Sunday, April 19, 2009

Chipotle chicken tenders with blue cheese sauce

I like buffalo chicken, but I haven’t been all that motivated to make it at home. I don’t often buy chicken wings, and I never deep fry. When I spotted this recipe in Bobby Flay’s Grilling For Life, I wondered if it was possible to get the buffalo chicken flavor without all the fat. I actually think I like this version better than the original, and it comes together very quickly.

Since it was raining in California on the day I made these, I cooked the chicken on the stove rather than on the grill. The hot sauce can be customized to your heat preference, and the three types of chiles add a great depth of flavor. A little bit of honey cuts the acidity and the sauce is thickened by Dijon mustard and some butter. The original recipe called for the blue cheese sauce to be made with greek yogurt. I had both greek yogurt and sour cream in the house, so I did half of each. You could definitely use one or the other though.

The traditional accompaniments to buffalo wings are carrot and celery sticks. Since this isn’t quite your traditional version, I also went with a slightly different side: roasted carrot sticks.


Chipotle chicken tenders with blue cheese sauce
Serves 3-4

Chicken ingredients:
1 and 1/2 lbs chicken tenders
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1-2 tablespoons chipotle puree (depends on how spicy you want the sauce)
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
1 and 1/2 teaspoons New Mexico chile powder
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 and 1/2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
salt and pepper to taste

Blue cheese sauce ingredients:
1/2 cup low or non fat greek yogurt
1/2 cup low fat sour cream
1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives

For the blue cheese sauce:

Combine all of the ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to one day. Garnish with more chives if desired.

For the chicken:

Bring the vinegar, 1 tablespoon oil, chipotle puree, honey and both chile powders to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once it reaches a simmer, remove the mixture from the heat and whisk in the mustard and butter. Set aside.

Heat a large saucepan on high, add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, add the chicken to the pan. Saute until the chicken is browned and cooked through, about three minutes per side. Toss the chicken with the chipotle sauce and serve with the blue cheese sauce.

69 comments:

Helene said...

What a beautiful recipe. With BBQ season coming I should make this.

Girl Japan said...

This is calling my name on so many levels it is insane, blue cheese with Chipotle... oh YUM!!!!

Christina Kim said...

Sara, I love how you made a typically very unhealthy dish, a bit more healthy. I have never heard of New Mexico chile powder... does that differ from your standard chili powder? I love the use of chicken tenders, and the sauce sounds so lovely and spicy. And what a perfect balance with the yogurt/sour cream/blue cheese sauce.

girlichef said...

What an awesome meal! Love chipotle...and w/ bleu cheese sauce, omg!

Pearl said...

goodness - you always come up with such yummy looking recipes. you need your own show on foodnetwork :)

LaDue & Crew said...

This has me written all over it! LOVE it!

Elra said...

Awwww, this is really delice Sara! Chipotle is my favorite chile ever.
Cheers,
elra

teresa said...

Fantastic! I haven't made wings before either, for all the same reasons too, but this looks like a great way to substitute. Loves it.

Tracey said...

That recipe looks so good Sara! I hate frying at home and this is such a nice alternative. Can't wait to try it!

Barbara Bakes said...

I love that you create a healthy buffalo chicken recipe!

5 Star Foodie said...

Chipotle is an excellent addition - how delicious with blue cheese sauce too!

Donna-FFW said...

This chicken looks so very inviting. The sauce sounds delicious. Perfect for upcoming bbq season.

Selba said...

Seriously... looks so yummy! And I love blue cheese! *drooling*

Elyse said...

Ooo, I'm so excited to try this recipe! I would love to get that wonderful Buffalo wing taste without the fat. My boyfriend loves the wings and the frying, whereas, I'm a breast girl who doesn't like frying. But, I do love the flavor, like you. Can't wait to try this!

tuki said...

Was it the weekend when it was happy?

Monica H said...

What a great idea- I don't buy wings or fry either. But this looks simple enough.

Miette said...

What a tasty recipe! Very nice, as usual!!! I love the way you transform the recipes, it's always spicy, healthy and gorgeous!

Cheers,

Miette.

Jamie said...

These look delicious. I do have a can of chipotle peppers someone sent me, so these I could do. Love this kind of eating.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

I received two Bobby Flay books for Christmas and this was one of them. I had thought I might try grilling on the stove top as it sounded easier for me - Giada uses the same stove top grill pan that I have and that's where I got the idea. However, I haven't gotten around to trying any of Bobby's recipes on it. Your recipe gives me confidence to try it.
Thanks for making this traditional dish healthy with less fat.
Sam

Alex said...

I just want to stick a fork into the picture! They look mouth-watering!

Leslie said...

Love it..I can already taste the heat!mmmmm

Natashya said...

Heavens that looks good! And I just found some Mexican chile powder too, must be kismet!

Sarah Herman said...

ohhhh! My husband and son will devoure this yummy version. They love buffalo wings, this is a great way to make it for them without all the frying!!!

Cathy said...

I make a buffalo chicken pizza that gives me all the flavour without the deep frying. Although I am jealous of the blue cheese sauce...I love the taste but I'm super allergic to blue cheese.

Maris said...

These sound sooo good. Can you find all of those chili/spices at a typical grocery store?

