Monday, December 7, 2009

Sasha's Kitchen: Southwestern Chicken With Spinach-Cilantro Sauce

This recipe is a very tasty, easy chicken dish which I learned to make from Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill Cookbook. A somewhat similar version is served at his restaurant Mesa Grill. It is on page 140 of his cookbook. The main difference between my version and Bobby Flay's version is the type of chicken we use. Bobby uses bone on, skin-on chicken breast haves. I do not, but instead use skinless, boneless chicken breasts.

Personally, I prefer to use either Empire kosher chicken breasts or Bell & Evans chicken breasts and cook the chicken in a grill pan.

The first step is to prepare the spice mixture - if you make extra, as I usually do, I save it in a Ziploc for the next time I make the recipe.

Spice Rub (similar to Bobby Flay's cookbook)
1 1/2 T ground cinnamon
1 1/2 T ancho chile powder
1 1/2 T pasilla chile powder (I can not find this spice and have been using regular chile powder; if you are reading this and know where to buy it or want to send me some, let me know)
1 1/2 T ground cumin
1 1/2 T ground coriander
1 1/2 T ground ginger
1 1/2 T sugar
1 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
1 T salt
1/2 T black pepper (I prefer less than Bobby's recipe, with some testing of this)
1/2 T ground cloves
1/2 T fennel seeds
1/2 T ground allspice
1/2 tsp chile de arbol
1/2 tsp cayenne (you can use 1/4 tsp if you prefer)

Now that you have taken out ever single spice in your spice rack, mix and use the spice mixture to coat the chicken breasts. I usually prepare two packages of chicken breasts which is enough for two nights dinner. The cook the chicken in a grill pan. If you are not confident that the chicken is cooked through, finish cooking in the oven.

Cilantro-Spinach Sauce (also from p. 140 of Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill book)
2 cups fresh cilantro
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 small shallot, diced
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup spinach (I prefer more than Bobby Flay's recipe, again with some testing)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 T honey
salt and pepper to taste

Combine the cilantro, pumpkin seeds, shallot, garlic, vinegar and spinach in a food processor with 1/2 cup water. Blend and then slowly add olive oil, honey, salt and pepper and blend until the mixture has emulsified. This sauce tastes great on the chicken - it is quite smooth and creamy and is a favorite in my house. Bobby Flay's cookbook has a lot of great recipes and I really learned a lot about cooking from working with this cookbook. It is definitely a worthwhile purchase.

Chicken Breast on Foodista


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