A long time ago before I did much cooking, a friend of mine told me she wanted to be a sauce specialist. She went to culinary school and did just that. I didn’t understand what the big deal about sauces was. After making this blackened chicken with raspberry chipotle sauce, I understand. Sometimes knowledge comes through taste.
A good sauce can turn an ordinary piece of meat into an evening delight.
I spent a lot of time making an enchilada casserole last week and decided I needed something quick and simple. This raspberry chipotle sauce fit both requirements. Salmon or pork loin would be a great substitute for the meat in this blackened chicken with raspberry chipotle sauce recipe.
If you make the sauce, you will probably want to vary the amount of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce you put in. This will change how spicy and smoky the sauce is. For less heat, I would recommend one chipotle pepper with two teaspoons of sauce. I used two large peppers with two tablespoons of sauce and the raspberry sweetness still shone through. It was also nice and smoky and not too hot.
For the sides, I added some purple cabbage slaw, pickled radishes and seasoned black beans. Black beans and white rice would also be a great side option.
Let me tell you about the pickled radishes…they really have a kick! So much tangy flavor and still of hint of bitterness you would expect from the radish. If you do make the pickled radishes, make sure to bite into one of these right after you take a bite the chicken with raspberry chipotle sauce on it. You won’t regret it.
I got the recipe for pickled radishes from Cookie + Kate, one of my favorite food blogs. The only changes I made to her recipe was to substitute three tablespoons of white sugar for the honey, as well as leaving out the mustard seeds and optional add-ins.
The slaw is just a quick mixture of thin slice purple cabbage, lime juice, salt and cilantro. It doesn’t get any easier than that for a cabbage slaw.
The secret to a juicy blackened chicken breast is all in the salt. That is, you have to salt your raw chicken at least an hour or so before cooking it. This will give the salt time to absorb and hold moisture in the chicken while cooking. I grilled chicken breasts soooo many times only to have them slightly dried out. Then I found this salting trick in my favorite cookbook, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat. Salt the meat before you cook it. The thicker the cut of meat, the longer you need to give the salt to absorb.
Also, if you don’t have a digital meat thermometer, get one! It’s totally worth it. I did a lot of guessing about how done the chicken was before I got one, but now it’s so easy. I just wait until it reaches 165 degrees and it’s done.
Blackened Chicken With Raspberry Chipotle SauceCourse: simple mealsCuisine: chickenDifficulty: easy
2 lbs. chicken breasts, cut in half
4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 chipotle peppers + 2 Tbsp. adobo sauce
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne powder
1/3 cup sugar
16 oz. fresh raspberries
- Blackening spice mix
1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
- Sprinkle chicken breasts evenly with about one teaspoon of salt and let rest for at least 45 minutes before cooking.
- Mix together blackening spice ingredients in a small bowl. Sprinkle spice mix generously over each chicken breast, coating both sides.
- Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Cook chicken breasts for about 4-5 minutes per side until the internal temperature registers 165. Remove from heat.
- In a separate pan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, chipotle peppers and sauce, cider vinegar, garlic powder, cayenne, sugar and raspberries. Simmer over medium low heat for about 15 minutes until raspberries dissolve.
- With an immersion blender or regular blender, mix the sauce until you get a smooth consistency. You may want to strain raspberries seeds if you prefer it without seeds.
- Drizzle sauce over chicken breasts and enjoy!