Saturday, March 7, 2009

Pullin Pollo - Pulled Chipotle Chicken

I don't make this very often because it takes a long time to pull the meat. Oh, I am not complaining. I just have to have the time to be able to do it. This weekend, I MADE the time. Why? We are about to migrate to a new system at work, as a computer geek (Software QA) I will more than likely be at work for many many hours over the next 2 weeks. It would not be the first time I have worked 12 hours a day 7 days a week. But sadly, this means less time to cook, so things that can be thrown together for a quick meal are an absolute must at times like this.

I usually eat this with white corn tortillas, but something today set my teeth for a little bit of an Asian influence. Thus the Butter lettuce as a wrapper. True, it would have been more authentic if I had used Napa cabbage maybe, but I was not in a cabbage mood, and I don't like Iceberg (I like SOME flavor to the wrap). The Romain at the grocery store looked a little suspicious, so Butter lettuce it was. The nice thing about Butter lettuce is that it is still alive, packaged with the root ball and a little soil... It lasts a lot longer in the refrigerator than other lettuces that have been unceremoniously hewn from their stems and haphazardly tossed into a crate with hundreds of others for shipping.
I am digressing again...

Chipotle Pulled Chicken

in Butter lettuce

Pulled Chicken:
2 lbs Boneless-Skinless Chicken Breasts or tenders
1 small Onion, roughly chopped
2 Cloves of Garlic, crushed
4 springs of Cilantro
2 tsp Salt
the Juice of 1 lime

Chipotle Sauce:
3 TB Olive oil
3/4 cup Onion, finely minced
1 can of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo sauce
28 oz can of Diced Tomatoes
1 15 oz can Tomato Sauce
3 TB Tomato Paste (I use the kind in the tube)
1/2 cup Chicken Stock
1 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
1 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
Juice of 1 Lime (If using Mexican/Key lime, use 3 limes)
6 TB Cilantro, chopped (reserved for later)

In a large saucepan, combine chicken, onion, garlic, cilantro and lime juice and the limes themselves.
Add water to cover.

Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat.
Simmer until chicken is cooked through - about 20-25 minutes.
Drain chicken and discard onions, garlic and cilantro.
Let rest and cool for about 15 minutes.

Using 2 forks "Pull chicken" into shreds and set aside and begin the sauce.

Sauté onion over medium heat in oil.

Combine Tomatoes, Tomato Sauce, Tomato Paste and Chipotle Peppers and the Adobo in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth and add to the onion.

along with chicken stock and simmer for 35 minutes to thicken it.

Add the pulled chicken and oregano and salt, stirring to combine.

Simmer an additional 10 -20 minutes to ensure the chicken is only moist, not wet. (like Carnitas)
Remove from heat and let cool slightly before adding the cilantro and lime juice.

Serve with corn Tortillas or like I did, with large Butter Lettuce Leaves.
Garnish with Lime wedges, Sour Cream, Avocado and grated queso Asadero or queso Oaxaca, along with more chopped cilantro.

Yeah, I cheated and bought a pre-shredded mix that had queso Asadero & queso Quesadilla in it, cause I could not find just a hunk of the cheese.

Store any unused portion in a sealed container for up to 6 days.

Eat Well!!


Bob said...

Oh now you know I love me some pulled chicken. I bet that is mad good, I wonder if I could convince my girlfriend to eat it... ;)

Michele said...

That looks so delicious! I'm definitely going to try that!

Spryte said...

YUM!!! I LOVE chipotle!!