Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Crispy Chipotle Chicken Sandwich

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I try to avoid fast food if I can, but I think it’s impossible to do completely in our fast-paced world filled with corporate restaurant chains. When I find myself standing at the counter looking at the menu, I always seem to gravitate to the “limited time offer” items, which can be a bit of a gamble. The most famous of these is probably the legendary McRib from McDonald's featuring a pork patty molded to look like a rack of ribs. That’s scary to me. I think I’d rather eat lunch meat from a 99¢ store.

That said, I have to admit, I was impressed by a new temporary treat at Arby‘s called the Smokin’ Chipotle Chicken Sandwich with breaded chicken, pepper bacon, chipotle barbecue sauce and pickled jalapeños. It was the kind of sandwich that I would make on a Saturday afternoon, and for this recipe, that is exactly what I did – create my own version of the new Arby‘s sandwich. I breaded the chicken myself, but it can be made much quicker with store-bought breaded chicken from the freezer aisle.

BEHIND THIS BITE
I have been waiting for a long time to do a recipe like this. I just had to find the right inspiration. Like I said, I try to avoid fast-food, but it's nearly impossible. It's just to easy and convenient to avoid entirely. (unless you live in New York City, more on this in a future post) I was running around recently, taking care of business when I stopped to grab a quick bite to eat at Arby's. The Smokin' Chipotle Chicken Sandwich presented me with the opportunity I had been waiting for – A limited time offer from a fast food restaurant that I could create my own version of for the column. 
Fast food is part of American culture and for all the bad things they offer our diet, they do have some creative people trying to produce meals and items designed to make us want to try. If you haven't found yourself at one time or another salivating over a commercial for the latest concoction offered at the local chain restaurant, then frankly you don't like food or lost your sense of taste and smell.

The Smokin' Chipotle Sandwich has all the elements of my style of cooking. The chicken is breaded for texture, it contains a special sauce and the pickled jalapeños provide some kick. Most chain restaurants advertise "spicy" or "hot" and it's usually weak to me, but the sandwich actually has some punch. I love the combination of chipotle with bacon, the smoky tastes really compliment each other and I use this combination all the time. Needless to say, I was impressed. 

Arby's creation inspired this recipe, it's not the exact recipe found in stores. The sandwich I create is superior in taste and is better for you health-wise. After all, it is prepared by an experienced cook with knowledge of a few cooking techniques and armed with fresh ingredients. At Arby's, it will be made by an 18-year-old who heats meat in a special oven then tops it with stuff from a caulking gun. They are prepared to serve a million of these. I made four.

I can't wait to find another item like this. I'm not going to comb the fast food landscape for one though. I would rather be inspired by the seasons and the daily needs of real cooking, but when I am in immediate need of food and stop at a corporate-chain restaurant that is impossible to avoid – I will give credit where credit is do – and gladly create my own version.

Eat well, cook often ...



2 comments:

Mish said...

I love your visual presentation of the sandwich. I just stumbled upon this website and you got me hooked! I also like how you broke down the ingredients with images all in one section. It's less cluttering like other food blogs that include pictures after pictures of the "steps." Your site keeps it simple! :)

Ali said...

scrumptious... I need to have a bite this. You right in our world right now its really impossible to avoid fast food. Its fast food everywhere you turn, anyway the chipotle chicken looks really delicious. Thanks for sharing.