Chipotle Lime Chicken Salad Wraps with Potatoes and Avocado and Mexican Red Rice

by Kristin on September 5, 2009

When Kelly and I decided to start this blog earlier this summer, we weren’t sure what the copyright implications of sharing recipes online might be. I’ve been reading cooking blogs for years and had always wondered about it, never for a minute believing that all the bloggers out there were writing off to Gourmet or Ina Garten’s publisher to formally ask permission to use their recipes. But when it came time to start my own blog, would I lie awake at night like the Amateur Gourmet, fretting that the Barefoot Contessa would bring the full weight of the law down on me for posting her lemon fusilli recipe?

We set our minds at rest after reading the US Copyright Office guidelines and this Washington Post article, but what about adapting a recipe to the point where you can call it your own? Where do you cross the line from having to acknowledge the source to you being the source? Take these chicken salad wraps, for example. I was looking through my Mexican Everyday cookbook and saw Rick Bayless’s recipe for Chipotle Chicken Salad Tacos with Avocado, Red-Skin Potatoes and Romaine. I liked the sound of most of it, but decided to ditch his vinaigrette with oregano for a dressing of mayo, chipotle, lime and cilantro instead. I also used flour tortillas instead of corn, turning these into wraps instead of tacos. I played around with the quantities specified in the ingredients list and pretty much wrote the instructions from scratch too. Is all that enough to call this recipe my own? Or should I stick with the guidelines issued by the International Association of Culinary Professionals and use the words “adapted from,” “based on” or “inspired by?” In the interests of sleeping soundly, “inspired by” sounds good to me.

Chipotle Lime Chicken Salad Wraps with Potatoes and Avocado
inspired by Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless

Makes 8 wraps

for the wraps:
2 large potatoes or 6 small new potatoes
8 large flour tortilla wraps
3 handfuls sliced romaine leaves, sliced 1/4 inch across
1/2 red onion, finely chopped and deflamed (optional)
2 ripe avocados, cut into 1/4‑inch cubes

for the chipotle lime chicken salad:
1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle chillies (or 1 teaspoon dried chipotle chillies, available from Seasoned Pioneers, or a few dashes of chipotle Tabasco, to taste)
juice of 2 limes (you could add the zest too if you want an even stronger lime flavor)
1 cup (30 g) cilantro, chopped
1 cup (240 ml) mayo
4 chicken breasts, poached and coarsely shredded (or about 3 cups of any shredded chicken, such as leftover roast chicken)
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until fork tender, about 7 to 10 minutes, depending on their size. Drain and allow to cool, then cut into 1/4‑inch cubes.

To make the chipotle lime chicken salad, add the chipotle chillies, lime juice (and zest, if using) and cilantro to the mayonnaise, stirring well to combine. Add the shredded chicken to the chipotle lime mayo, mixing well to make sure all the chicken is coated with mayo. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To assemble, spread some of the chicken salad on a tortilla, then top with potatoes, lettuce, onions and avocado. Roll up tightly and cut in half on the diagonal. Repeat with the remaining wraps.


Mexican Red Rice
from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless

Serves 6 to 8

Rick Bayless also gives a few riffs on this dish: halved garlic cloves, chopped red, white or green onion and sliced mushrooms can be sautéed along with the raw rice. Cubed peeled carrots, parsnips, butternut squash, even Jerusalem artichokes or kohlrabi can go in with the salsa. Chopped snow peas or green beans can replace the peas. Or boost the flavor with a roasted poblano pepper, fresh corn kernels and a handful of chopped cilantro, arugula or watercress leaves, all added along with the peas.

1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1 1/2 cups (270 g) white rice
1 cup (240 ml) good-quality tomato salsa
1 cup (240 ml) chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (210 g) frozen peas

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

Set a medium ovenproof saucepan or casserole dish over a medium heat. Add the oil and rice. Stir frequently until the grains of rice turn from translucent to milky-white, about 5 minutes – don’t worry if some of them brown. Add the salsa, broth and salt. Stir a couple of times, then let the mixture come to a full boil.

Cover the pan and set in the middle of the oven. Bake for 20 minutes. Uncover, add the peas and re-cover. Bake for 5 minutes longer, then remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff the rice, releasing the steam and mixing in the peas.

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