From Grill to Table – Mexican Chicken with Mushrooms, Onions, and Roasted Red Peppers

I love to grill.  I haven’t quite mastered it yet though.  I did buy a cookbook on grilling.  Probably one of the most informative books I’ve every purchased.  Good reading.  I love detail to a point, but also love visual.  This book has it all.  Essentials of Cooking – William Sonoma

Most of the time I don’t plan dinners.  It mostly comes from what is available at the moment and then I put it all together.  With the kids getting older and having their own plans I think it’s been a lot easier planning dinners for one or two people.  If the kids are around, I just alter the recipe a little before I add all the flavors I and my husband like.

I wasn’t intending this meal to be a hot meal.  It was originally going to be roasted red peppers and portablella mushrooms with mozzarella cheese and basil.  Because I had the chicken and thinking not to do the same old, same old of marinating in teriyaki sauce or italian dressing, I wanted to use a rub.  I’m usually not great with rubs.  My brother is really good at it.  He teaches culinary arts and has a smoker in his back yard that he made from an old oil tin.

I recently made a trip to Maine to visit a very dear friend of mine and she brought me to Stonewall Kitchen.  A cooks haven.  I’m usually not all about tourist traps, but this was quite an experience.  It gave me another opportunity to try new things I normally don’t buy or see in the market.  So, I bought this taco seasoning.  I was originally going to use it as a fajita style flavoring while cooking on the stove, but I figured I would give it a try on the grill.  Boy was I amazed at the flavors!  Not quite to spicy, but gave a nice kick to the meal.  Read below for preparation….

FROM GRILL

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Portabella Mushroom, Red pepper, vidalia onion, chicken seasons with Stonewall Kitchen Taco Seasoning mix.

HOW TO SET UP THE GRILL

I used a tabletop weber for this meal.  Just the right size of space to cook for one or two people (sometimes even four depending on what you are cooking).  I use a chimney to start my briquettes.  Once the briquettes are hot and ready to use, I spread them out so that there is two inches along the whole outside of the grill top screen.

Place the mushroom, pepper onion in the middle of the grill – the hottest surface so the pepper can burn (keeping an eye on the onion and mushroom so they don’t burn).  Place the chicken around the perimeter of the grill and let it cook for 3 – 4  minutes and then turn.  You should see grill marks.  The heat from the briquettes is enough to cook the chicken even when placed on the outside.  Cook on other side for 3 – 4 minutes.  You will start to see parts of the chicken getting charbroiled.  This is what you want.  Because the pieces are small, it shouldn’t take but another 2 minutes on each side to grill the chicken.  Always test your chicken with a thermometer if you are unsure.

One breast of chicken (this piece was enough to feed two people).  I broke it up into small pieces so it wouldn’t take long to cook.  Usually with breasts on the grill, if they are too big, they tend to dry on the ends before you can get them moist in the middle and cooked to the standard temperature (especially on a grill) and then it’s too tough to eat.  Packed a baggy with 1 tablespoon of the seasoning and the chicken pieces and massaged the bag until all the chicken was coated.  Added a little bit of olive oil at the end so there wouldn’t be clumps of seasoning left in the bag.  Place on outside of grill area so the chicken doesn’t burn.

One red pepper (size is up to you).  Brush red pepper with olive oil and place on the grill.  Let it burn on all sides, remove from grill after all sides are burned and then place in a container with a lid.  Set aside.  Once it’s cooled off, rinse under water and the burnt skin will fall right off.  Take out the veins and the seeds, cut to your liking (strips or squares), add a little olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.

One portabella mushroom.  I buy them bulk, take of the stem and then peel the top of the mushroom – the skin of the mushrooms peels right off from the sides.  Dribble olive oil, a little balsamic vinegar and the squeeze of a lime on the cup side of the mushroom, salt and pepper and then add to grilll.

One vidalia onion sliced thick so it doesn’t break apart on grill.  Rub with olive oil just to coat.  Place on grill.

TO TABLE

I added some greens to this meal to make it a salad and then finished it off with some Manchego Cheese.  I took it to work, forgetting the dressing so I went to my local pizza shop and they had their house dressing.  I tried that with it and it was delicious with a squeeze of the lime.  If I come across the dressing recipe, I send it along, but can’t guarantee it.  Olive oil and lime juice would suffice as well.

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Bon Appetite!

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