Get ready to spice up your weeknight dinners with this mouthwatering Chipotle Chicken with Elote Corn Salad recipe! Packed with bold flavors and refreshing ingredients, it’s the perfect dish to satisfy your cravings.
First up, the chipotle chicken brings the heat with its smoky and spicy flavor profile. Marinated to perfection, each bite is bursting with deliciousness that’ll have your taste buds dancing with joy.
But wait, there’s more! The elote corn salad is the perfect companion to balance out the fiery flavors of the chicken. With its cool and refreshing ingredients, including sweet corn, creamy dressing, and tangy lime, it adds a delightful contrast that’ll leave you craving more.
Trust us, this dish is a big hit in our households, and we’re confident you’ll love it just as much as we do!
Table of Contents
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. You can choose the one that’s best for you, 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, 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 for adding flavor and moisture to your protein.
In terms of chicken, specifically, 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 take your chicken to the next level!
How to make Chipotle Chicken
- Place the chicken breasts in a medium ziplock bag (or reusable sealable bag). In a food processor puree the chipotle peppers. Pour the chipotle and adobo sauce over the chicken. Mix it 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.
- Note: to prevent the sauce from burning, keep the pan on medium heat throughout the cooking process.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Scoop it on your chipotle chicken and enjoy!
Corn. For this recipe, we use a fire-roasted corn in the freezer section from our local Trader Joe’s. Just pop it in the microwave according to package instructions. If you can’t find any, you have a couple of 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
- 4 chicken breasts pounded thin
- 7 oz chipotle chilis in adobo sauce pureed
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 12 oz frozen grilled corn thawed and (cooked, steamed, or sauted) (see note below)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1 diced and seeded jalapeño
- 2 stalks chopped green onions
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 1/2 fresh squeezed lime
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup queso fresco or cotija optional for garnish
- 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)4 chicken breasts, 7 oz chipotle chilis in adobo sauce
- 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.2 tbsp olive oil, salt to taste, black pepper to taste
- In a large mixing bowl add thawed corn.12 oz frozen grilled corn
- Add sour cream, diced onions, diced green peppers, jalapeños, green onions, salt, pepper and fresh lime juice to the corn. Mix it all together.1/2 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup diced red onion, 2 stalks chopped green onions, salt to taste, black pepper to taste, 1/2 fresh squeezed lime, 1 diced and seeded jalapeño
- 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.1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Plate the chicken and top with the elote salad, cilantro, and queso, if desired.1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, 1/4 cup queso fresco or cotija
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.