Friday, November 6, 2009

Cranberry-Chipotle Chicken


{print this recipe}
This is an amazing fall dish!  The smokiness of the chipotle pairs amazingly well with the sweetness of the cranberry sauce.  Serve with a side of baked sweet potato for extra yummy fall goodness.


INGREDIENTS
8oz. bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 C chopped onion (about ½ of a medium onion)
1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-oz can white kidney (cannellini) beans, rinsed and drained
1 C chopped roma tomatoes (about 1 large tomato)
½ C uncooked long grain rice
½ C chicken broth
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 16-oz can whole cranberry sauce
1 canned chipotle chile pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped (just one! Not the whole can!)
2 Tablespoons lime juice (about 1 lime)
¼ teaspoon salt


DIRECTIONS 
  1. In a large skillet cook bacon and onion over medium heat until bacon is crisp. Drain off fat.
  2. Transfer bacon mixture to slow cooker.  Stir in black beans, kidney beans, tomatoes, rice, chicken broth, the ½ teaspoon of salt, the cumin, cinnamon and garlic.  Add chicken.
  3. In a small bowl combine cranberry sauce, chipotle pepper, lime juice, and the ¼ teaspoon salt. Pour over mixture in cooker.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours or on high for 3 to 3½ hours.

I serve it by placing the chicken on the plate first.  Then I mix up the rice, beans and cranberry goodness and serve on top of the chicken.  


KITCHEN TIPS:
  1. If you don't use bacon often, you can keep the package in your freezer (put in a ziploc freezer bag). No need to thaw before cutting into strips and cooking.
  2. Chipotle chiles are smoked jalapeno peppers. They freeze well which is great because most recipes call for just one. I bag them individually (1-2 chiles per bag) with a teaspoon or two of the adobo sauce. Don't forget to label each bag with the number of chiles. Then place all the bags in one quart-size freezer bag and stick them in your freezer! If using a frozen chipotle for this recipe (and if you don't mind the extra heat from the seeds), chop it up while frozen.  This makes the chopping SO much easier!
  3. I buy several limes at a time and freeze their juice in ice cube trays (about 1 Tbls per cube) so that I always have lime juice on hand for the recipes that call for just a tablespoon or two.  Using silicone ice cube trays makes it easier to pop the cubes out.

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