19 January 2012

Chicken Kitchen Mexican Chop Chop

Chicken Kitchen Mexican Chop Chop Copycat with Creamy Curry dressing

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Paul was born in Miami.  Chicken Kitchen?  Also a Miami native.  So, naturally, they were a match made in heaven & the affair was hot and... um... chicken-y?  

As Florida kids stuck in North Carolina, we love re-creating our favorite sunshine state eats at home. This particular recreation was long overdue.  In fact, after watching P inhale a Chicken Kitchen To-Go box  during our last FL road trip, I knew I had to start making it at home.  I promised him the second we got back to NC I would not only recreate this dish, but perfect it =)

Chicken Kitchen Mexican Chop Chop Copycat with Creamy Curry dressing

You should have seen his face light up when I told him what we were making. =)  I put him on chicken duty since I wouldn't know how to cook meat if it jumped on the grill and asked to be rotated.  I do, however, know my way around veggies and promptly got to work on those.

Chicken Kitchen Mexican Chop Chop Copycat with Creamy Curry dressing

Restaurant Recreation:
Chicken Kitchen Mexican Chop Chop
[for two]
What's in it?
2 cups Mahatma yellow saffron rice, cooked
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, grilled
1 diced tomato or two handfuls of halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup (or more!) of mushrooms or any other veggies you have on hand
1-2 cups chopped lettuce
1-2 cups black beans, drained and rinsed
2-3oz grated cheddar, chipotle cheddar, or mexican cheeses

P seasoned his chicken with poultry seasoning, freshly ground black pepper, and onion powder and tossed on the grill.  For extra flavor and nutrients, add turmeric and garlic powder to the spice rub.

Creamy Curry Vinaigrette
3 Tbsp fresh or store bought mayo [or yogurt!]
1/2 tsp of curry powder, plus more to taste
1/2 tsp of white vinegar
a pinch of mustard powder + garlic powder
S+P to taste

Crazy about the sauce? Double it and pour it on everrrrything! <3

vegansarus chop chop add baked/fried tofu, guacamole, & veganize the the sauce
brontosaurus chop chop tofu it up or add sauteed veggies & extra black beans
t-rex chop chop take a cue from Paul & add grilled, seasoned chicken to the mix

Chicken Kitchen Mexican Chop Chop Copycat with Creamy Curry dressing
Get Chop Chop-in'!
If the restaurant can prep this baby at fast-foodie-like speeds then gosh darn it we can too! The two things that take the longest (the rice and the chicken) can be prepped ahead of time if you love this dish and want to sneak it into weekly rotation (*cough*paul*cough*) and travels super well for work/school lunches.  Rambling!  So on to the cooking instructions!

Cook your yellow rice via your usual method.  While it's cooking, decide what you want your protein to be. If you're going the tofu route, here's a recipe.  For chicken, simply rub it with your favorite spices and toss it on the grill!  Garlic powder, onion powder, turmeric, salt/pepper and poultry blends make an amazing combo.  For hot delish veggies we tossed the black beans and mushrooms in a foil packet with a splash of olive oil and popped it on the grill for a few minutes!  Foil packets are so freaking money... I always forget to make them but when I do, angels sing a little.  They do!  They sing "no mess! no clean-up!" and I shed a tear.  You've made them before for veggies, right? They're awesome on the grill or in the oven.  Let me know if you want me to do a foil pack-a-palooza post.

Ohmygosh this is the post of many rambles!  Long story short, cook rice, cook protein, chop veggies, grate cheese and.... toss it all together!  Pile the black beans on top of your sunny, colorful rice and pile on the veggies!  

For the sauce, whisk together mayo, vinegar and spices and serve room temperature.  You can dip your fork in it and then dig in to your chop chop or go ahead and drizzle it all over the place.  Its divine!

Chicken Kitchen Mexican Chop Chop Copycat with Creamy Curry dressing

Hmmmm.... so which one was better?

