Thursday, March 22, 2012

Barbecued Chipotle Chicken and Mashed Potato Salad

First, apologies for taking FOREVER to write a new post. It's been an insane two months with new projects and our first-ever home purchase. Lunch Lady Lainey and the Hubster are now homeowners.

Due to the deliciously unseasonable weather, I was able to barbecue a couple of days ago and came up with an amazingly tasty recipe for spicy chicken.

Chipotle Chicken Thighs
24 chicken thighs (I had guests over. Scale the recipe down as you need to. This fed six people, plus leftovers for a couple of day's lunch and dinner. I'm sure you could freeze them after they're cooked as well.)
1/2 7 oz. can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
3-5 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp vinegar
3 tbsp or more orange juice

Let's do it!
If you're cooking on a grill, it's important to trim the excess fat off the chicken, otherwise, the grease will drip down and catch on fire, resulting in less tasty, burnt chicken.

Put the rest of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. You may need to add more orange juice to keep things spinning.

Put all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss to mix. Let this marinate for at least 20 minutes. The longer, the better.

Turn on the grill, let it heat up and clean it. My grill gets incredibly hot, so I keep it on the lowest setting. Splash some water on the grill to see if it's hot. If it sizzles, you're good to go. Place the chicken on the grill top, skin side down. Cook for maybe 5 minutes, close the lid, then turn over and cook for another 5, with the lid closed. If the chicken is sticking to it, it means that you need to let it cook a little longer. Cut the chicken along the bone to see if it's cooked. If not, keep it on for longer. I tend to undercook things, so I'm not really the best judge of cooking times. If you're not sure, cut open a piece and take a look.

The chicken came out tender, really juicy with a spicy kick to it. If you can't handle hot wings, then this recipe is too spicy for you. If not, yachtzee! The marinade will probably also work great with pork, in a slow cooker or oven. But that's a recipe for another day.

This chicken reheats well and is also amazing cold (if you like eating chicken cold), which means it will probably make an appearance at quite a few picnic pot lucks this summer. The Hubster took the meat off the bone and ate his in a wrap with veggies, which he raved over via text. Clearly, this recipe is a crowd pleaser.

Mashed Potato Salad
4 potatoes, washed, skin on
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 onion, minced
2 sundried tomatoes, diced (I used the kind that comes in oil, not the dried variety)
1 tbsp relish

Let's do it!
Cut the potatoes into thick slices and cook in boiling water until easily pierced with a fork. Drain and set aside to dry a bit.

In a large bowl, combine the mayo, onion, sundried tomatoes and relish. Add the potatoes to the mixture and toss to combine. The potatoes will start breaking up on their own, giving it a mashed consistency. Leave it as lumpy as you like. I find this less stressful than regular potato salad, where I really try to keep them in cube form. Yes, I realize how ridiculous it is to get stressed out about the consistency of potatoes.

This dish tastes great warm or cold, making it my go-to for BBQs. It's also dead easy. You can put whatever you want in it: capers, olives, fresh herbs. I always use mayo and relish as the base and add whatever I have on hand for extra flavour.

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