Former White House chef shares honey habanero chicken recipe

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Andre Rush, also known as Chef Rush, is an Army veteran turned former White House chef. The author of “Call Me Chef, Dammit!” shares his favorite White House recipes, including one for a honey habanero chicken.

Honey Habanero Chicken



2 lbs boneless chicken thighs, cut into cubes or strips

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup lime juice, from two limes

4 large cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped

1 tbsp kosher salt

1 tsp crushed chili flakes

1 tsp honey habanero

2 tsp bell pepper

1 tsp black pepper

1 tbsp cumin

1 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp sugar

Green sauce:

3 jalapeño chili peppers, optionally seeded and roughly chopped

1 cup packed fresh coriander leaves

2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

½ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup sour cream

1 tbsp fresh lime juice, from a lime

½ tsp. salt

1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Citrus Saffron Rice:

¼ cup boiling water

Pinch of saffron threads (about teaspoon)

1 cup basmati rice, rinsed

1 tbsp refined coconut oil or butter

½ tsp onion powder

½ tsp salt

1 cup stock (vegetarian or chicken)

Travel directions:

For chicken:

1. Puree garlic, soy sauce, lime juice, oil, cumin, paprika, oregano and a pinch of black pepper and honey habanero in a blender.

2. Place the chicken in a large Ziploc bag and add the marinade.

3. Place in the refrigerator and let marinate for 8 to 12 hours. But can stand for 24 hours – the longer in the marinade, the better.

Grilling chicken:

1. Preheat the grill to medium heat (about 350 degrees)

2. Remove the chicken from the marinade and shake off the excess. Place on the grill grates. Let the chicken cook for 5-6 minutes, with the grill lid closed to retain the heat.

3. Use tongs to turn the chicken thighs. Cook for another 5-6 minutes. (Use a thermometer to make sure the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.)

To cook chicken in the oven:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken pieces in a 13 x 9 inch casserole dish along with 1 cup water. Roast uncovered for 30 minutes, cover pan with aluminum foil and cook for a further 15 minutes, until browned and fully cooked.

For green sauce:

1. Combine all ingredients except the olive oil in a blender. Process until smooth.

2. Run the engine and slowly drizzle with olive oil.

3. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.

For Citrus Saffron Rice:

Cooking on the stove:

1. Combine saffron threads and boiling water and let it steep for at least five minutes.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine saffron and boiling water with the basmati rice and all other ingredients.

3. Cover and bring to a boil; Lower the heat and simmer (covered) for 15 minutes.

4. Remove from heat and let stand for another 10 minutes before serving.

Cooking in rice cooker:

1. Combine saffron threads and boiling water and let it steep for at least five minutes.

2. Combine saffron and boiled water with the basmati rice and all other ingredients.

3. Cook with the white rice function (or normal function if there is no white rice option).

4. When the cooking time is over, fluff with a fork and serve.