Chicken Kitchen Mexican Chop Chop Copycat with Creamy Curry dressing
it feels oh so wrong to say "Duh! Winning!" But.... Yeah.
So... How was it?
I can't say it enough, this ROCKED!  Plus it totally tastes 101x better than the Chicken Kitchen inspiration dish since I was able to make it with my own personal favorite ingredients.  I like to follow the dirty dozen when possible so I used organic tomatoes and lettuce and fancy chipotle cheddar cheese... insanely delicious!  Something about the warm fluffy rice and beans paired with the crisp and refreshing veggies is just magical.  And the sauce? *Swoon!*  Feel free to top this with guacamole and greek yogurt if you'd like -- but i'm tellin' ya -- the curry sauce is ridiiiiiculously delicious!

Feeling fishy?
Salmon Chop Chop with Creamy Curry Dressing

Check out this recipe for a rockin' Salmon Chop Chop <3



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80 comments:

  1. that just look so yummy

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  2. Thanks Shirley! Totally try it sometime! <3

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  3. CrunchyCreamySweetThursday, January 19, 2012

    ( standing in line with a bowl in hands and grinning ) :D I will take the T-Rex one! Yumm!

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  4. Oh wow, that looks delicious! :) Never heard of Chicken Kitchen, but I'd dive right into this dish.

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  5. JENN THIS LOOKS AMAZING!!!! I love the fresh ingredients!

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  6. This looks pretty amazing.  Yummy way to get in your veggies!

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  7. Thank you for showing the different 'levels' of food. I've been trying to change up dishes and make them more adaptable for different people and this is the perfect fit!

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  8. OH MY GOD. I MUST MAKE THIS. Sorry for the CAPS but i work with a ton of UM grads and they all talk about this a lot so I must recreate this and try it for myself :) thanks!!

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  9. This looks so tasty!!

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  10. haha them too? It's all my husband talks about! Hope you love it as much as we do!

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  11. I don't generally like salad.  (Yet another reason why I'll never call myself a healthy living blogger).  But I'd make an exception for yours!  ;)

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  12. but there's rice!!! see!! not a salad =) now go make this stat!

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  13. looks great! I love all the different versions :)

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  14. This dressing looks incredible!

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  15. Yum! I love that you included a vegan version- thank you! 
    This sounds amazing. Especially the dressing. Mmmm...that combination of flavors is brilliant!

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  16. Thanks Emily! The vegan version is FANTASTIC -- I alternate between that way and the veg. Let me know if you try it out! <3

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  17. Happy When Not HungryThursday, January 19, 2012

    Looks amazing!

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  18. oh my GOSH this post spoke to me! I was born and raised in Miami and have lived on the Cuban chop chop for the first 18 years of my life (which is pretty much this with black beans). I'm pinning this! THANK YOU :D

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  19. yayyy thanks girl! This has black beans too! They're under the salad explosion on top of the yummy rice! =)

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  20. Curry vinaigrette sounds like heaven.  I've been craving black beans too.  When are you going to come make this for me?! ;)

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  21. ShawndragrendzinskiThursday, January 19, 2012

    Oh yum! That looks so good. I think I will try the dressing tomorrow and dip some carrots and tomatoes. Love your blog!

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  22. Oh wow, this is looking good. Except the tomatoes. They hate me. And the feeling is mutual. 

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  23. Restaurant recreations=only reason I started cooking in the first place!

    Winning for sure.

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  24. toss em to the side and grab some avocado! MWAH!!!!

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  25. Holy smokes! That looks delicious!!! I am a sucker for mexicany salady goodness so this is right up my alley.  All the versions look great, I want to try them all haha

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  26. Ann@Directionsnotincluded BlogThursday, January 19, 2012

    Another Miami native here! I can't eat there anymore because of the cross contamination (I'm a celiac and the pitas are everywhere). I'm so trying this!

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  27. Heck yes!!!! 305! I'm a 954 Broward county girl -- not as cool as you and my hubs =) haha -- Def make this!!! It's way better than theirs with zero cross contamination worries! <3 My little brother is celiac too! How long have you known?

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  28. mmm sounds good! Let me know how it is as a dip!

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  29. I love how much healthy Mexican food I find around here. We should be friends. The end.

