Sweet and Spicy Mexican Chipotle Chicken

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October 30, 2014

If your are a fan of orange chicken, a favorite Chinese American dish, then you'll love sweet and spicy Mexican chipotle chicken.  This south of the border twist combines the flavors of Mexico with crispy chicken pieces coated in a sticky sauce.  Chicken breasts and thighs are tossed in seasoned breading and baked before it's added to a homemade chipotle sauce sweetened with a pinch of brown sugar and agave nectar.  I like to serve this meal with rice and a jicama slaw salad.

Sweet and Spicy Mexican Chipotle Chicken

Chicken:
1 1/2 pounds bonesless, skinless chicken breasts and thighs, pounded thin and cut into bite size pieces
2 eggs
2 tablespoons water

Breading:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup cornstarch or rice flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder

Sweet and Spicy Chipotle Sauce:
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped chipotle peppers, seeds removed
2 teaspoons adobo sauce (from the can)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup agave nectar
3 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cornstarch

toasted sesame seeds and chopped cilantro for garnish

Preheat the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with oilve oil cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs and water together until well combined.  In an another separate large bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder, paprika and chile powder.  Dip the chicken breast and thigh pieces in the egg mixture and then place it in the flour mixture.  Make sure that the chicken is evenly coated in the breading and shake off any excess flour. 

Place chicken on prepared baking sheet and lightly spray tops of chicken with olive oil cooking spray. Bake chicken for 10 to 12 minutes minutes and then move the baking tray to the top middle oven rack and broil for 2 to 5 minutes or until crispy.

Meanwhile, prepare the sweet and spicy chipotle sauce.  Add all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor and process until smooth. If you are a heat seeker, feel free to add more chipotle peppers to the sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Add the chipotle sauce to a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes until thickened. Add cooked chicken to a large bowl then pour sauce over top and gently toss to combine. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and chopped cilantro.

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