Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Chipotle Chicken Lettuce Wraps

The jar of leftover chipotle chilis in adobo from a $1.69 can beckons my guilty gaze when I open my fridge when I start to make dinner, because much like leftover tomato paste from a .50 cent can or half a tin of evaporated milk, I cannot abide by throwing what I don't use away but I also can't for the life of me remember to use them before they have overstayed their welcome. I caught sight of my chipotle jar loitering near the back of the fridge yesterday and determined to finish the stragglers off once and for all. In noodling around for some new ideas I came across an entry on Bev Cooks for chipotle chicken lettuce wraps, which got the ball rolling. The other household half opted for tortillas instead of lettuce, but I was very pleased with the verdant crunchiness of the lettuce contrasted with the smokey spicy bite of the piquant chipotle sauce. Leftovers successfully and deliciously dispatched! 

Chipotle Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Makes 6-8 lettuce wraps

Recipe inspired by Bev Cooks

*2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
*Cooking oil
*1/4 cup chicken broth
*1 cup tomato sauce (I use a can of El Pato Mexican Hot Style Tomato Sauce which I find at my local Walmart)
*2-3 canned chipotle chiles en adobo (remove the seeds, if you want)
*1/4 onion, chopped
*3 cloves garlic          
*Pinches of oregano, thyme, cumin, allspice
*Couple sprigs' worth of of cilantro leaves (or more, depending on how much you like cilantro)
*1 teaspoon lime juice
*1/2 small red bell pepper, diced
*Boston or butter lettuce 
*3 scallions, sliced
*Lime wedges for serving

Heat some oil in a skillet over medium and season the chicken breasts. Saute about 5-6 minutes per side or until entirely cooked through. Meanwhile, blend the chicken stock, tomato sauce, chipotles, onion, garlic, spices, cilantro and lime juice in a food processor until smooth. When chicken has cooked, move to a cutting board and pour the chipotle sauce into the pan and cook over medium-low while occasionally stirring for 10 minutes or so, until it's a little darker and thicker. Dice the chicken and in a bowl, combine it with the diced bell pepper - add as much of the sauce as you want and stir until the chicken is well-coated. Spoon portions into the lettuce leaves and garnish with scallions before serving with lime wedges and any additional sauce to drizzle on top.

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