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  30. I know, silly! I'm talking about we-are-friends-so-why-dont-you-guys-come-have-dinner-with-us kind of friends. It would be a loooooong trip from Cali to NC, but maybe tomorrow we can make it in time for din din :)

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  31. I'm so sad we didn't get to move to cali like originally planned -- we could have dinner dates all the time!

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  32. Oh that looks so good! It's so much better, too :)

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  33. This looks delicious! I haven't made yellow rice in ages, thanks for the reminder.
    I really love that you always (?) offer vegan, vegetarian, and carnivorous options.

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  34. Chop chop yum yum!!  Yours is the winner hands down!

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  35. Oh that looks so very yummy!  Well done you two.

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  36. This looks so good!  Can you share your recipe for the saffron rice or do you have a favorite brand you use?  Can't wait to give this a try!

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  37. haha! love this. give me that t-rex chop chop now! i'm also kind of obsessed with the dressing, except mayo makes me gag ever since she's never been kissed and the coleslaw scene so i'd prob roll greek yogurt or something like that

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  38. Never heard of it, but it sure looks great. Thanks for sharing.

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  39. What a beautifull dish is this!!! I'm trying it next week! Have a wonderful weekend!

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  40. This looks so amazingly good that I might just make it tonight.

    I fall head over heels with anything that has a sauce!

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  41. Thanks Eri! Have a fabulous weekend and let me know what you think afterwards! <3 Mwah!

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  42. Confession: I have never made saffron rice and for some reason I am afraid of it. ???  Help a girl out: what kind/where do you get your saffron rice? Any "tricks" or tips? This looks so delicious and I know I would love the saffron rice/beans/veggies combo. I want to make this!

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  43. Ooh this looks sooooo good - I love your "vegansaurus" and "brontosaurus" (can I be really dumb and ask what brontosaurus is? Just vegetarian?) either way I love it! Thanks for another fab recipe Jenn!

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  44. haha Yup! Vegetarian =) Thanks Anna!!!!

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  45. Hey Corrie!!! I'm making it from scratch this weekend so I'll have that recipe up super soon with photos and instructions and all that jazz -- also going to compare saffron prices from diff brands/stores too - hopefully its helfpul! About once a month I make Mahatma-brand yellow saffron rice from a package -- it is seasoned with garlic, onion, and saffron with sunflower oil and its deeeeeeeeelicious! Very flavorful and its also long grain so there is great texture! They have really easy instructions on the back too! You measure out your water, bring to a boil with a tiny splash of olive/coconut/grapeseed oil, add rice, reduce to simmer, cover and set your timer to 20 min. Def make this recipe -- it's got the best of both worlds with hot rice and beans and crisp cool veggies with a creamy sauce.. I don't miss the restaurant version anymore! =)

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  46. Professor VegetableFriday, January 20, 2012

    Omg! I love this and how you have all the veggie versions! Perfect for me.

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  47. What a fun idea, and fantastic looking salad! These are so may goodies in here...my family would love it :)

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  48. This looks delicious!  Thanks for sharing!

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  49. Lovin' the Mexican theme.  Taco salads are my favorites, especially in summer when I can pick fresh tomatoes, peppers, and cilantro from the garden.  I think I will be going Mexican this weekend.  Thanks for the inspiration.

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  50. That looks absolutely stunning!  Not only did your recipe ROCK - it was so bright and colorful!  Delish!  Have a GREAT weekend!

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  51. yummy yummy yummy! Can you come make this for me right now? MMMkay, thanks!

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  52. I would take that salad over the Chicken Kitchen one any day.  It looks amazing!!

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  53. Wow, Jenn--WOW! This does look insanely delicious! I've never heard of or been to Chicken Kitchen, but who cares, because now I can create their famous dish in my own kitchen! This is definitely going to happen this week! xoxo

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  54. Looks absolutely delish'! As a lover of chicken, I would surely try this out some time ;)

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  55. LOVE your blog Jenn!!!! New follower! Thanks so much for stopping by mine:) xoxoxo Hanna

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  56. First off - I freakin love your blog, which  I originally found via pinterest awhile back, and I was just wondering - HOW do you add that little "PIN IT" button at the top of your blog entry, beneath your picture like that? 