Gloria Chadwick said...

This looks really good and I love that you used chicken tenders.

Cate O'Malley said...

Say blue cheese, and I'm there. Barely 9:30 and my mouth is totally watering.

Soma said...

This looks gorgeous! I grill inside most of the time..it's less time consuming for me:-)

lisaiscooking said...

The combination of chile flavors sounds great! I'd love this chicken on a salad with blue cheese dressing too.

Happy cook said...

Wow this looks so yummy delicious, just reading the recipe i am drooling,

Bridgett said...

This is a perfect starter, or even a meal. I love the blue cheese sauce and it would definitely be a hit at my house. Your photo is gorgeous!

Reeni♥ said...

I like tenders much more than wings. These look delicious! And I have a whole bunch of chipotles to use up!

noble pig said...

This is a such a better idea than wings. Love it.

The Duo Dishes said...

No frying necessary for these tenders. They sound smokey and spicy. Perfect to dip into creamy blue cheese.

Lynda said...

I think these look so yummy! I like the fact that they are not fried and the sauce sounds really tasty!

Robin Sue said...

Sara I love all the flavor combinations and these sound perfectly spicy and delicious. So much better than fried!

stephchows said...

These are totally right up my alley! Gotta love a "healthier" chicken wing :)

Dawn said...

sara I much prefer it this way. never been a fan of the wings at all. I love tenders anyday. But that sauce, can we talk about that sauce? LOL Heaven!

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

I like this idea. I've been wondering if the chicken would taste the same without the frying. Great job.

Cheryl said...

Sarah can I just say I love you, I also love buffalo chicken but cant stand all the fat, I am so making this, thanks for sharing the recipe!

Colleen said...

This looks like a GREAT alternative to buffalo chicken! And easy enough to make at home!

Sara said...

Christina - New Mexico is a type of dried chile. I think you could use a different chile powder and it would work. I wouldn't skip the chipotles though!

Sam - I have a grill pan too, but I didn't use it here because I would have had to cook the chicken in a couple of batches, and I didn't feel like doing that :)

Maris - You can find canned chipotles at most markets, in the ethnic section. I think some of the major spice companies carry ancho chile powder. I think New Mexico chile powder is harder to find. If you can't find it, you could just add a bit more ancho.

Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer said...

DAMN this is an incredible recipe and I can see these 2 playing very well in the sandbox together!! YUM

Katherine Aucoin said...

This looks wonderful Sara. I'm a huge fan if chipotle and a huge fan of yours!

glamah16 said...

Oh those look like the perfect nibble food . I love chipolte and how you use the blue cheese.

Scate said...

This sound fantastic - thanks for sharing!

Maria said...

Love the sauce, the perfect pair!

Sean said...

Great twist on the chicken wing norm! A healthier alternative to those deep fried wings!

unconfidentialcook said...

This is just genius! Love everything about it, down to the roasted (!) carrot sticks!

Kevin said...

Those chipotle chicken bits sound really tasty! I like the combo with the cool and creamy blue cheese dip!

Claudia said...

Wonderful Sara - I love the buffalo wings but stay away because of the frying. Here I still get all the tastes.

Kerstin said...

The blue cheese sauce looks amazing and I love anything with chipotle - yum!

Navita said...

oh Sara I love this Chipotle recipe...hubs' a big buffalo wings fan...so guess I can make this for him...(with far less fat) thanks for sharing :)

Sara said...

This sounds fantastic! Ellie Krieger also has a recipe for buffalo chicken that isn't deep fried that is pretty good.

Amanda said...

Well done! I also love buffalo chicken (wings), but they're certainly full of deep-fried fatty goodness. This is a great compromise.

lesley said...

Chipotle chicken tenders?? Those sound AMAZING!! : )

Hope you're having a wonderful Tuesday!!!

Pam said...

We would love this! I love that it's not fried but still tasty.

Gabe's Girl said...

Sara, your posts are so lovely. I absolutely am in love with this new dish you just posted! It is so something I would like to have in front of me right now, especially with the NBA playoffs going on! Go Mavs!!!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I'm drooling... That dish looks absolutely scrumptious! What a great combination of flavors!

Cheers,

Rosa

Diana said...

I like your version much better than the traditional preparation. I might actually want to eat it! :)

Jennifer said...

OK Sara, It appears that you are trying to lure my hubby away form me....is that the plan? ok, he can come hang with yours, eat all of these but you have to send him back. wink, wink

Leah said...

These look beautiful. Well done Sara.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Chipotle powder is one of those ingredients that I am addicted to. I love this recipe because I do loves me my chipotle. I'm glad you had tenders and not wings. My husband can't stand wings.

The Blonde Duck said...

This is right up my ally! Yum!

gastroanthropologist said...

I love blue cheese sauce with wings, but this version sounds much healthier and love chipotle with chicken.

Debbie said...

Sounds and looks like an absolutely delicious meal!

Annie said...

They look amazing, only I can't too much spice. (Acid reflux) I still crave it though!

Chef E said...

Not sure if it is a real lingo, but I see this and I say 'nummy nums'...and Homer would say 'Bluuuuue Cheeeeese'...

Crissy said...

I cant have this, but it looked so great i made it for my husband and son. They went crazy over it