Possibly my most favorite word in the culinary language.
It simply makes everything better.
Being a native of San Diego, I grew up walking across the border to Tijuana to buy their “Birkenstock” like shoes with tire tracks as the soles and to practice my elementary Spanish, but most importantly, to eat real Mexican food. Long before the popular Chipotle chain, I was in love with chipotle, the real chipotle – the rich, smoky spicy chipotle peppers (smoked dried jalapenos) that elevate every Latin food. Now that we don’t travel to Tijuana any more, we annually jump on the 90 minute flight to Cabo where I am again indulged in authentic Mexican cuisine.
Unfortunately I can’t fly to Mexico every week or even every quarter, but that doesn’t mean I can’t indulge in authentic spicy chipotle at home! In fact, I don’t know if I am capable of making a Mexican or Latin inspired dish that doesn’t either include chipotle powder or chipotle peppers like my Chipotle Sweet Pulled Pork, Honey Lime Chicken Fajita Bowls with Chipotle Lime Crema, Chipotle Chicken Mango Black Bean Enchiladas, TexMex Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Chipotle Chicken and now SweetFire Chipotle Chicken.
My most recent chipotle culinary adventure brings two culinary worlds together. I wanted to create a chicken smothered in sweet, spicy, smoky chipotle sauce, reminiscent of Chinese SweetFire Chicken and breaded and baked until crispy like my General Tso’s Chicken, but with Latin spices, thus Latin style SweetFire Chicken was born. Latin + Chinese = out of this world delicious!
If you never have used chipotle peppers, you will be amazed at the rich, smoky, spicy flavor in just 1 tablespoon! To the remaining chipotle peppers not used in this recipe, I suggest chopping up the peppers, then freezing them on wax pepper or in an ice tray by the tablespoon so you can easy use them for future recipes (like my Mango Black Bean Chipotle Chili – you need this in your life!)
To make the Latin SweetFire Chipotle Chicken, the breading is first spiced with chipotle chili powder, smoked paprika and cumin so the chicken alone is bursting with flavor in every crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside chicken bite.
While the chicken is baking, Latin inspired sauce spiced with chipotle peppers, adobo sauce (from the can of chipotle peppers), cilanto, green peppers, red onion, honey, etc. is easily whipped up by adding all the ingredients to your food processor or blender and processing until smooth.
The sauce is then simmered for a couple minutes until thickened, then poured all over the chipotle cumin chicken.
Hello Latin SweetFire Chipotle Chicken! Sweet, spicy (you can control the heat), smoky, tangy, smothered crispy chicken!
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