Chipotle peppers

Cheesy Chipotle Chicken and Rice Casserole

There’s also some broccoli in there, too. All the food groups represent: cheese, carbs, leftover protein, and green stuff. If that doesn’t scream balance, then I do not know if there’s help for you.

Cheesy Chipotle Chicken and Rice Casserole

With the coldest night since April on tap for us tonight – 44F, BRRRRR! – I wanted something warm and not-chili for dinner. I took the house – and Thanksgiving favorite – Cheesy Broccoli and Quinoa Casserole and grabbed a can of chipotles and that leftover shredded chicken in the fridge that needed to be eaten, like, yesterday.

Cheesy Chipotle Chicken and Rice Casserole

It’s still all the things you love about the traditional broccoli, cheese, and rice casserole: one baking dish, cheesy, gooey, not-very-pretty comfort food. But this version, it gets a little added kick from stirring a few tablespoons of minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce into the cheese sauce.

Cheesy Chipotle Chicken and Rice Casserole

It’s a little spicy. It’s still super cheesy. And insanely comforting.

Cheesy Chipotle Chicken and Rice Casserole

The cheesy comfort food favorite gets a spicy kick from chipotle peppers.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups uncooked white rice (or enough to yield 3 cups cooked, check your package instructions)
  • 16 oz frozen chopped broccoli
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp minced chipotles in adobo sauce*
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups leftover shredded chicken
  • *I put the entire can into a mini-chopper and mince and then save the leftovers in the fridge. Or freezer.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. In a medium sauce pan, cook the rice in water with a generous pinch of salt, according to package, directions and then set aside.
  3. In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter.
  4. Whisk in the flour, onion, garlic, 2-3 tablespoons of minced chipotles (if you're sensitive to heat, start with 2), a generous pinch of salt and black pepper.
  5. Let cook 1-2 minutes and then slowly add the milk, whisking until the sauce is smooth.
  6. Let the sauce simmer, reducing the heat if necessary, about 5 minutes until thickened and bubbling.
  7. Remove from heat, whisk in the cheddar a handful at a time until completely melted.
  8. Taste for spice/seasoning and add additional chipotles, salt, and pepper to taste.
  9. Add broccoli, rice, and chicken to the pot and mix well.
  10. Transfer mixture to a casserole dish and bake ~35 minutes, until the top is nicely browned.

Notes

Yields: 8-12 servings

Adapted from Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa

Estimated time: 1 hour

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Slow Cooker Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos and Enchiladas

Well, actually three ways. But I didn’t photograph the third way.

(Can’t wait to see those Google keyword searches next week!) ([giggle])

Slow Cooker Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos and Enchiladas

Let me introduce you to the most amazing thing to come out of my crockpot since… well, that last amazing thing that came out of my crockpot.

I call it Honey Chipotle Chicken. And I call it dinner for 4 nights this week.

Slow Cooker Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos and Enchiladas

It starts with 3 lbs of chicken breasts, some honey, a can of chipotles in adobo, and some onion and garlic. ~5 hours later, you have enough chicken to feed a small army for nearly the rest of the week. An army that will absolutely adore you.

The cooking sauce is defatted (it’s a word) and thickened and then drizzled over the shredded chicken. The sauce has a pretty amazing balance of sweet and heat – my 4 year old actually claimed it to be “too spicy”… but I watched her mop up every single drop of sauce with her quesadilla because seriously – what won’t that kid do for a bowl of Blue Bell? (Besides not cleaning her room.)

Slow Cooker Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos and Enchiladas

The first night we made those tacos and quesadillas (because my 4 year old will not eat a taco that hasn’t been sufficiently smashed), topping them with pico de gallo and some crumbled goat cheese. For lunch the next day, I served it over a bowl of some fancy rice-quinoa mix.

Then we made enchiladas. And I have no reservations about telling you this: They are absolutely the best enchiladas I’ve made or eaten. Ever. Sweet, spicy (but not craaazy hot), and cheesy comfort food.

Slow Cooker Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos and Enchiladas

And I’ve still got 1/2 lb of shredded chicken and a cup of sauce left. I can tell you one thing – the weekend’s football munchies are going to be killer good.

Slow Cooker Honey Chipotle Chicken

Sweet and spicy Honey Chipotle Chicken made in the crockpot. Tacos, enchiladas, sandwiches, or gameday appetizers - it's uses are as endless as the dish is amazing.

Ingredients

  • For the Honey Chipotle Chicken:
  • 3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 7 oz can chipotles in adobo
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • To serve as tacos:
  • Tortillas
  • Tomatoes
  • Cilantro
  • Crumbled goat cheese
  • To serve as enchiladas:
  • 12 tortillas
  • 4 oz grated Monterrey Jack cheese
  • Cilantro

