One of my favorite recent discoveries is the versatility of canned chipotles en adobo. Now, before you go saying that you don’t use canned products, hear me out. I generally don’t either. But there are a few exceptions, and canned chipotles in adobo sauce is one of them. If you’ve never used this ingredient, you are really missing out.
The word “chipotle” is becoming ubiquitous on restaurant menus lately: chipotle mayo on burgers, chipotle rub on salmon, chipotle sauce on quesadillas. Unfortunately, often there is little true chipotle flavor there. Chipotles, for those who are unsure, are simply smoked jalapeño peppers. They are typically dark reddish brown, and you find them two ways: dried, and canned in adobo sauce. Now, adobo sauce is simply a tomato-based sauce, usually with garlic, vinegar, peppers and spices such as cumin and oregano. Each brand varies slightly, some being more smokey flavored overall, others more tomato-ey.
This fantastic little ingredient can do so much, which is why I consider it one of my pantry staples. I use it in mac & cheese, in shrimp fra diavolo, as a marinade for grilled steak tips, quite often in chili. But one of my favorite new discoveries is chipotle chicken.
This is really not a recipe at all, so it feels almost silly posting it, but it’s one of the simplest base recipes from which you can make so many different meals. The amount below makes enough for 2-3 meals for two people, depending on how you use it. Leftovers freeze and reheat beautifully. Suggestions for uses below.
- 6-8 boneless chicken thighs
- 1 can chipotles in adobo sauce
Place chicken thighs (trimmed of fat, if desired) in slow cooker. Add whole can* of chipotles and sauce to the pot, using your hand to lightly crush the peppers as you add them (like you would whole canned tomatoes). Once can is empty, fill with water once and add that to slow cooker as well. Cover, turn on high, and cook for about 4 hours.
*For a less spicy version, this could certainly be made with a portion of the can, adjusting the amount of water to compensate.
When the chicken is done, use two forks to gently shred into pieces, like pulled chicken. Use this pot of deliciousness to create any number of yummy dishes, such as tacos, taquitos, enchiladas, quesadillas, or pizza. Here are a couple of our favorites:
What will you do with your chipotle chicken?