Broiled Chipotle Chicken With Creamy Spinach
Pollo Enchipotlado Con Crema Y Espinacas
This recipe makes good use of Rick Baylessís favorite pantry itemócanned chipotles. Marinate the chicken several hours in advance, and cook it just before you sit down to dinner, as it only takes a few minutes to broil. If you donít care for very spicy dishes, you can reduce the heat by splitting the peppers in half and scraping out the seeds with the back of a knife before chopping. Thick cream is cooked in the roasting pan with the chicken before it is added to the spinach; this lends it the smoky, spicy flavor of the chipotle peppers.
1. Place the chopped canned chipotles and 2 tablespoons thick cream in a small bowl, and mix to combine.
2. Place the chicken in a large bowl, and pour the chipotle mixture over it, making sure to coat the chicken well. Cover with plastic wrap, and transfer dish to the refrigerator. Marinate the chicken 2 to 3 hours.
3. Heat the broiler. Place the chicken breasts in a baking dish (preferably earthenware) just large enough to accommodate them. Place the baking dish 6 inches away from the broiler, and broil chicken until deep brown in color, about 4 to 5 minutes.
4. Remove dish from broiler. Turn chicken breasts, and drizzle remaining 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons thick cream around the chicken. Return the dish to the broiler, and broil until chicken is deep golden and no longer squishy when you lightly press it with your finger, 4 to 5 minutes more.
5. Transfer the chicken breasts to a warm platter, and transfer platter to a warm oven.
6. Scrape the cream mixture from the baking dish into a medium-large
saucepan. Add the chicken stock and the spinach. Bring the mixture to a
boil over high heat, and cook, stirring constantly, until the spinach has
wilted and the cream has reduced and thickened, about 3 minutes. Season
mixture with salt, and serve creamy spinach with the broiled chicken.
THICK CREAM Makes about 1 1/4 cups
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
3 teaspoons active culture, such as buttermilk, crème fraîche, sour cream, or plain yogurt
1. Pour the whipping cream into a small saucepan, and set over low heat. Stir until the chill is off; do not heat above 100 degrees (lukewarm). Remove pan from the heat, and stir in the buttermilk. Pour the liquid into a clean glass jar.
2. Place the lid on the jar, without tightening it, and place the
jar in a warm (80 to 90 degrees) spot. Let the cream develop until it is
noticeably thicker, 12 to 24 hours. Stir gently, and refrigerate at least
4 hours to overnight, chilling and thickening thoroughly. Cover, and refrigerate
up to 10 days.
The chipotles varied in size, so I used 1 large and 3 sorta medium ones.
All the hoopla over the cream...on the show, he used Crema Mexicana (Mexican cream), which is easy to find locally, so I used that.
The package of chicken I bought contained 5 bone-in chicken breasts, so I filleted them, used the bones to make a stock. I used a small amount for the recipe and froze the rest. Also, I used the 5th chicken breast for this dish. This was good because we practically inhaled 4 of them, and JB took the fifth one to work for lunch the next day...but the downside was wishing there were more sauce (the recipe makes a perfect amount for 4 chicken breasts).
I didn't have the recipe with me when I went shopping. I bought
a 6-ounce bag of prewashed baby spinach. Next time I'll buy two bags.