One of my favorite fast food restaurants in Miami is Chicken Kitchen. It’s really not fast food, more along the lines of a Chipotle of sorts, but with a different menu. For those of you who’ve never had it, it’ Caribbean marinated chicken that’s grilled. Then the skin is removed and this guy with two cleavers chops it up into little pieces. Then it’s served on top of a bed of yellow rice. You then mix it with your choice of sauce. There are about 8 or 9 different sauces, but my favorites are the Cilantro-lime sauce, the mustard-curry sauce, and the sweet and sour sauce. At least that’s how the original one started years ago. Now there are all kinds of versions to the original chop chop, like the Cuban Chop, the South of the Border Chop, etc. Check out their menu. I tried to re-create my beloved Chop Chop since its one of the places I miss the most now that I don’t live in Miami. Below is my attempt.
For the Yellow Rice:
2 cups white rice (I think they use parboiled)
2 & 1/3 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. bijol or annatto powder
Finely chop up the onion and sauté in the butter. Make sure to do this in a pot that has a lid for steaming the rice later. Next wash the rice to remove the excess starch. Drain of all the water and add to the pot with the onions. Sauté for a little will, stirring occasionally to lightly toast the rice evenly, but it should not be brown or change color at all. Next add the chicken stock, salt and annatto powder. Stir well and allow for the rice to cook on high until the liquid is about half evaporated. At this point, bring the heat to low and cover with a lid. Cook for about 15 minutes covered. Fluff with a fork.
For the chicken:
2 chicken breasts (with skin and bones)
5 garlic cloves
1 lime (juice)
2 tbsp olive oil
salt- enough to sprinkle over each piece of chicken
Marinate the chicken at least four hours in advance, but it’s even better if you do it overnight. Grate the garlic into a bowl, add the olive oil and lime juice and blend well. Add the chicken to a plastic zip-lock bag and add the marinade. Massage it into the chicken well and put the bag in the fridge to do its magic. When you’re ready to cook the chicken, season with salt and grill (I like mine on the bbq so that it gets that grilled taste). Allow the chicken to cook through undisturbed on either side for about 8-10 minutes. Let the chicken rest before cutting it. Remove the skin and chop it into little pieces.
For the cilantro, garlic and lime sauce:
1/2 cup light mayo
3 tbsp. water
1 tsp light soy sauce
2 garlic cloves
1 lime (juice)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
Wash the cilantro and remove the stems. Add the mayo, water, lime juice and soy sauce to a blender and combine. Next roughly chop the garlic and add it to the blender along with the cilantro. Blend until you have a light green colored sauce and no large chunks of cilantro or garlic are present. Drizzle over your Chop Chop and enjoy!