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  57. Looks awesome! I'm all over the T-Rex version :)

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  58. this looks insanely delish!  t-rex version for this family.  if only the kids would eat salad... they love their veggies but there is something about a salad that freaks them out. 

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  59. Thanks Sandi! Technically it wouldn't count as a salad b/c the base is beans and rice with just a liiittle raw lettuce on top but if they aren't lettuce fans totally just skip it and go for the other veggie toppers! <3 Hope that works for them! xoxo

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  60. aren't you proud when you make something from a restaurant and it comes out BETTER?  That's talent.  This salad looks delicious and super filling and healthy.  Its a win win situation.

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  61. I need this. Like, yesterday. NEED it!

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  62. Such a colorful and lovely salad! Thank you for sharing! :)

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  63. this looks like a chipotle bowl but a million times better because of the curry sauce. I'm down!

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  64. I made this yesterday and it was AMAZING! I'm from the UK, so I substituted pilau rice for yellow rice, and only had kidney beans in the cupboard, but it was delish! The dressing is amazing, and my salad-hating-t-rex-boyfriend adored it. Thanks Jen! xxx

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  65. sandra wiedmaierMonday, January 30, 2012

    make this just tonight!  substituted plain greek yogurt for mayo (yuck! can't stand mayo) and it was delicious.  kids ate everything but separated and without lettuce.  win win!

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  66. Whoohooo!!!!!! Success! <3 And might I say thank you x100 for trying it with greek yogurt? I have wanted to since we developed the sauce a few weeks ago but i've been lazy and haven't gone to the store for yogurt yet -- so happy it works as a yummy substitution! I'll update the recipe to let ppl know it works! Thanks Sandra!

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  67. haha so the t-rex devoured it? eeee yay!!!!! My T-rex is obsessed with this dish (ok ok i am too!) so i'm glad we both have a dish that our men will gobble up too! <3 Happy Valentine's Day Annabel! xoxo

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  68. Carriecatherine2Friday, April 13, 2012

    TY,TY,TY I too moved north and miss the Chicken Kitchen! So TY for my favorite Chop-Chop

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  69. Aww yay -- you won't have to miss it anymore! Its sooo easy to make at home =) Ohmygosh and sooo good! You'll have to keep me posted if you whip it up sometime! Happy Friday!!! xo

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  70. Thanks for sharing! We live in Miami and Love Chicken Kitchen, I made this for my hubby the other day and he's loves it more than Chicken Kitchen.

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  71. Nirvana Rien JeminoTuesday, November 26, 2013

    thanks for sharing this kind of recipe im health conscious,so I keep on searching new healthy recipe...,,,,I love different kind of salad the T rex is amazing but the problem is the chicken I find hard to make chicken juicy and tender. pls help im rien friom philippines

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  72. Hello love! Happy to help! The easiest way I cook chicken at home is to either bake it in salsa or butter/oil with the skin on and bones in ( you remove then after but they help lock in moisture!) and if I am only using tenderloins or breasts without the skin I will sometimes boil it until it's at proper temperature/fully cooked and the use it in recipes. Both are pretty easy and I've had juicy results with both! Also, the food network chef Ina Garten has really great chicken recipes/tips at www.foodnetwork.com -- she's a pro when it comes to chicken! Hope that helps!

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  73. Hello love! Happy to help! The easiest way I cook chicken at home is to either bake it in salsa or butter/oil with the skin on and bones in (you remove then after but they help lock in moisture!) and if I am only using tenderloins or breasts without the skin I will sometimes boil it until it's at proper temperature/fully cooked and then season + use it in recipes. Both are pretty easy and I've had juicy results with both! The food network chef Ina Garten has really great chicken recipes/tips at www.foodnetwork.com -- she's a pro when it comes to chicken! Hope that helps!

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  74. Thank you for this recipe! I can't wait to cook it up for my Miami boy!

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