It's Wednesday, "How About Chicken"?

It was a little soggy outside today (i.e., Biblical rain), so I decided to take my grilled chicken indoors. This post will cover how to use Sabroso* spice rub for delicious grilled or pan fried chicken and includes a few other tidbits on grilled chiles as well as beans with Smokey Karma Sauce®. In other words, “it’s Wednesday how about chicken?” Note: the picture above has nothing to do with this recipe - that's chickens on a stick rubbed with Jerk Me Around Around roasting over a wood-fire at camp; but it looks pretty good, in a neanderthal kind of way, and I thought it might get your attention.

Chicken Taco Plate
I made dinner for four with about 1 pound of deboned chicken thighs. These are generally much more flavorful than breast – but suit yourself – you can use either or both. With some forethought I would have picked up a whole chicken from Honey Hill Farms…Next time!

First I pounded out the thighs with a flat mallet for more surface area and to speed up cooking. I then rubbed the chicken all over with 2-3 teaspoons of Sabroso and squeezed on the juice of one large lime (hint – if you store your limes in the fridge zap them in the microwave for 30 seconds and they will be easier to juice). I then let the chicken rest in the fridge to absorb the lime juice and Sabroso while I got on with the sides (15 minutes minimum). If grilling I would also add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil at this point.

Pounding Chicken
Marinating Chicken
I saw a couple of Anaheim chiles that looks good at Wegmans so I decided to roast these as well (no Hatch or Poblano available right now). To start, I wash the chiles and cut a small slit in the side to avoid a blow out while roasting. I simply turn them over right on the grate of my gas burner until substantially black and blistered (I would not use this technique for a large quantity of chiles but it works great in a pinch). I then place them in a plate-covered bowl to let the skins further loosen up. Later I simply scraped the skin off with the edge of my chef’s knife.

Roasting Chiles
Chiles in Bowl
I made a simple “Taco Style” Salsa Fresca by tossing tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, cilantro, lime juice and pinch of salt in a blender. One minute of pulsing and it is ready to go.

Blender Salsa 1
Blender Salsa 2

I opened and rinsed one can of pinto beans (more typically I would use dry beans and my pressure cooker but all the extra pepper planting prep work this week has cut into my meal planning). I placed this in a small pot with a few tablespoons of Smokey Karma Sauce and a splash of Pilsner (sometimes I add a little OJ). I smash up some of the beans with a spatula and simmer for a few minutes to thicken. While I was doing this Kelly prepped some farro with chicken stock.

Prepping Smokey Karma Sauce Beans
Finished Smokey Karma Sauce Beans
I heated up a hot skillet and pan fry the chicken in olive oil with a few slices of onion. I flipped the chicken when the first side is nicely browned and do the same on the other side. You can delay adding the onions if you prefer them less caramelized (or simply go raw). When it’s done I slice the chicken (whole, the thighs would be great on a sandwich).

Pan Fry Chicken 1
Pan Fry Chicken 2
Chicken and Chiles
That’s it! Plated taco style with tortillas, grated cheese and sour cream. Can’t forget the Karma Sauce on the side!

This approach to seasoning also works great of beef, pork, lamb, tofu or grilled veggies (try summer squash or a big portabella mushroom!).

*Sabroso is a cumin rich southwestern spice blend. The name “Sabroso” is tasty in Spanish. Keeping with the general Karma Sauce philosophy we use simple ingredients (sea salt, cumin, onion, Ancho chile, garlic, Lampung black pepper, Mexican oregano) and no MSG or related compounds. Sabroso is also sugar free!

Chicken Taco Plate