I’ll be completely honest. When I first saw this recipe in Cooking Light, I was a bit skeptical. I honestly thought that the almonds wouldn’t go well with the spice mix, and that it would taste sort of gritty. But I had the ingredients on hand, and thought it would be a great way to use the rest of the jar of Crema Mexicana. That was about a year ago. This dish has now become one of my favorites. If it’s too spicy for you as is, add more Crema Mexicana until it’s at the taste you desire. Bear in mind that adding more than the recipe calls for does add calories though. The recipe does call for it to be served with flour tortillas and a salad, but I tend to serve it over Rice a Roni Rice Pilaf here at my house.
Mexican Chicken with Almond-Chile Cream
From Cooking Light January 2005
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)
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.
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 chicken breast half and 2 tablespoons sauce)
NUTRITION PER SERVING
CALORIES 269(30% from fat); FAT 8.9g (sat 2.8g,mono 3.1g,poly 1.4g); PROTEIN 41.3g; CHOLESTEROL 109mg; CALCIUM 35mg; SODIUM 387mg; FIBER 1.2g; IRON 1.4mg; CARBOHYDRATE 2.8g