Monday, July 8, 2013

Chipotle Chicken Kabobs with Avocado Cream Sauce

After celebrating the 4th in Jersey, KK and I headed to Delaware to visit his brother, sister-in-law.  My sister-in-law's brother and his wife also drove in from DC.  My sister-in-law is 7 months pregnant with twins (a boy and a girl!), so the plan was to help out around the house on Friday and Sunday.  We assembled the cribs, painted the nursery, organized baby clothes, and moved furniture to make room for bassinets.

On Saturday, we had an action-packed day.  Our first stop was Dogfish Head Brewery, and we each selected four free samples to try.  My favorite was Sah'tea, while KK preferred Theobroma.  Lunch was a momentous occasion - I had my first-ever Taco Bell experience! I played it safe with a chicken quesadilla, and it was surprisingly better than I thought it would be.  Since it's KK's favorite fast food chain, I imagine we'll stop at a Taco Bell the next time we're on a road trip.  After lunch, we made a quick stop at the Tanger Outlets before heading to Rehoboth Beach.  The boys tossed around a Frisbee while the girls read and enjoyed the sun.  We finished the day with dinner and more beer at the Dogfish Head Restaurant.  If you're ever in the Rehoboth area, I strongly recommend ordering The Dogpile as an appetizer and pairing it with a sampler of five beers of your choice! Some of the beers offered in the restaurant are not even offered at the brewery.

Inspired by the kabobs (or is it kebabs? Wikipedia says they're the same!) we had at the 4th of July BBQ, KK put these Chipotle Chicken Kabobs on this week's menu.  KK marinated the chicken for me about 90 minutes before I started cooking.  Notes from the original recipe suggest marinating for an hour max to ensure the chicken is not over-tenderized by the citrus, but I had no complaints with the longer marination time.  If you're using a grill pan, make sure to measure the kabob sticks against the pan before soaking them and skewering the chicken.  I might have made that minor mistake - whoops!  The original recipe called for 2 lbs. of chicken, but we halved it (represented below) and made 7 small skewers.  We made the full amount of avocado cream sauce, and were able to use the sauce liberally and still have leftovers that KK will gladly enjoy with lunch tomorrow! The sauce was somewhat sweet and, in my opinion, lacked a little kick.  I added some extra pepper and a few dashes of chili powder, but would up the spices even more next time with additional chili powder, garlic, or even a chopped green chili.  I served the kabobs with Chicken Rice-A-Roni and a side salad.

Chipotle Chicken Kabobs with Avocado Cream Sauce
Adapted from Annie's Eats
Time: 1 hour for marination + 25 minutes
Serves: 2

Chicken Ingredients
1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
2 Tbsp lime juice
¼ cup canola oil
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp chili powder
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp cumin
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
½ Tbsp brown sugar
½ chipotle in adobo, seeded and minced

Avocado Cream Sauce Ingredients
1 avocado, split and pitted
½ cup low-fat Greek yogurt
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp lime juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Place chicken in a Ziploc bag.  Add lime juice, oil, spices, garlic, brown sugar, and chipotle to the bag.  Squish bag to ensure all marinade ingredients combine thoroughly.  Refrigerate, and let marinate for 1 hour.  After 30 minutes, soak wooden skewers to prevent them from burning. 

2. Once chicken is marinated, oil the grates of a grill or grill pan and heat to medium-high.  Loosely thread chicken pieces onto skewers for grilling.  Dispose of the excess marinade.

3. Place the kabobs on the grill and cook, turning 2-3 times, until all sides are slightly browned.  The internal temperature should register 160˚ F on a meat thermometer.  Remove to a plate and let rest 5-10 minutes.

4. While the chicken is resting, make the sauce.  Combine avocado, yogurt, garlic and lime juice in a food processor or blender.  Process until smooth; season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve alongside the kabobs for dipping.

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