February 27, 2008

Smoky Sweet Chicken with Cilantro Lime Crème Fraiche


2005 2nd Place Winner
Chicken with an Ethnic Twist
Elizabeth Bennett, Mill Creek, WA

2          ounces chipotle chiles in adobo sauce* (about 2)
1/2       cup molasses
1/4       cup canola oil
3          tablespoons butter, melted
1/4       cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2       cup + 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
8          boneless California chicken thighs
1          small yellow onion, diced
1          large clove garlic, minced
1/2       cup sour cream
1          tablespoon heavy cream
1          tablespoon lime juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a food processor, puree chipotles in adobo sauce, molasses, 1/8 cup canola oil, butter and brown sugar. Stir in 1/2 cup cilantro; set aside. In a large heavy skillet, heat 2 tablespoons canola oil over medium heat. Brown both sides of chicken, approximately 5 minutes per side. Remove chicken from skillet and place in 13-inch by 9-inch glass baking dish. In same skillet, sauté onion for about 7 minutes or until onion is translucent and golden. Add garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes. Stir onions and garlic into chipotle mixture; pour over chicken. Bake 30-40 minutes or until chicken reads 170 degrees F on a meat thermometer. In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream, heavy cream and lime juice. Stir in remaining cilantro. To serve, place 2 thighs per plate. Drizzle cilantro lime crème fraiche over chicken. Garnish with cilantro sprigs.

*Chipotle chiles with adobo sauce can be found in the Hispanic Foods section of the grocery store.

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