chipotle chicken kebabs & the next adventure
The last eighteen months has flown by in Norman Wells. We’ve been through culture shock, wanderlust and extreme homesickness, sometimes all at once. We’ve experienced endless sunlight and 35˚C in summer, near-endless darkness and -45˚C in winter. We’ve grown accustomed to riding without helmets, leaving for work with 3 minutes to cycle, greeting the bank teller like a long lost friend, being totally comfortable (and socially acceptable) wearing jeans and sneakers at work.
All is about to change next week when we pack up the four suitcases we arrived with (we even did a practice pack again) and shift our lives to the city.
Calgary awaits us. It’s time to move forward in our careers and Canadian adventure in a more (shall we say) civilized part of this country. With abundant opportunities (work wise and otherwise) for us both, a thriving food culture, and a city life we are both terrified of and eager for, Calgary has drawn us.
We anticipate the change with anxiety, not just the sorrow of saying goodbye to those we’ve forged friendships with, but anxiety for all that comes with living in a bustling city.
The last two weeks we have been trying to soak up the Northern lifestyle as much as possible. Enjoying the plenteous down-time, the relaxed atmosphere, the genuine friendships, local wild meat, our tiny community church. We’ve been cooking meals very strategically, aiming to use up every item just in time. It has worked out perfectly – there are some benefits to choosing not to stock up with a barge order.
In clearing out the freezer I came across an icecube tray of frozen chipotle chilies, plus an overripe avocado lurking in the back of the refrigerator. A quick reference check on Annies Eats and it was Chipotle Chicken Kebabs (who calls them kabobs!?) for our dinner. This is the best avocado cream we’ve had – far better than our usual guac. Any remainder is fabulous as a dip for corn chips.
Chipotle Chicken Kebabs
Recipe from Annies Eats
For the chicken:
Juice of 2 limes
½ cup of vegetable or canola oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
¾ tsp. chili powder
¾ tsp. paprika
½ tsp. cumin
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 chipotle in adobo, seeded and minced
2 lbs. chicken breasts and/or thighs, cut into 1½-2 inch pieces
Minced fresh cilantro, for serving
For the avocado cream sauce:
1 avocado, split and pitted
½ cup low-fat greek yogurt
1 clove garlic, minced
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a medium bowl or a baking dish/pie plate, combine the lime juice, oil, spices, garlic, brown sugar, and chipotle. Whisk together to combine. Add the chicken pieces to the marinade and mix well to ensure that they are all coated and mostly submerged. Cover, refrigerate, and let marinate for 30-60 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a grill to medium-high and oil the grates. When the chicken is done marinating, thread the pieces onto skewers for grilling. (If using wooden skewers, be sure to soak them first to prevent charring/burning.) Dispose of the excess marinade. Place the kebabs on the grill (a George Foreman-style press worked well for us) and let cook, turning once or twice, until all sides are slightly browned and the internal temperature registers 160˚ F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove to a plate and let rest 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle with minced fresh cilantro, if desired.
To make the sauce, combine the avocado, yogurt, garlic and lime juice in the bowl of a food processor or a blender. Process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve alongside the kabobs for dipping.