Instructions

  1. Place chicken breasts in a large crockpot.
  2. Place the chipotles, honey, onion, garlic, a couple dashes of Worcestershire, and black pepper into a blender (you can chop/mince everything by hand if you'd like). Fill the empty chipotle can with water and add the water to the blender.
  3. Blend for 15-20 seconds until you have a pourable sauce (super smooth, homogenous liquid not necessary).
  4. Pour the sauce over the chicken and cook on low for 4-5 hours.
  5. Remove the chicken and shred (I am still loving this method!); cover and set aside.
  6. Skim the fat from the top of the sauce or pour the sauce into a fat separator (I have this one and didn't use the strainer attachment).
  7. Transfer defatted liquid to a sauce pan on the stove over medium high heat. Pull out ~1/2 cup of liquid and whisk it with 3 Tbsp cornstarch. Add it back to the sauce pan and cook until it the sauce boils and thickens.
  8. I tossed 1/2 cup sauce with the shredded chicken to keep it moist and then stored the two separately (I had 3.5 cups of liquid).
  9. To make tacos, serve the shredded chicken drizzled with 1-2 Tbsp of honey chipotle sauce and top with chopped tomatoes, cilantro, and crumbled goat cheese.
  10. To make enchiladas, place 1/2 cup of sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Preheat the oven to 375. Wrap chicken and a pinch of shredded cheese in each tortilla and place in the dish (I used half the cheese inside the enchiladas, the other half on top). Top with 1-1.5 cups honey chipotle sauce and the remaining cheese. Bake ~15 mintutes, until browning and bubbly. Serve topped with chopped cilantro (if you're not a hater).

Notes

Yields: A Whole Lot

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride, method inspired by The World Famous Honey Sesame Chicken

Estimated time: 5 hours 30 minutes

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Green Tomato and Chipotle Mac & Cheese

Hello, summer. With your abundance of tangy green tomatoes, your abundance of soul-melting heat, and your abundance of why-waste-my-time-flat-ironing-my-hair-when-it’s-just-going-to-look-like-crap-in-11-seconds-anyway humidity.

I can only help you with one of those things. The other two can typically be fixed by drinking any one of these.

Green Tomato and Chipotle Mac & Cheese

This summery mac & cheese is spiked with minced chipotles in adobo and layered in a baking dish – and then topped – with thinly-sliced green tomatoes. The tangy tomatoes help cut the richness of the cheesy dish while the chipotles give you just enough heat to justify cooling off with that Fudge Bomb for dessert.

You know, if you’re still looking for an excuse.

Green Tomato and Chipotle Mac & Cheese

Green Tomato and Chipotle Mac & Cheese

A summery mac & cheese topped with tangy green tomatoes and spiked with spicy, smokey chipotle peppers.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb macaroni pasta
  • Salt
  • 16 oz grated cheese (I used half sharp cheddar, half colby jack)
  • 6 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • Pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp deli-style mustard (I use Creole)
  • 1-2 Tbsp minced chipotles in adobo (2 Tbsp for a spicier mac)
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (2 slices of bread sent through a mini processor works perfectly)
  • 3 large green tomatoes, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. Bring salted water to boil and cook pasta for half the time suggested on the package.
  4. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the pasta from cooking.
  5. Leave the pasta draining in the sink and return the empty pasta pot to the cooktop over medium heat.
  6. Melt 4 Tbsp butter and whisk in 3 Tbsp flour.
  7. Let cook ~3 minutes, whisking occasionally.
  8. Add the garlic and whisk, cooking 1 minute more.
  9. Add the mustard, chipotles, and then slowly stream in the milk while whisking.
  10. Add a generous pinch of salt, fresh ground pepper, and let the sauce cook, whisking occasionally, until the mixture beings to bubble.
  11. Add the cheese and stir until it is completely melted.
  12. Turn off the heat and add the pasta back to the pot, stirring until evenly coated.
  13. Transfer half of the pasta to the baking dish and then layer half of the green tomatoes on top.
  14. Top with the remaining pasta and the remaining green tomato slices.
  15. Melt 2 Tbsp of butter and stir into the bread crumbs.
  16. Sprinkle the crumbs over the top of the dish.
  17. Bake for ~30 minutes, until the breadcrumbs have crisped to a golden brown and the pasta is bubbling.

Notes

Yields: 8-12 servings

Adapted from The Pastry Queen Parties

Estimated time: 1 hour

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The Firecracker Burger

Meet The Firecracker Burger. It is the latest addition to our endlessly delicious Fancy Burger roster.

What makes the Firecracker so great?

EVERYTHING.

The Firecracker Burger

It’s based on the Crispy Jalapeno Burger from BJs Restaurant & Brewhouse. The “crispy jalapeno” part of our burger comes from the beer-battered jalapenos slices I shared with y’all last week.

Those delicious bites of deep-fried napalm are then doused with some cool chipotle ranch dressing. Add some crispy red onions, juicy tomato slices, and a slice of melty Monterrey Jack?

It’ll be the best burger you have all week. Guaranteed.

The Firecracker Burger

The Firecracker Burger

A juicy burger topped with spicy, beer-battered jalapeno slices and chipotle ranch dressing.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Heat your grill to medium-high.
  2. Season both sides of each burger patty with salt, pepper and a dash of Worcestershire.
  3. Grill 4-5 minutes on each side, topping with a slice of cheese for the last minute of cooking.
  4. Build the burgers, topping with sliced tomatoes, red onions, ~5 fried jalapeno slices, and a generous spoonful of chipotle ranch dressing.
  5. Serve immediately.

Notes

Yields: 3 servings

Inspired by BJs Restaurant & Brewery

Estimated time: 30 minutes

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