Thursday, September 17, 2009

Caramelized Chipotle Chicken

I think I have a new food crush - chipotle chiles in adobo sauce. They are smoky and really spicy, but they aren't overwhelming and can easily be mellowed out with other ingredients. I think they are a great way to add heat to a dish without it being so in your face. I know I always claim to be a spice wuss, but I have come a long way. I was that girl that asked for mild salsa at Mexican restuaurants... Somehow, when I was pregnant with Caroline my spice tolerance went way up, and now I'm able to handle a lot more spice than I used to. Bring on the heat!

This chicken used chipotles, so its no surprise that it was a hit in our house. The sauce has that great sweet-smokey-salty-spicy combo that I love so much. It actually reminded me a little of bbq sauce with a nice kick. This was an easy weeknight dinner, and I served it with the creamed corn below. I know a lot of people don't put much effort into side dishes, but I think in this case the sweetness of the corn played nicely off of the spiciness of the chicken; so I think the side dish deserved top billing along with the main protein.

The recipe calls for a whole chicken to be used, but I just used boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I also grilled rather than roasted, and while it was still delicious, some of the sauce fell off when I flipped the chicken. So I think roasting would be preferable in this case.

Caramelized Chipotle Chicken
adapted from Gourmet, September 2009
serves 6
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped chipotle chiles in adobo
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until oil is shimmering. Cook garlic, stirring constantly, until golden, then transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon. Reduce heat to medium and cook onions until golden brown, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Preheat oven to 450.

Add the garlic and remaining ingredients, except chicken, to skillet with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and simmer. Stir occasionally, and continue cooking until sauce is slightly thickened, 15-20 minutes.

Coat chicken with half of the sauce and roast 15 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with remaining sauce, then continue to cook until chicken is cooked through, another 10-20 minutes. (I grilled mine over medium-high heat about 7 minutes per side, brushing with sauce every few minutes).


Molly Jean said...

Hmm, I wasn't expecting the cinnamon! Very interesting!

This looks like a nice change of pace. We eat a LOT of chicken so I'm always looking for something different. Thanks!

Shawnda said...

We made this for dinner last night - YUM. My kitchen is pretty bare pre-move so I had to use crushed tomatoes and cumin rather than ketchup and cinnamon. The sauce was *excellent* - thanks for sharing!

neilw said...

Me and my wife absolutely love this recipe. We've made it lots of times in the past couple of years, for ourselves and for guests. We're making it for people tonight again, which is why I'm back on this page. Just wish it was easier to buy chipotle in the UK. Thanks :)

Josie said...

I'm so glad you love it too - I agree it is really wonderful! I would be so sad if I couldn't find chipotles - they are one of my favorite ingredients!

Anonymous said...

Is there a substitute for ketchup?

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