Look for ground ancho chile pepper in the spice section. If you can't find it, substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons regular chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper. Crema Mexicana is similar to crème fraîche but has a thinner consistency and sweeter flavor. Slice chicken and serve with flour tortillas and a tossed salad.
3 tablespoons sliced almonds
2 teaspoons ground ancho chile pepper
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons butter
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons crema Mexicana
Fresh cilantro sprigs (optional)
How to Make It
Combine almonds and chile pepper in a blender or food processor; process until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt and black pepper.
Heat butter and oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add chicken; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.
Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add almond mixture, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and broth; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook until broth mixture is reduced to 1/2 cup (about 3 minutes). Remove from heat. Stir in crema Mexicana. Serve sauce over chicken. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.
With no ancho chile powder on hand, I used a mix of chipotle chile and a medium-hot chili powder (both from Penzey's). And I used a mix of reduced-fat sour cream + FF half-and-half instead of the crema, because I wanted to use up things in my refrigerator. The recipe was robust enough to stand up to all the changes and OH MY is that sauce delicious. I cooked brown rice in chicken broth and saffron as a side dish.
I was prepared not to be impressed, because I think "light" recipes sometimes lack flavor. But I was cooking for girlfriends who like to count calories... However this was good - I think the crema mexicana saved it! I also used chicken tenders because I was doubling the recipe and it made portioning easier. I skipped the tortillas, and served Sunset's Green Rice as a side dish.
While by no means bad, and I would gladly eat this recipe again, it does definitely have potential to be something much better. Although I admittedly could have reduced the sauce a bit more before adding the cream, it overall came out pretty bland, and I followed the recipe exactly. If you are used to the savoriness/spiciness that accompanies good Mexican food, you'll be craving something more with this. Adding some red pepper flakes or cayenne, some onion powder and some Mexican oregano would have helped, though for a quick fix I threw on a roasted Anaheim chile to provide depth of flavor and spice. It'll get there! :D
Wow - outstanding flavors for such a quick and easy recipe. Similiar to mole, but not quite the same. Only subsitution was to use 2 garlic gloves and used sour cream instead of crema Mexicana. Serve with CL Spicy Black Beans and Bon Appetite Carrot Orzo (used cilantro instead of rosemary). Will definitely make again and wouldn't hestitate to serve to company. CL 2006, pg 30
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