As with avocados, I had never eaten at a Chipotle until I moved to LA. Like many before me, I immediately became addicted to the chicken burrito bowl: white rice, black beans, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, and guacamole. And no, I don’t mind that guac is extra. Chipotle turned into my special occasion fast food; a little pricier than my usual and impossible to finish the entire thing. After spending my college years as a Chipotle disciple, I noticed a change. First, I found a large piece of avocado skin in my guacamole. Since it happened at a different site than I regularly visited, I let it slide. A while later, I noticed that the guac tasted different. It was creamier and less flavorful. When I asked if the recipe had changed they said no, but I’ve eaten enough Chipotle to know when something’s off. I started ordering kid’s meals because they’re cheaper and more reasonable portion sizes. When I ordered the taco kit I requested cheese on my tacos and they said it’d be extra since it’s considered an additional side. In what world is cheese for tacos a side??? More recently, my co-workers and I have noticed they’ve started skimping on portions, even of inexpensive ingredients. If I’m shelling out $10 for a burrito bowl (not including chips or a drink) I better not be able to see the bottom of the bowl through all the rice and beans.
Pardon my French, but Chipotle has earned a spot on my shit list with their downsized serving sizes, sub-par guac, and insane definition of what qualifies as a side. I’m taking matters into my own hands. With frozen chicken breasts, microwavable rice, and canned organic black beans I can easily cook it myself. Using the Chipotle ingredients and my taste-buds as a guide, I determined the measurements and serving sizes as I went along.
- Season chicken breasts with chipotle chili pepper, cumin, salt, and pepper. Cook in a skillet coated with olive oil. Once cooked through (no pink inside) dice into bite-sized cubes.
- Simmer black beans on the stove with onions, garlic, oregano, and chipotle chili pepper.
- Mix cooked extra long grain rice with cilantro and fresh lemon and lime.
- Grate aged white cheddar and jack cheese.
- Make the guac any way you like, for this iteration I used avocados, diced red onions, cayenne pepper, cilantro, lemon, lime, salt, and minced garlic.
I topped mine with sour cream and used tortilla chips for scooping when I got tired of using a fork. It’s a great meal to cook for the boy and I or to keep leftovers and make two or three meals of it.