It made me sad to read an article the other day that referenced chipotle as “passé” and a flavor that had its moment in the sun in the late 90’s/early 2000’s. It implied that using chipotle was meant that the cook was lacking in good taste. I happen to LOVE chipotle! While I understand trends and appreciate their purpose and the fact that some of them just need to go away completely (cough*chia seeds*cough), I also believe that as long as something tastes delicious, it’s never going to be out of fashion.
To me, chipotle is a classic, go-to flavor that will always be in my pantry (in several forms, for that matter!). I love the canned chipotles in adobo but I also like the dried, ground chiles for things like popcorn or a dry rub. I’m certainly not going to smother everything that I make in chipotle, like perhaps people did at one point, but I definitely think it has its place in certain dishes. Call me uncouth, but I’m going to keep using it in my chili, salad dressings, on my salmon and in this fantastic shredded braised chipotle chicken.
This recipe has a fairly long cooking time, but most of the work is hands-off. You do a little bit of sauteeing and browning, then let the braise work its magic. We use this on nachos, in taco salads, in tacos, and as filling for arepas. Oh yeah, and these mini quesadillas with fresh corn and smoked cheddar. It’s really versatile, and you could make a big batch to use in different preparations throughout the week. Or freeze it and save it for a weeknight when you don’t feel like cooking!
One Year Ago: Sweet Corn Puree with Seared Scallops. Spoiler alert: there’s chipotle in it!
- 1 tablespoon oil (vegetable or olive oil both work)
- 2 pounds of bone-in, skin on chicken (your preference: white or dark, or a combination of the two)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, choped
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
- 2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo, minced (seeded, if you want the dish less spicy)
- 1/2 tablespoon of adobo sauce from canned chipotles
- about 2 cups chicken stock
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste.
- Sear the skin side of the chicken pieces in the pan, cooking for about 5 minutes. Flip and cook the non-skin side for about 4 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion and garlic, cooking until the onion is transluscent (about 5 minutes). Add the cumin and coriander and cook until fragrant. Add the chipotles and chicken stock and mix everything together well.
- Add the chicken back to the pan (along with any juices that accumulated). Add enough chicken stock to come about halfway up the sides of the chicken. This will vary based on your pan, but mine required about 2 cups.
- Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pan and maintaing a simmer, cooking the chicken until it's fork-tender and falling off the bone (about 45 minutes for white meat and 60 minutes for dark meat).
- Remove the chicken and shred it. Set aside.
- Return the pan with the chicken stock to a boil and reduce the cooking liquid by roughly half. This will take 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Add the chicken back to the pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.
- 2 flour tortillas
- 1/4 cup shredded smoked cheddar
- 1/2 cup chipotle chicken (recipe above)
- 1/4 cup fresh corn kernals
- Sour cream
- Use a biscuit cutter or round cookie cutter to cut the tortilla into rounds.
- Heat a lidded nonstick pan over medium-low heat.
- Place all of the tortilla rounds on the pan. Divide the cheese evenly among all of the round. Divide the chicken among half of the rounds. Divide the corn among the other halves.
- Cover with the lid and cook over low heat until the cheese melts. Remove from the heat and pair a corn round with a chicken round to make quesadillas.
- Serve with sour cream, salsa, guacamole and cilantro.