5 Genius Secrets to Easy & Delicious Dinners

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Chipotle Chicken with Elote Corn Salad

We don’t know about you, but southwest cuisine has a sweet spot in both of our families’ hearts. The flavor profile of this dish is a big hit in our households and we are confident you will love it as much as we do!

Why are chipotle chilis packed in adobo sauce?

Unlike most canned foods that come stored in a salty brine, the perfect chipotles for this dish come packed in flavorful adobo sauce. Not only does it make the chipotles more delicious, but it also makes seasoning the chicken in this recipe much, much easier.

Adobo sauce was originally used to preserve all types of food, from meats to veggies. The combo of vinegar, sugar, and garlic prevents the food from spoiling. That combined with chili powder, herbs, and peppers make this the perfect marinade for your dinner.

Preparing your chicken

The beauty of this recipe is that you can make it with light or dark meat. We prefer using chicken breast, but boneless chicken thighs would also work well here.

There are three ways you can prepare your chicken for this recipe, all depending on how much time you have.

  • If you have to make dinner quickly and only have 20 minutes, pour the chipotles and adobo sauce into a ziplock bag with the chicken breast, mix it, and throw your chicken right in the pan. Your dinner will still be incredibly tasty!
  • If you have a couple of hours, we recommend letting your chicken marinate in the chipotle and adobo sauce. You will similarly pour in the chipotles and adobo sauce, but once you mix it, pop the bag in your fridge for up to 24 hours until you’re ready to cook it. This will allow the flavor to soak in beyond the top layer of the chicken and give the flavor an extra little punch.
  • Lastly, if you’re a meal planner, and have ample time to get the chicken breast ready, we recommend trying to brine your chicken breast. You will place the chicken breast into a bowl with cold water with heaps of salt. We are talking pasta-water level salt. Then a few hours before you’re ready to cook, drain the water and place the chicken in a plastic bag with the chipotles and adobo sauce to marinate. Cook it up when you’re ready and get ready to impress everyone at your dinner table!

Let’s dive a little deeper into brining chicken breast

Creating a brine for chicken breast is absolutely not necessary to make a mouthwatering dinner. But if you have the time, it can definitely take your dish to the next level in terms of texture, moisture, and flavor.

Simply put, a brine is a combination of salt and water that can be used for many cooking techniques. The first thing that may come to mind when you hear the word brine is pickles as they are preserved in a more complex brine.

Brines are most commonly used as a preservation technique over longer periods of time, but in a short time span they are super helpful to add flavor and moisture to your protein.

In terms of chicken, the salt in the brine helps loosen the fibers of the chicken breast allowing more water to seep in.

Why is it beneficial to brine the chicken breast?

Well, if you’ve cooked chicken breast at least a handful of times, you likely know that it can easily dry out. Increasing the water content of your chicken before you cook it will result in more moisture retention during the cooking process.

Also, by loosening up the fibers of the chicken breast, the marinade will more effectively get into the layers of the chicken. This makes for an overall improvement of flavor!

So, again, it is unnecessary to brine your chicken, but if you have the time it can definitely uplevel your kitchen creation!

How to make Chipotle Chicken

  1. Place the chicken breasts in a medium ziplock bag (or reusable sealable bag). In a food processor puree the chipotle peppers. Pour the chipotles and adobo sauce over the chicken. Mix it on up and move on to cooking. Optional: if you have time, pop the bag with the chicken breast in the refrigerator to marinade for a couple of hours (up to 24 hours)
  2. In a medium sauté pan, pour in cooking oil and allow it to heat up. Place the saucy chicken into the pan and add salt and pepper. Sear the chicken for 4-5 minutes, then flip it and sear it for another 4-5 minutes.
    • Note: to prevent the sauce from burning, keep the pan on medium heat through the cooking process.
  3. Serve as whole chicken breast or shred it up with the elote salad.

How to make Elote Corn Salad

You can either make the creamy elote corn salad while your chicken is cooking (go you, multi-tasker!) or in advance.

  1. First, add thawed frozen corn to a medium mixing bowl. Fire roasted corn is the best to use for this recipe so you get that traditional smokey flavor, but any kind of frozen corn will work. *See note below.
  2. Add sour cream, diced onions, diced green peppers, green onions, salt, pepper and fresh lime juice to the corn. Mix it all together.
  3. Top with shredded parmesan cheese and give it a final mix. Taste it and adjust to your flavor preferences by adding more lime juice, salt or pepper.
  4. Scoop it on your Chipotle Chicken and enjoy!

Notes

Corn. For this recipe we use a fire roasted corn in the freezer section from our local Trader Joes, just pop it in the microwave according to package instructions. If you can’t find any, you have a couple options, either use fresh corn and grill yourself (or boil), or you can use any frozen corn that has been thawed and sautéed. Canned corn will work as well.

Chipotle Chicken with Elote Corn Salad

Chicken marinated in chipotle and topped with a fresh elote corn salad. So flavorful and so easy!
Print Pin Rate
Course: dinner, lunch
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: 30 minute meal, bruschetta baked chicken recipe, corn elote, corn elote recipe, corn elote salad, elote, grilled elote salad, healthy chicken recipe, healthy dinner, quick chicken recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts, pounded thin
  • 7 oz chipotle chilis in adobo sauce, pureed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • 12 oz frozen grilled corn, thawed and (cooked, steamed, or sauted) see note below
  • 1 diced and seeded jalapeño
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 stalks chopped green onions
  • 1/2 fresh squeezed lime
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup queso fresco or cotija, optional for garnish

Instructions

  • Place the chicken breasts in a medium ziplock bag (or reusable sealable bag). In a food processor puree the chipotle peppers. Pour the chipotles and adobo over the chicken. Mix it on up and move on to cooking. Optional: if you have time, pop the bag with the chicken breast in the refrigerator to marinade for a couple of hours (up to 24 hours)
  • In a medium sauté pan, pour in cooking oil and allow it to heat up. Place the saucy chicken into the pan and add salt and pepper. Sear the chicken for 4-5 minutes, then flip it and sear it for another 4-5 minutes.
  • In a large mixing bowl add thawed corn.
  • Add sour cream, diced onions, diced green peppers, green onions, salt, pepper and fresh lime juice to the corn. Mix it all together.
  • Top with shredded parmesan cheese and give it a final mix. Taste it and adjust to your flavor preferences by adding more lime juice, salt or pepper.
  • Plate the chicken and top with the elote salad.

Video

Notes

Corn. For this recipe we use a fire roasted corn from the freezer section from our local Trader Joes, just pop it in the microwave according to package instructions. If you can't find any, you have a couple options, either use fresh corn and grill yourself (or boil), or you can use any frozen corn that has been thawed and sautéed. Canned corn will work as well.
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Meet the Food Dolls, Alia and Radwa!

We are Alia and Radwa, two Minnesota moms who absolutely love to cook and experiment in our kitchens. Even though we grew up loving our mom’s Egyptian cooking and learning to bake, we didn’t start cooking until later on in our lives. It is our hope that Food Dolls will be your go-to hub for delicious, easy recipes that empower you to feel comfortable and confident in the kitchen regardless of how much experience you have. You and your family deserve to have decadent, scrumptious meals that don’t break the bank or fill your kitchen sink to the brim!

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