Last summer, before Chipotle ran into some crappy PR problems related to it’s norovirus outbreak, Chipotle started testing a chorizo menu item. Kansas City was the test market for the addition, aloing with select New York City airport locations during breakfast. As of yesterday — National Taco Day — chorizo at Chipotle became a reality.
In an interview with the Kansas City Star last year, Chipotle corporate chef Nate Appleman talked about pushing the chain to include the spicy sausage on the national scale:
Chipotle corporate chef Nate Appleman, a James Beard Rising Star Chef in 2009, worked on the development of the sofritas, but he has really been chomping at the bit to roll out the chorizo since he arrived at the company.
“I’ve been beating the drum for five years,” Appleman said in a recent phone interview from San Diego. “It was one of the first things I worked on.”
Chorizo uses ground meat from various parts of the hog, so adding it may help ease that supply-chain glitch while wasting less of the animals they do have. Chicken is far and away Chipotle’s largest selling item, while the chipotle adobo marinated steak is the spiciest.
Appleman’s chorizo recipe blends the pork with chicken for a lighter, less greasy sausage. The patties are seared on the in-store grill and crumbled before serving. Is it spicy? That depends on your definition of hot, but one thing is for sure: “This is a full-flavored chorizo.”
He recommends combining the chorizo with white or brown rice, black beans, tomato salsa, sour cream or cheese, and maybe a little guacamole.
Anyone else feel their blood pressure rise when the paid Chipotle chef pulls a not-so-subtle plug for guacamole? Solid upsell, Bro.
Now that it’s official, keep your eyes peeled at your neighborhood Chipotle for the menu add:
“The reaction to chorizo in the cities that have had it has been overwhelmingly positive, so we’re making it available in all of our restaurants across the country,” said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle. “Our chorizo is made with Responsibly Raised chicken and pork, and provides a delicious new option that fits perfectly with the rest of our menu.”
Made with a blend of pork and white-meat chicken, Chipotle’s chorizo is seasoned with paprika, toasted cumin and chipotle peppers, then seared on a hot grill to give it a perfect char. Chorizo is available in burritos, tacos, burrito bowls and salads and can be combined with other signature ingredients.