My family loves Chipotle. Their chicken burrito bowls are our default food choice when we’re out in town and in a pinch. There are both good and bad aspects of our relationship with Chipotle. The good is that we’re able to find quick meals that are within our dietary parameters and with relatively naturally-raised ingredients. The bad is that while Chiptole is pretty upfront about their standards towards raising animals, they have not released a list of their ingredients to the public. There’s actually a petition (right here) to ask Chipotle to reveal their ingredients. My personal concern is that they are cooking with oils that are high in Omega-6 fatty acids, like soybean oil.
My other issue is that we like Chipotle so much that sometimes it becomes our dinner even if we’re not out in town and in a pinch; it’s so tasty that we find ourselves wanting it even when we have a fridge full of food.
So I decided to do something about it and re-create our beloved chicken bowls so we can enjoy them in the comfort of our own home and know exactly what ingredients go into the meal. Also, I am sure that this recipe isn’t 100% authentic, especially in its use of chipotle powder (as opposed to whole dried chipotles and/or canned chipotles) but I made a couple shortcuts to make the process a little easier. I pieced this recipe together using my taste buds and some rumors I found floating around on message boards, so if you have intimate knowledge of some of Chipotle’s ingredients, leave me a comment below!
for the chicken -
2 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp ground chipotle powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp salt
1 tsp each black pepper and paprika
2 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp lime juice
for the rice -
2 cups rice, cooked (add two whole bay to the water leaves when cooking)
2 tsp expeller-pressed coconut oil, macadamia nut oil, or high-oleic sunflower oil (i.e. a healthy, unflavored cooking oil)
4 tsp lime juice
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
To prep the chicken, blend all of the chicken ingredients (minus the chicken!), then mix them with the chicken and marinate overnight.
Grill the chicken on direct, medium heat, until cooked through. Should take about 10 minutes.
Let the chicken rest for five minutes, then chop it up into bite-sized chunks.
For the rice, add the cooked rice to a big bowl. Mix in the oil, stirring together. Add the lime and lemon juices, and the salt, mixing together. Finally, stir in the cilantro, and it’s ready to go. Taste it and add more salt or lime juice as needed.
That’s about it. For the sour cream, I just added 1 tsp cream to every 2 tbsp of sour cream, to get that creamy consistency like what you find at Chipotle. For the cheese, I used a mixture of white cheddar and jack cheeses (50/50 split). The lettuce is just chopped romaine.
Add other toppings as you see fit, then go to town. I didn’t add instructions for their salsas and guacamole, but chipotlefan.com has pretty comprehensive lists on their site (be sure to read the comments, many of which are from former employees).
In making this recipe, I came to realize why Chipotle’s signature icon is a burrito wrapped in foil – it’s damn hard to take a flattering picture of a burrito bowl! That’s okay, because the authentic taste more than makes up for its non-photogenic appearance.