I was having a super lazy Sunday (like, wake-up-at-2pm-and-wear-PJs-all-day kinda lazy) with my friend Qareena, until I decided to do at least one productive task and cook dinner for us. I set some chicken cubes I just bought from Honest Chops out to thaw and started looking for new recipes. Honest Chops is, by the way, “an all-natural, organically-inclined, halal butcher shop” a few of my friends run in the East Village and the quality of their meat is far superior than any meat I’ve cooked with. I can easily taste the difference so I prefer to cook with their meat now when I can. Totally a plug but not really a plug without reason — I really think everyone should know about this place and try it out if you’re in NYC (PS, they deliver). But…I digress.
I stumbled upon this recipe for spicy chicken sandwiches with cilantro-lime mayo and they had me at “lime.” I had almost all the ingredients, but I substituted a couple of things based on what I had, mixing up the spices a little. Also, the original recipe uses chicken breasts which would make it better for a sandwich, but because I already had chicken cubes thawing, I decided to try it both as a flatbread and sandwiches. The original recipe is here, but I’m posting what I used below:
1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp garlic paste
1 lb chicken cubes
6 tablespoons hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash for chicken
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp chili pepper
4 1/2 ounces baked tortilla chips (about 6 cups). Note: I totally just did this by eye, I think I used half a bag of tortilla chips
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 100% Whole Wheat Arnold Sandwich Thin Rolls. Note #2: I’m completely obsessed
Red onion slices
Lettuce. Note #3: I didn’t have this so I didn’t use it. I mean, I had kale I was going to use but remember, Lazy Sunday. Next time.
1. To prepare mayo, combine the first 5 ingredients. Squeeze all the juice in the lime half to add in mixture
2. To prepare chicken, I whisked eggs, hot sauce, Mrs. Dash, peppers, and salts in a bowl and saturated the chicken cubes in it.
The recipe calls for you to marinate it in a Ziploc for a couple hours, but seeing I didn’t have any, I let it sit in the bowl for a couple hours instead, occasionally mixing it through the mixture.
**Pausing from our regularly scheduled recipe for a NOTE ON TORTILLA CHIPS: I know I’m completely accident prone (See: bleeding for avocados), but a word of caution: Tortilla chips are dangerous, people. The original recipe also calls for you to process the chips in a food processor which I JUST ORDERED A WEEK AGO. But alas, I didn’t have one so I decided to crumble them by smushing them with my fingers in the most ghetto way possible. And then, one of the pointy corners of a chip actually cut my pinky. Not a knife. A tortilla chip. Third finger I cut in one month from cooking. A wise old man told me the smarter thing to do would have been to crush them with my knuckles. So there’s that. But this part took a considerable 15 minutes to finish. Also, I assume most of you own a food processor in which case you read all this for nothing. Pleasant side effect of using your hands, though: mine were soft as a baby after from the oils in the chips (did I just unearth a beauty tip? Well, then).**
3. If you’re trying to take the day’s stress out in a healthy way, go ahead and grind those chips with your knuckles. If in the off-chance you want to do this like a civilized human being, place tortilla chips in a food processor and process 1 minute or until ground. Place ground chips in a shallow dish.
4. After letting the chicken marinate, remove, allowing excess to drip off. Coat chicken completely in chips. Set aside. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken and chips.
5. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil to pan, swirling to coat. Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned and done.
6. Spread mayo evenly over cut sides the sandwich thins. Layer bottom half of each roll with 3 onion slices, 1 lettuce leaf, and a couple chicken pieces; top with top another half to serve as a sandwich, or as is to have a delicious crispy chicken flatbread.
The cilantro-lime spread really makes the taste in this recipe, and the tortilla chips give the chicken a nice texture. The original recipe called this a spicy chicken, and even with the hot sauce and added chili pepper, I thought it wasn’t super spicy, but you can use spicy chips to make it moreso. This was my first time successfully cooking crispy chicken though and the tortilla chips worked amazingly well (I tried with bread crumbs before but it didn’t work out so well then…). Try this and let me know what you think!