one next door, make this! You won't regret it!
And, if you want to pin this, you can just hover your mouse arrow over a picture, and click on the pin it button that appears on the upper left side of the picture!
Enjoy...please, really do enjoy this!